Below are the nominations for the 2016 banquet. A short description is available for each nominee. One you have read over the nominations, click the link at the bottom of the page to continue on to the voting ballot.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: (select TWO nominees)
Gerald Bourque – Gerald works tirelessly in several counties in capital defense and all other charges. He has secured many victories over his career, and he gives back by mentoring young lawyers.
Mike DeGeurin – Mike has had an incredible career with high profile cases, federal cases, and state cases. He is a true trial attorney.
Bob Loper – Bob too has had an amazing career handling everything from DWI to capital murder. He too takes appointed cases and achieves results for his clients.
Robert Pelton – A past president, always involved in assisting HCCLA. Robert developed state and local ethics hotlines and continues to contribute daily. Robert cares about his clients and he has done so much to build this organization. Again from capital defense to misdemeanors, Robert gives his all.
Katherine Scardino – Katherine is one of the premier female capital trial lawyers who has achieved great success, saving many from death. Always gracious and professional, her career includes many speaking engagements for criminal lawyers and giving back.
George “Mac” Secrest – Mac is probably most known for his appeals and overall knowledge bank, but do not discount his trial abilities! From state court to federal court, in trial and on appeal, Mac has had a lifetime of wins for the defense.
Clyde Williams – A past president, Clyde is one of the pioneers in female criminal defense. She continues to try cases and give back by assisting others.
LAWYER OF THE YEAR: (select ONE)
Tyler Flood – Tyler on average, tried a case a week for the past year and won a ton of them. Tyler also has done a good job of exposing some bad behavior by the DAO and law enforcement and is always willing to share knowledge with others. He also took on Harmon and set up our winning judicial complaint.
Casie Gotro – NG on Intox Manslaughter in San Antonio; a FPW and PCS case for a 25-life client here. Casie helped Stan with his winning brief to SCOTUS. Casie’s cross of Kelly Siegler in the David Temple writ hearing exposed over 30 instances of prosecutorial misconduct. All while actively mentoring.
Joaquin Jimenez – Joaquin is a tough lawyer that fights for clients regardless of whether he’s been appointed or retained. Joaquin has tried more than a dozen cases this year, most notably an assault-fv case in which the defendant was a firefighter. Joaquin was able to secure a “not guilty” verdict which allowed the firefighter to retain his job and move on from the incident.
Randy Martin – Not Guilty on Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child; Not Guilty on Aggravated Assault of a Family Member; Got client credit for time served on a Misd assault instead of 1st degree felony offense of Burglary of a Habitation with intent to commit assault; Won a mid-trial dismissal on an Agg Robbery case!
Jed Silverman – dismissal of all charges in military court in FL by showing the charges of sexual misconduct were trumped up by the client’s wife and her lover, the client’s commanding officer. He went to Liberty and scored an in trial plea of DADJ for a client facing CSA on a lesser.
Norm Silverman – In the last few years, Norm singlehandedly kept a defense team in Miami together long enough to win drug case dismissal of the federal indictment. Everybody walked, and no one cut a deal. Norm scored a hung jury in an ASAC in Brazos County with DNA, and a NG in Gillespie on a post voir dire MTS. Norm won McClintock twice in the last year. McClintock found that a residence above a business is entitled to the same protection as a home.
UNSUNG HERO: (select ONE)
Nancy Bunin – Instrumental in dismantling the sex offender civil commitment regime in MoCo, Nancy also exposed Judge Sieler and his bias, winning his removal from the entire docket.
David Cunningham – David has slugged it out in trial and appellate courts for thirty five years in the worst cases, mentored many young lawyers, and taught many more at UHLC in trial ad.
Jennifer Gaut – Jen has taken the lead in helping numerous younger and older lawyers at trials with little expectation of compensation, including Paul Morgan’s recent blow up in the 248th. Jen also took the lead on the gang injunction civil case across the street.
Paul Morgan – He won his first DWI trial ever (a blood draw case) and he pressed the state to give him the internal Brady memo about the HPD crime lab not disclosing the “professional negligence.” He also won a big case in Krocker’s court recently. He is quiet and young but is going in and fighting and winning cases.
Mary Samaan – Mary quietly does a lot of lo-bono parole work and hires many young lawyers to assist. Mary has done this for years, without fanfare or recognition.
TORCH OF LIBERTY: (select ONE)
Brandon Ball – nominated for his advocacy and exposure of Gaslamp racial discrimination.
Steve Clappart/John Denholm – Clappart is a former cop/HCDAO investigator, Denholm a cop turned turned CDL. Both were instrumental in the David Temple writ in exposing former ADA Kelly Siegler’s treachery. Both lost friends as a result of their actions, and Clappart no longer works for HCDAO because he told the truth.
Scott Henson (blogger/author of Grits4Breakfast) – the single most influential non-lawyer and non-legislator on criminal justice across the entire state.
Monique Sparks/gang injunction lawyers – Monique organized a group of attorneys that included Jen Gaut, Gemayel Haynes, and Drew Wiley to work pro bono with defendants charged in the Southlawn gang injunctions. Monique and the other attorneys have contributed hundreds of hours working on a case that has generated both local and national headlines
MENTOR OF THE YEAR: (select ONE)
Mark Bennett – self-explanatory – Mark works with several young lawyers on a daily basis. He gets them involved in his cases and actively challenges them on their cases. He sets up breakfast meetings and regular sessions to benefit the young lawyers.
Eric Davis – Eric takes the time out of his schedule to help attorneys, many of them new attorneys, by working with them on their cases, letting them sit with him as a second chair during trial, and providing encouragement to attorneys who are about to go to trial. In the middle of trial, Eric came into the courtroom, and when there was a brief break in the trial, went up to a young attorney and offered advice. He continued until that young lawyers trial was over. He does this regularly throughout the courthouse.
Kurt Hopke – Kurt has been an outstanding mentor. Since we met last year, he has been an invaluable resource to me through my trials and pre trial negotiations. He has also introduced me to other prominent criminal defense attorneys in Houston. Would love to see Kurt get some recognition, he has been a great resource to other young attorneys who I’ve worked with and who had questions on their respective cases. (nominated by a young lawyer)
Jordan Lewis – Jordan Lewis was assigned as my mentor in 2014 and even though our term in the program ended, he continues to be there for me. The strength of this program is drawn from the dedication, influence, and patience people like Jordan bring to unpracticed lawyers who want to do right for their clients. (nominated by a young lawyer)
Pat McCann – always working with a group of young lawyers, Pat is there for everyone. He is always offering to assist those in need.
Troy McKinney – should be obvious, but Troy gives every day. Whether answering questions on the list for all, or providing guidance one on one, Troy is there to help anyone who asks.