Last Thursday’s Reasonable Doubt

In case you missed it — last Thursday’s Reasonable Doubt with Steven Halpert, Todd Dupont, and me.

0 responses to “Last Thursday’s Reasonable Doubt”

  1. Mark,

    I have a new name idea for the show – “Why we hate prosecutors, the government and red meat.”

    Not to mention Todd Dupont reminds me of Mister Rodgers…..

    A couple of comments from topics in this last show:

    How (and where) would you hire prosecutors that are experienced and have the same life experiences as someone who lives in 5th ward? You are basically saying that because a young DA came straight from law school, the only cases they can handle are those dealing with underage drinking, DWI, POM and the occasional theft case – with the caveat that the accused must be their same race, sex and economic background. Do you think you are going to be able to hire “seasoned” attorneys to come work for $55K?

    As to you comment about district court chief’s making $100-$115K, plus benefits and intake (should they work them) – since it is public record what they make, how about you prove your point that you make the same amount after expenses and taxes – post your IRS return and prove you only made $100 or so; I am not a betting woman, but I would venture a wooden nickel that you still come out ahead. Even the highest paid ADA’s (Vic Wisner per the Chron) doesn’t even compare to some of the Court appointed attorney’s.

    I enjoy your blog and seeing your point of view – it gives a different perspective.


  2. With Steve on, that show was a prosecutor love-fest compared to our usual fare. I think I speak for the three of us when I say we love red meat. And Todd’s a mellow guy, no doubt.

    It’s hard to hire lawyers who grew up in the 5th Ward. But it’s possible to hire lawyers (like Halpert) who had some real-world experience, rather than high school-college-law school. I’d look for lawyers who know something other than school. (The same applies to all sorts of lawyers — life experience makes us better — but most of us aren’t in a position to put the less fortunate in jail.)

    The point of benefits is that $115k plus benefits (health insurance, retirement, vacation, no self-employment tax) is worth more like $150k in the real world.

    This being America, we get rewarded for the risks we take. A criminal lawyer generally has to be a betting person, take risks, be a good businessperson, or at least be exceptionally lucky to make $150k.

    There are a lot of criminal lawyers in town — I would wager the great majority — who don’t. Using me as a benchmark wouldn’t be fair because I’m exceptionally fortunate. (I also have a secret weapon.)

    In any case, there are tradeoffs in the world.

    You can get the security of a government income, benefits, and regular hours; and easily make a decent living while losing some measure of privacy.

    Or you can go out on a limb and spend 13 years working hard, taking risks, answering the phone in the middle of the night, and having lots of stressful months when income doesn’t cover expenses; and if you’re lucky you wind up making a decent living while still being able to tell people, “how much I make is none of your damn business.”

  3. Ever since you were seven years old, I’ve been advising you not to brag about your secret weapon.

  4. I really enjoyed watching the clip from Reasonable Doubt….I don’t live in the Houston area. Which channel does it air in Houston?

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