No blogging yesterday because I was (a) being interviewed on-camera for 3 hours by a guy from Faces Media to create a few short videos for my website; and (b) preparing for and attending the Harris County Criminal Lawyers’ Association’s annual banquet, at which I was sworn in as president-elect, I gave the outgoing president a thank-you gift, and I got to introduce our keynote speaker, one of my heroes, a man who should be an inspiration to all who do what we do: Charlie Swift (Wikipedia article).
Charlie is the Navy lawyer who fought the government from Guantanamo to the Supreme Court and won. It was his work that led the Supreme Court to tell the government that they couldn’t try “enemy combatants” in military tribunals the way they planned to.
In addition to Charlie’s stirring speech about the fight to preserve the rule of law, we heard from the new president of the organization, Pat McCann (website), who just got back from active duty in the Navy, and talked about servicemembers’ recognition that what we do — preserving the constitution and the rule of law — is what they are fighting for. We also celebrated the birthday of Richard “Racehorse” Haynes’s (Wikipedia article), the dean of the Houston criminal defense bar, and honored Mike Ramsey with a Lifetime Achievement Award. We gave the Gulf Region Advocacy Center (GRACe) our Torch of Liberty Award and awarded Vivian R. King an Unsung Hero Award. HCCLA Vice President JoAnne Musick, former president Troy McKinney (scroll down) and Defender editor Shawna L. Reagin received Member of the Year Awards.
A busy, exhausting day of being-a-lawyer-but-not-practicing-much-law (I did have to represent a friend in felony court in the morning). Tomorrow I’m putting on a CLE seminar featuring Charlie Swift as well as Houston criminal defense heavy-hitters Rusty Hardin, Randy Schaffer, and Katherine Scardino (firm web page) and Houston Chronicle reporter Brian Rogers.