Thursday, January 24, 2008

TRIALS: Dudley Do-Right and Rambo Ray

Yes, there has been the first not guilty of the year courtesy of Todd Dudley. A County Court #4 Assault, Todd kept the jury out for an extended period of time before his victory in the first week of the new year. Congrats.

And who can second-guess the recent victory(s) of Trial Dog Ray Espersen. In the 427th District Court, Ray represented a defendant charged with 9, (yes, count 'em, 9) counts of charges ranging from agg sex assault of a child to indecency by contact. Result? 8 not guilty verdicts and probation on the remaining count! It may hurt you to do it, but tell Ray good job next time you see him.

Addendum: While the reaction to the Trial Dog article (see below) was generally positive, I did receive some additional well-deserved suggestions for recognition and kudos. Linda Icenhauer-Ramirez, Jon Evans, and Bill Browning certainly deserve some well-deserved praise for their trials. Linda has been a warrior for many years at both the trial and appellate areas, practicing at the highest level in the criminal and juvenile law areas. Jon and Bill have consistently tried the most difficult of cases. I will continue to recognize lawyers who put forth these efforts.

While there were some comments in which I agree (see the one posted on the previous article), I should be clear about a couple of things: The article was not commenting on any particular trial tactics, strategies, or even the wisdom of going to trial on any particular case. The criteria was merely the willingness, types of cases, and quantity of cases. In a profession where we sometimes feel like a fire hydrant in a neighborhood of dogs, the article was merely an observation of those who do not shrink from the idea of practicing their craft in front of a live jury and often empty galleries. They deserve a well-deserved pat on the back for their effort. The relationships of those lawyers and their clients are not of my particular concern although one could always speculate that some of those trials could have been resolved prior to trial. We'll never know. Lastly, we certainly do have those in our ranks who are the opposite, that is, are unwilling or unable to go to trial. However, they are not the subject of my observations at this time.

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