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Overcoming Life’s Obstacles and Challenges: Resolution and Resilience

Resolution and Resilience Practicing criminal defense law for 20 years, the one thing that really amazes and disappoints me is when a client loses hope in themselves.  We all make mistakes.  I’ve reminded many a DWI client that President George W. Bush got a DWI and his  Vice President Dick Cheney had two ! No one is perfect. We are all inhuman and no matter how rightfully driven, we all will fall short of the mark at one time or another if we are honest with ourselves. It is the unrealistic and hypocritical juror, judge, prosecutor and other who can easily...

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Reviving Reagan: Optimism and Lessons Learned

In this Presidential Republican Primary, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have been invoking Reagan frequently, as if to lighten the prevailing negativity of this campaign. Interestingly enough, I just finished a book on Reagan by H.W. Brands. I grew up with Reagan. He was President when I graduated high school in 1987. Thousands lined up to see him when he came to visit Baylor University when I was in college there. I have framed a letter he wrote me in December 1983 (I was a freshman in high school) that arrived at my childhood home in a huge White House...

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A Lesson in Tough Choices: Sam Houston

Just finished reading H.W. Brands' Texas history book: Lone Star Nation, The Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence. It is very well written, a real page turner. Heroes such as James Bowie, Stephen F. Austin and Davy Crockett jump off the page at you. It is always inspiring to delve into the lives of ordinary folks who achieved great things in the face of major obstacles. What stirred my soul; however, was the triumph of Sam Houston. Sam Houston was accused of being a drunk. Yes, at times in his life he drank heavily. He resigned as Governor of...

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The Case of “Jane Doe”: The Long, Hard Fight

For the sake of anonymity, the names of the involved have been changed or redacted. Jane Doe is a hero of mine. With her permission, I share you her story. After four long years, we finally received justice. Jane Doe comes from a good family. Her parents divorced; they both invested themselves in raising good kids. She grew up with two older brothers who insisted on making her brave. Both handsome, dashing and fearless, they insisted on teaching Jane to skydive. Despite her persistent resistance, one day they literally dragged her out on a plane and forced her to jump (not...

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The Key to Being a Great Leader: A Lesson in Catherine the Great

I recently finished the book Catherine the Great by Robert Massie published in 2011 by Random House.  What made Catherine the Great so great ? First, it starts with ambition.  At 15, she left her native Germany and moved to Russia to marry Empress Elizabeth’s nephew Peter.  Through all her struggles in learning a new language,  culture and religion (Russian Orthodoxy forced upon her), and being with a young man who did not find her interesting or attractive, she persevered.  She commented early on that ‘only you can make yourself happy or miserable, despite the circumstances’. She had a burning...

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Give Me a Break, “Passing Judgment”

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." The Dalai Lama "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion." Abraham Lincoln "Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy." Albert Schweitzer "God has no religions." Mahatma Ghandi "Be kind to all creatures. This is the true religion." Buddha   I simply can't understand why a minister should be fired from their church if they get arrested for a DWI (had a  client recently fired and a chaplain put on leave). People make mistakes. A church who is living what...

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Willy Brandt: Courageous Leader

Many American millenials may not know the story of Willy Brandt, but they would be better off if they did.  Willy Brandt was Germany's John F. Kennedy contemporary.  They both lived during the same time period, both rising to the greatest heights of politics. His is a story in courage, perseverance and vision. He was raised by a single mother, never knowing his father. His grandfather was heavily involved in the country's socialist movement to improve wages and better working conditions. Excelling in school, he was singled out for higher education that he would not normally have been able to...

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The Biggest Misconception in DWI

The biggest misconception in a DWI is to correlate a single bad driving behavior with guilt in a DWI. Whether it be a jerk (failure to maintain a single lane), accident (losing control and hitting something like a curb, pole, or another car), or stopping too long at a stop light, this may very well be evidence of driver inattention unrelated to intoxication. I have analyzed thousands of DWI cases and have tried over 300. What I typically find is a prosecutor who argues that the driving behavior which so often happens due to driver inattention be argued as clear...

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Educating the Public About Lawyer Selection

The State Bar of Texas regulates all lawyer advertising. For a lawyer to advertise a flyer, billboard, website, or other solicitation, they must pay a fee to the State Bar of Texas and adhere to the advertising and ethics rules that bind Texas lawyers. The State Bar of Texas will review the advertisement and either approve or disprove of its use. The rules are in place to protect the public from false advertising. However, the State Bar is having a hard time keeping up with cunning new ways for marketers to profit from lawyers and trick the public. The above letter...

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Shocking Legal Truths on DWI

The way our government is created is simple. The legislature passes the laws and the judicial branch enforces it. That is the way it is designed. This is not the way it works. The Constitution is the framework that guarantees all rights and sets the parameters for all the state legislatures to follow when passing laws. Simple? It should be. Who on earth would dare defy the Constitution? Judges do it every day. Not just in Texas, but everywhere. Examples: In the State of New Jersey, you can't have a jury trial for a DWI. Yes, the United States Constitution says you...

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