Mental Disorder in the Court By Greg Enos Lawyers in Galveston County now know how it felt to serve in Roman Emperor Caligula's court. We see and fear the madness that is cloaked in awesome power and never know when the mad ruler's ire will be aimed at us. This was the scene in Emperor Dupuy's court on February 11 when Dupuy held a hearing to hold attorney Lori Laird in contempt for filing two motions to recuse him. There were eight armed bailiffs supervised by the elected Sheriff of Galveston County, who was being advised by a lawyer from the County Legal Department. The Sheriff even checked behind the judge's bench for weapons before the hearing started. It seemed that the extraordinary security was there as much to protect the attorneys from the judge as to keep order in the court. A felony prosecutor and the D.A.’s head investigator sat in the gallery taking notes about the judge. About 40 people were in the audience, including the County Judge and for a while one ... Read More >
Archives for February 2013
Forget the notary – Unsworn Declarations are Legal in Texas!
It is no longer necessary for affidavits, sworn inventories and attorney's verifications to be sworn to before a Notary Public. The following statute was effective on September 1, 2011: Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. Sec. 132.001. UNSWORN DECLARATION. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), an unsworn declaration may be used in lieu of a written sworn declaration, verification, certification, oath, or affidavit required by statute or required by a rule, order, or requirement adopted as provided by law. (b) This section does not apply to an oath of office or an oath required to be taken before a specified official other than a notary public. (c) An unsworn declaration made under this section must be: (1) in writing; and (2) subscribed by the person making the declaration as true under penalty of perjury. (d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an unsworn declaration made under this section must include a jurat in substantially the following ... Read More >
New Ethics Opinion Agrees With Me: No Part Time Associate Judges
A brand new ethics opinion from the Texas Center for the Judiciary makes clear what I have argued for years: it is not ethical to allow a part-time Associate Judge to also practice law. The opinion states: Ethics Opinion Number 296 ( 2013 ) PRACTICE OF LAW BY PART-TIME JUDGE FACTS: An attorney has been appointed as a part-time family law associate judge by the district judge. The associate judge continues to represent family law clients before other district courts of that county and before courts in other surrounding counties. QUESTIONS: May a part-time family law associate judge, appointed by a court, represent family law clients before any of the other courts 1. in that county? 2. in surrounding counties? ANSWER: The committee answers Question 1 “No.” The committee answers Question 2 with a qualified “No.” DISCUSSION: A part-time associate judge appointed by a court is governed by the Code of Judicial Conduct. Canon 6D. As stated in Canon 6D(1)1, certain ... Read More >