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bray1I was very sad to hear about the passing of Jeff Bray (Kenneth Jefferson Bray).  I knew Jeff from our days at the Collin County District Attorney’s office.

Jeff and I were hired in 2003 on the same day along with one other prosecutor.  But it was not until I moved up to prosecuting felonies that I got to know him.  Jeff had already worked at other District Attorney’s Office and was starting as more of a lateral hire to begin work prosecuting felonies and white collar crimes.

I got to know Jeff when we were assigned to the same Trial Team.  We were assigned to the 296th, 416th, and 199th District Courts.  We weren’t in the Taj Mahal Court Building that now exists, but rather the courthouse at 210 S. McDonald.

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About a month ago, I wrote an article Crime Victim Dies of Complications, detailing a certain tree planted in front of the courthouse to commemorate crime victims.  I took a picture showing that the tree had apparently died and been cut down.

I also found it interesting that no one puts up wrongly accused / convicted trees around the courthouse — that might actually cause a jury to think twice about convicting someone. 

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I was upset to just hear that Collin County’s Law Librarian passed away recently. 

Lori Bull Dodds, who many of us came to know while frequenting the Law Library.  Lori was the assistant Law Librarian and took over for the retiring Director, Judy McCullough in 2009.

I was unable to find any english articles, but did find a Peruvian article, which translated related that she passed away from a heart attack in her tent.  "According to her husband Jeffrei Kin Dodds (54), her partner had died due to cardiac arrest due to the height of the area, which is about four thousand meters above sea level."

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One of the biggest problems with prosecutors I have seen in the various counties & cities I practice in is what I dub the difference in "doing what is right," and "doing what the law allows." I detailed a prime example in my past article "A Prosecutors Job Should Be To Seek Justice."no-justice-480

Some liken this to the prosecutors duty which is supposed to be about seeking justice, not convictions.  In the appellate world, I believe that this often gets lost. Most larger District Attorney’s office have separate prosecutors that handle appeals of cases as opposed to the original trials.  Often it seems that these departments are more focused on what the law says, instead of seeking justice.

The Collin County Observer just published an article entitled Is Innocence Innocence?.  In the article, it details a man that was charged with aggravated child sexual assault.  He presumably was arrested, posted bond, and humiliated throughout the process.  He went to trial, and the jury voted — 10 Not Guilty, 2 Guilty.  Because they could not all agree, a mistrial was declared. 

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It appears a local crime victim has dies of injuries.  Reports are unclear as to whether the death is related to injuries sustained from the initial crime.

I snapped this photo recently of the "Crime Victim Tree" planted just outside of the new Collin County Courthouse.

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As you can see, the tree has been removed and all that remains is a bit of the stump below.

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case-dismissedA few days ago, the State filed a motion to dismiss the cases against the Collin County District Clerks cases.

It should be noted that all cases were dismissed “without prejudice.”  This means that the charges could be re-brought against the District Clerks, or other charges can be brought against them as well.  If a case is dismissed “with prejudice,” no charges can be refiled.

The McKinney Courier Gazette quoted special prosecutor John Helms as saying

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dacLooks like Collin County doesn’t like David Allan Coe’s music as much as I do.  I just saw him play at Trees in Dallas not to long ago.  Might be his last visit to this area in a while.  Here’s the article from the Detroit News.

Country star to IRS: ‘Shove It’

Outlaw country star David Allan Coe might not want to "Take This Job and Shove It." He could use the money to pay off a $1.6 million tax bill, according to public records.

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photo1Recently, a letter was sent to the press criticizing the outgoing District Attorney and reporting their findings.  This letter made it to the Dallas Morning News, where it was reported by Ed Housewright.  The DMN did not publish the letter and I personally had been curious to see it.  I now have a copy, and I am publishing it here.

The letter came to me in a cryptic, no return addressed envelope.  As I opened it up (expecting white powder to fly out at me), I saw the contents containing documents regarding the 380th Grand Jury.

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Contained in the letter was a request to clarify the inaccurate reporting of the impaneling of the Grand Jury. I had written about this before.  In some reports, it seemed as if this grand jury was empaneled by Judge Wooten in order to investigate the District Attorney’s Office.

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I’m voting “no” to all of the State Bar’s ill-thought-out and unnecessary amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

Some of this post was pulled from blogger Mark Bennett who did a good job of compiling a lot of the information into one post.   It seems as if many attorneys have weighed in recently — EVERY ONE I PERSONALLY KNOW IS OPPOSED AND VOTING "NO".  I have been getting a barrage of emails, some from the state Bar, which to me, seems quite inappropriate and a pretty weak attempt to justify their new rules.  Paul Kennedy has some good info on his blog as well. 

Here are the redlined Rules. Here is the text of the Rules. See the Comments? No. Me either. But there are reportedly 44,000 words of interpretive comments that go along with the Rules.