I find it fascinating that opinion leaders' views have now shifted so mightily about whether the state was correct to take the kids. Reports TL:
Jack Sampson, a University of Texas School of Law professor who founded the law school's Children's Rights Clinic, says the Supreme Court's opinion drove home a point paramount in all parents' rights cases that will be remembered for a long time in Texas family courts: The state needs evidence of a threat to remove children from their homes on an emergency basis.The irony: That's a message that was lost on Sampson himself when the event actually took place. During the entire mess, he positioned himself firmly in CPS' and Judge Walther's cheering section and made himself widely available to be quoted in media accounts as an expert on the subject. Balovich, Chisholm, many other lawyers, and also the Third Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court all distinguished themselves in that process, we can now see with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. But the same cannot be said for folks like Prof. Sampson who crowed to the press about unproven abuse and spun justifications in the media to cover for what was essentially an illegal kidnapping at gunpoint by the state based on false allegations.
Texas Lawyer also published nice features on its runner-up list of "Impact Players" for 2008, which includes:
- Andrea Marsh of the Texas Fair Defense Project, whose first case as an attorney was Rothgery v. Gillespie County which was decided in her favor this year by the US Supreme Court and is presently transforming how Texas counties handle indigent defense.
- Lloyd Kelley, a Houston attorney whose civil suit revealed emails to and from then-District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal that ultimately brought down the powerful DA's administration, only to see his former law partner, C.O. Bradford, narrowly lose the election to succeed his nemesis to Republican Pat Lykos.
- Robert Ryan and Jeffrey Dorrell, two Harris County grand jurors who bucked the DA's office to insist on indicting Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina for arson.
- Gerry Birnberg, chair of the Harris County Democratic Party whose candidates nearly swept Harris County judicial races and won their first countywide seats - including Sheriff - in many years.
- The prosecution team in the Holy Land Foundation case (more on this in an upcoming post).
- Hurricane Ike.