Articles Posted in District Attorney

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Transcript1smallerYesterday, our firm found ourselves in an odd position.  A case of ours was set for trial, and we were ready to go. (That’s not the odd part).  The odd part is that although we were willing to waive the jury and allow the judge to make the determination of guilt, the state wouldn’t allow it.

In general, the only reason the state would oppose this is because  they think they would have a better chance of a guilty verdict with a jury rather than the judge.  Conversely, a defense attorney would do this if they think they have a better (or equal) chance with the judge.  In this case, we knew the facts of the case, and were very confident of a not guilty no matter who was looking at it.

So we attempted to save our citizens some time, and let the judge decide.  But as has recently been pointed out by the front page article in the Dallas Morning News (just one day earlier), the State has a right to a jury trial.

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Always nice to see the Dallas Morning News reporting on Collin County justice issues.  (Even nicer when they quote me). 

This case was first reported by the CCO, and then a lengthy response and explanation of the law was made by me

Basically, the guy wanted to plea guilty and let the judge punish him.  The DA refused to allow that, which left him but one option.  Plea Not Guilty, and elect the judge to sentence him. At that point, there is a sham trial, which involves about 60 citizens (in this case, possibly 240 citizens, because there were 4 charges), a judge, bailiff, prosecutor, and defense attorney who could all be doing better things with their time.  After the sham trial, the judge sentences the defendant, just like he was asking for in the first place!

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Bill over at the CCO is keeping us up to date on the Mark Bell case.  The case involves missing evidence, a search of an attorney’s private office, and a murder case.  What’s not to be interested in??

Interestingly enough, the attorney’s office who was searched is Keith Gore, currently running for judge of the 296th judical district court.  His private office was searched after Judge Rusch issued a search warrant allowing the search despite a hearing already being set in another court.


CSI Frisco: The Mark Lyle Bell episode

By Bill Baumbach of the Collin County Observer
Posted 2/28/2010

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Recently, we sent out 10 questions to the DA candidates. I will go back and analyze some of the answers soon.

Unfortunately, my blog platform is having problems, and I am not able to edit these post very well right now. As soon as it’s back up, I’ll add more. Below is the first article by the Collin County Observer publishing those answers. —

District Attorney candidate questionnaire responses

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     Recently, a collaborative effort was made to get a questionnaire answered by the candidates for Collin County District Attorney.  All candidates in the Republican contested primary returned our questionnaire.  (The Democratic candidate has not responded).DAseal

     I thought one way for me to add my commentary is to take what I see as the best answer from each question (sometimes shortened), and post them here.  As was promised to the candidates, the full text of their answers appears at the bottom of this article.

     I hope none of the candidates take my comments too personally.  I consider all three friends.  This is a great race because it is not about who is qualified versus who is not, but rather which is the best from three qualified candidates.  _______________________________________________________________________

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Coming Soon!  A 10 Question and Answer session with the candidates for Collin County District Attorney.  This Q&A is a collaborative effort between myself and the Collin County Observer (CCO).

In the next couple of days, we will be sending out 10 questions to the candidates for DA.  I think it will be helpful to see where the candidates stand on several of these issues.  Because I am a criminal defense attorney who practices in the county, I have tailored some of the questions to reflect important issues to practicing attorneys.  The other questions, with the help of the CCO are more geared towards the average voter who will not have much direct contact with the Judicial System.

The candidates will be given the questions in writing, and have several days to respond.  I will post their answers here on the blog.

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Recently, several candidates for the Republican primary came to the Allen Area Patriots club to discuss the race for Collin County District Attorney.  Videos of the candidates were uploaded to youtube, and I have added them here to the blog.  A big thank you to "mopenshaw" whoever you are.You can read bios of the candidates on my previous post HERE.



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A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be present in the 429th District Court and saw an individual, Mr. Robert Blackburn trying to plea guilty, but was barred in doing so by the Assistant District Attorney.  I didn’t think too much of it at the time, because I have seen the DA do this many times — including to my clients.

What happened differently on this occasion, is that the (visiting) Judge John McCraw stood up to this ridiculous practice. I was pleased to read a great article by the Collin County Observer reporting the incident and subsequent appeal by the DA.

The Law

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The Colbert Report

Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Craig Watkins
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor U.S. Speedskating

Saw this recently, and thought I’d share it.  Although I love what Craig is doing down in Dallas, I really think he could have been a bit funnier. . . .

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I recently showcased an article, “Two Local Judges Investigated in Grand Jury Investigation”  by the Collin County Observer.

In general, I don’t like just grabbing an entire article and posting in on our blog.  I instead try to post and show my take on the matter.  But his article was too good on the matter to do anything but post the entire article.

What I have found interesting, is not just the article itself, but the massive amounts of comments about the article.  As of today, there are 64 comments on the article.  I think that is the new story of the day.

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