Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Benchslap for judge-turned-Tarrant DA for gagging defense counsel at sentencing

From Decatur attorney Barry Green:
New Tarrant County DA Sharen Wilson had a case she presided over as a judge reversed on Thursday for the most basic of reasons: She refused to allow an attorney defending his client to speak during a hearing before she sentenced his client to prison. Excerpt: "Defense counsel: Can I make a closing statement when the time comes? The Court: I don't need one." Think about that. After I got over what an amazing basic legal error that was, I became more amazed that she didn't want to listen.  Heck, I wouldn't say that to a waiter who asked, "May I make a suggestion?"
Given her choice to run for Tarrant County District Attorney, perhaps Ms. Wilson understood her predilections were more suited to pro-government advocacy than judging, though plenty of Texas judges view those roles as indistinguishable, starting at the top.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Like many Texas judges he took the "Roy Bean" movie too seriously. He probably did a cost-analysis of putting the defendant in a cage with a drunken bear.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think that Tarrant County even had any real defense lawyers - all but one that I've come across are just part of the system and in cahoots with the prosecution industrial complex.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Grits, but that wasn't Wilson. It was her court, but she wasn't there, it was a visiting Judge who heard the revo.

Pamela Lakatos said...

Tarrant County was my home as a lawyer when I graduated from law school. I went to work for Mr. Curry in the late 70's. Then I and my former husband, Larry Moore went into private practice. I take issue with Anonymous, my experience there was that there was and is a great defense bar. Larry Moore, Tim Evans, Jack Strickland (when he was on the defense side) Bill Lane, Jim Lane and many more. Men and women. To make a statement like this and to be such a coward that you chose to post as "anonymous" tells me more about you than anything else you say. To be open, my ex husband is Larry Moore. He is still and will always be one of the very best human beings and lawyers that I have ever had the privilege of working with. I am proud that my formative years were in Tarrant County. I practice in Collin County now and I am so grateful that as a result of being educated in Tarrant County I am now in a position of helping others learn how to practice law in such a way that the system is still full of integrity and compassion. That is the best thing I bring with me as the result of being a "Tarrant County Lawyer".