: The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

Johnny Holmes, Former Harris County DA Profiled

The Houston Chronicle has a profile of Johnny Holmes, the larger than life Harris County District Attorney who held sway for 21 years in Former DA ran powerful death-penalty machine.

Vinson & Elkins Sponsored Libricide


Houston Chronicle: FIVE QUESTIONS WITH SUSAN YANCEY: Law librarian describes continuing evolution of her work

Q: In this age of online research, you have a lot of books here. Have they stopped being important?

A: This is still probably the largest private law library in the Southwest. But in our recent remodeling, we threw out railroad cars of books.

(Gasp*) …. you threw out railroad cars of books? Let it be known, the Luke Gilman Law Library accepts donations.

Welcome to the Blogosphere: Mary Flood Blogs Legal Issues at the Houston Chronicle

The Houston Chronicle has developed an admirable niche in blogging for a big city paper. The newest horse in the stable is Mary Flood’s Legal Trade Blog. Flood spearheaded the Chronicle’s award-winning coverage of the Enron trial and is recovering from a brief stint as a lawyer.

I should also mention Flood’s interesting article on judges who blog.

Houston Crime Lab Makes News Again; Impact on legal cases?

The Houston Crime Lab tends to make the news from time to time and almost never for anything good. In the latest debacle, an lab technician has been arrested for stealing cocaine processed in the lab over the last several years.

Houston Chronicle: Impact of cocaine thefts from DPS lab disputed

This is actually relatively benign after what we’ve seen from the crime lab in years past. HPD Lab Investigation site has a more detailed history but here are some of the highlights -

I tend to think that this particular infraction has relatively minor direct impact on any cases. It supposedly happened only after the cocaine had already been processed. However Troy McKinney hits it right on the head as quoted in the article – it goes to the fundamental trust in the system. How much can we trust the evidence the evidence that comes out of the lab when we see infraction after infraction?

Troy McKinney, a past president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, says the current incident raises questions about the quality of the evidence coming out of the agency’s crime lab.

“It suggests that there is very little integrity in the evidence coming out of that lab,” McKinney said. “Whether it’s because he handled it, or that he was able to get away with it for so long without anybody knowing.”

LegalLine – Free Legal Advice

The Houston Bar Association sponsors LegalLine, a service where you can call in and talk to a volunteer attorney and get free legal advice.

LegalLine is a twice a month community service outreach program of the Houston Bar Association that has served the Houston area since 1985. This FREE legal advice hotline is designed to help the public get simple legal advice, answers to legal questions and referrals to helpful resources over the telephone. All calls are answered by licensed volunteer attorneys.

Reach a volunteer attorney by calling 713-759-1133 every first and third Wednesday of every month from 5pm to 9pm.

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