Beverly Hills 78701

A must-read, especially for people think that baby prosecutors are magically endowed with wisdom to make decisions affecting other people’s futures: the new blogger on the Harris County criminal law block, Life after Esq., is reporting from “baby prosecutors school” in Austin.

With plenty of breathless prose about partying, and palpable sexual tension between Ms. Esq. and “6’2″ and a half”, it’s like a TV show about high school:

The party boat took off and I was left on the speedboat in my bikini and no clothes. I was slightly concerned about that since they were talking about going straight from the boat to hula hut. That would cause a problem for me. I seemed to be the only person concerned about this. I had a total blast. I wish we could have spent more time doing that!!

Oh. My. God!!!

But that’s not the best of it.

Oh, no no no.

Here’s the best of it.

We walked into the hotel and to the pool. Stupid gate was locked. That’s ok, it didn’t stop me. I threw off my shoes and climbed over the fence. My now old 3 and Movie Star’s 4 didn’t climb over. They were afraid they’d fall off the fence and get a concussion. Well I dove into the pool with all my clothes on and then climbed back over the fence.

Confession to criminal trespass* by a Harris County prosecutor: Priceless.

Go read the whole thing. There was a rumor, published by Murray on his blog and quickly taken down, that Roger Bridgwater had told the prosecutors not to drink in public while they were at Baby Prosecutor School. Life after Esq.’s post makes that seem like a reasonable suggestion.

Ms. Esq. should realize three things, at least: 1) when she talks about “the very kind and very sweet Movie Star’s 4” who told a cabbie, “Shut up and drive,” it’ll take us about 30 seconds with a current DA org chart to figure out who she’s talking about (some friend!); 2) when she gets back to Houston, she’s going to be prosecuting many people (if she still has a job) for offenses no less picayune than the class B misdemeanor that she’s just confessed to in front of the whole world; and 3) she’s not really anonymous.

I don’t know Life after Esquire well enough to tell you whether she’s a baby prosecutor of the self-righteous variety (prosecutrix sanctimonix). If she was before, I hope she won’t be now.

This, by the way, is proof that it’s better to be lucky than smart: The people she prosecutes are mostly smart enough not to brag about it on the internet, but Life after Esq. was lucky enough not to caught.

*See Milton v. State (CA14 1988):

The evidence is overwhelming and uncontradicted that appellant knew he was entering an area where he knew that he had no right or permission to be. We hold that the evidence is sufficient to support a conviction for the offense of criminal trespass.

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0 responses to “Beverly Hills 78701”

  1. Well you may have done something to save her career, but you also deprived me of being able to read it, which I was really, really, really looking forward to.

    @scTexas. It’s not like he Ed Whelan-ed her. He just pointed out what should have been obvious.

  2. It looks like her better judgment prevailed and she took the site down. I don’t guess anyone got screenshots?

  3. (I post at blogs under this pseudonym fairly regularly, but that may not be enough to get the post through. I’ll try anyway, however. In the interest of partial disclosure, I’m a fairly advanced graduate student at a top ten program in my field, and I’d rather not have my wildly non-mainstream political views become common knowledge before I get a job and/or tenure.)

    Life after Esq. has been promptly deleted. Google Cache to the rescue! The page is preserved here:

  4. It’s probably a good thing for her the Harris County DA’s office doesn’t put pictures on their website like BigLaw firms. Otherwise it would probably take about 30 seconds for all of the internet to figure out who she is.

  5. I’m kind of disappointed in you, Mark.

    Certainly, it was ill advised of Life after Esquire to post what she did if she was identifying herself as a prosecutor, but I’m going to miss her writing about her perspective as a Baby Prosecutor. Many moons ago, you defended my Anonimity on the internet by saying without it I wouldn’t be able to write some of my posts (the one on Batson was the one you cited), yet your post here attacks someone you admittedly do not know, reasoning that she might be . . . how did you put it? “Prosoecutrix sanctimonix”?

    What happened to the value of the perspective you once applauded me for?

    You’ve basically quashed an aspiring prosecutor who was sharing her expereinces (perhaps oversharing), and you’ve put her job at risk and silenced her. You’ve called her a criminal on your blog and pretty much painted a target on her.

    You took part in steering her away from her 1st Amendment rights and probably feel okay about that.

    Sanctimony isn’t limited to just the prosecutorial side of the bar, apparently.

    • No, Murray. I’ll miss her blogging too; I’m sorry she felt compelled to pull the whole blog. But she put her job at risk. She silenced herself. She admitted the crime, and she painted the target. I just switched on the spotlight.

      You put your job at risk by blogging anonymously too, remember? Over something of more import than a party diary. And, oh yeah, you lost it.

      Another anonymous HCDAO blogger who comments here put his job at risk when he blogged about his hatred of Nigerians. He had the good sense to pull the post before anyone had a chance to post about it, but I would have, and wouldn’t have felt any qualms.

      You want me to support anonymous prosecutor bloggers? Fine: I never revealed your identity, I never revealed LaE’s identity, and I never revealed the other anonymous HCDAO blogger’s identity. There you go.

      I’m not going to resist calling a fool a fool just because being a fool might get a fool fired.

      SC, you’ve read my new anonymity policy. Are you burning this pseudonym?

      • Mr. B.,
        Please do not allow the unidentifiable anonymous prosecutor bloggers (past & present) to soil your blog. It won Best Blawg 2008 for a reason, professional to the bone. Just watch, it will win again & again. Support them if you must.

        They (Anons.) have a perfectly fine venue to talk to each other over @ AHCL where the Blog owner has his picture and full name. The timeclock stamps under their rants and rages against the machine indicates most is done while on duty. 99% of the time, it’s US vs.THEM and has nothing to do with the author’s post. It’s a safe haven for the Anons. to reply to other Anons. replies & in some cases, by using their names or cussing them out. Go figure?

        * None of us none lawyer types, will miss LaE’s scatter brained blow by blow secretetive diary dribble. I never made it pased the first three paragraphs before heading home to Defending People. Really, just how anonymous did she think she was being by included her possee & those funky tracable nicknames?

  6. I think she admitted to the commission of a crime by her own utterance, or say written word. It makes one wounder, however as I grow older it does not strike me with surprise. I would bet she would hang the person who did what she did should she prosecute some one for that dangerous criminal trespass. A person who would do such a thing as climb over a fence which was locked is a clear danger to the public and needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Hay maybe I could party with her it sounds like she enjoyed her criminal adventure while putting the public at risk.

    • Hear hear. There’s no question that she’d crush some dumbass kid who did the exact same thing. She deserves to get tagged with this, if for no other reason than maybe it will make it slightly more difficult for her to be a judge or congressman one day. I’m assuming, of course, that she looks like Sparkle Penal Code Barbie.

  7. come on Murray, Bennet’s about as far from a state actor as you can get. If anything, te DAO is steering her away from her first amendment rights.

    I’m all for outing someone who did something she would prosecute others for. That is sanctimony, regardless of her attitude about it.

  8. Sneaking into the hotel pool after hours is kind of a win-win situation—you get to swim, and the hotel gets to disclaim liability if you drown your stupid ass—so it would be a shame if she got in trouble over it. Besides, maybe the prosecutors’ office could use a few more fun-loving people.

    On the other hand, if she loses her job over this, the only use for her crimlaw experience will be as a defense lawyer. I think Mark is playing the long game.

  9. I am so disappointed!

    Maybe it’s for the best. I had found myself addicted to reading LAE to the detriment of more substantive materials (which I was supposed to be reading!). So maybe Bennett, in an unintentional internet intervention, helped me break the Jones of unproductive blog reading.

    I have to admit I was thinking about blasting her a private message after that last update about sharing TOO much detail in her dispatches from Hitler Youth Camp.

    I know another attendee I am going to have to interrogate on this matter, however. And there will be no Miranda/38.22 considerations, either! I will post any information I may acquire during our little talk.

  10. Mark’s point is very valid although I’m sure he could have expressed it perhaps a little more subtly. For gosh sakes we all put our pants on one leg at a time. You don’t become the moral master race by deciding after graduating from law school to go to work for a DA’s office.

    It’s been 28 years since the Stanford Prison experiment was done. Unfortunately we’ve yet to unravel how to stop the dynamics that caused the results in that famous experiment.

    I do agree with Murray that all bloggers need to try to assist those who try to blog while remaining anonymous.

  11. You can do whatever you like. It appears your sanctimony knows no bounds, but let;s set the record straight here–I never posted anything about “hatred” of Nigerians. I made some blanket statements that were tongue in cheek, and was afraid, rightfully so, that humorless, self-pious types like yoruself would take it the wrong way, so I pulled it. Humor doesn’t translate well sometimes, and not nearly so much as sanctimony.

    • Me, sanctimonious? Self-pious? You’re high.

      I realize that the only difference between me and anyone else is my good luck, so I don’t pretend to know what other people deserve, which is why I don’t try to put them in prison (or, like LAE, make them register as sex offenders), which in turn is why I don’t have a boss who can fire me when (as often happens) my own humor doesn’t translate.

      In other words, because I don’t think I’m morally superior to anyone else, I can say whatever I want.

      You, however, cannot. The Harris County DA’s Office is a lousy place to work. There’s a price to pay if you want to give people what you think they deserve. Don’t complain to me about that—In my view, it’s as it should be.

      Since you pulled your post about Nigerians, all I have is my recollection of it. It’s possible that you didn’t say “I fucking hate these people”, but I wouldn’t bet against my memory; that was the definite impression you left. Whatever the words, they seemed odd coming from a Harris County Assistant District Attorney, a public servant who might be dealing with Nigerian complainants, witnesses, defendants, and lawyers (including at least one other Harris County ADA).

      Comment again when you’re ready to use your name.

  12. To the casual reader, it would appear that only 5 out 14 of the replies so far are not Anonymous. But I guess Mr. B. knows their true identity. And we all appriciate you letting us reply to your posts.

    The Blog Owner / Operator that allows Anons. to post might end up one day being held accountable if not only in the form of (Guilty by Association) in the publics eye when such posts are found deemed to be malicious and or defamatory. But the problem is that the public will only be able to associate the two (Blog O/O & the Anon.) by the Blog name & timeclock tic toc lingo such as, 01:01.

    This post is about an Anonynous Harris County Assistant District Attorney that publicly boasts about after hours activities, with 9 (approved) Anonymous replies (so far) and growing. The following is a related issue based on criminal activity of ADA’s that are public information.

    In staying on topic, a former H.C. A.D.A. publicly posted a reply using his blog nickname and then signed his true name at the bottom directed to Chronicle reporter Rick Casey’s piece “Who’ll I’ll call if I’m Caught.” Retired and having no fear of anything, he publicly stated, “None of us have ever tried someone we did not personally believe based on the evidence, was innocent of the crime.” This person is no longer anonymous by his own publication(s), and professed to live by an in house motto – “Do the right thing for the right reasons.”

    But the evidence shows that an HPD Incident Report & a case file exsist showing that he obviously did the wrong thing. Everything from victim eyewitness accounts changing three times prior to an indictment, introducing a firearm to the jury with no one having a clue to where he obtained from, & it’s secretive after hours destruction by an exhibit clerk, etc… It’s all public record folks, and in the book, The Griffith Files – 1984 & Beyond.

    Current and or former, shouldn’t matter when the public’s trust gets lost in the ability of elected officials & their representatives to uphold the law & to have upheld it while employed. Bye Bye to both, but it’s only fair that each & every case that bears their names be researched & scrutinized for possible exonerations and or full pardons based on actual innocence. If any of you identifiable people think they should get a pass, then you are Guilty by Association, and you Anonymous folks will be just another 00:00 to the casual reader.

    • You’re right about the anonymity. Things seemed to be working okay, so I switched moderation back off and went on vacation, and everyone piled in with anonymous comments. Nobody is using first-and-last names.

      You are partly right about the liability. I think a blogger has legal problems if he allows comments that he knows to be libelous.

      Your vague allegations aren’t really on-topic or appropriate here. I’m not inclined to let you use this space for innuendo.

      • A-hem. Some of commenters HAVE been using our first and last name. Even after Bennett yanked one my newest gulty pleasures away like a Visigoth on run through Rome.

        Apology accepted.

      • Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act would protect both you and your hosting service from liability stemming from libelous comments. Only the original poster could face liability.

        Used to be (at least in some locales) that services that attempted any moderation faced liability for moderation failures but section 230 protects against that as well.

          • Even if the blogger is in fact informed about the libelous comment, there is no requirement that it be deleted.

            Section 230 protects online fora to a much greater extent than is given to print media. Whether than was intentional or not, that is how courts have interpreted the provision.

  13. Two points:

    1)The hotel would have to press charges to begin with. Often time they tell someone the pool is closed and to get out. 99% of the people comply and problem solved, no harm, no foul, no charges.

    2)Half the DA’s at intake refuse trespass charges on someone who traversed a fence and the property owner demands charges because they have no clue that a fence is considered notice under the law.

    • No, the hotel would NOT have to press charges. Since when did the “victim” have control over whether criminal charges were filed? If a cop had observed that, and arrested her (Oh! I can dream, can’t I?) and the hotel had later said “we don’t want our guests arrested,” the Travis County DA’s office would have been able to decide whether or not to prosecute, and could have proceeded, and gotten a conviction, without the hotel’s choosing to press charges.

  14. Mr. B., You are right and I apologize. As for the for the vagueness & innuendo, I left out names, dates, police report number & cause number on purpose knowing it wasn’t appropriate. I should wait for a future post that deals with wrongfully convicted and prosecutorial misconduct and I promise to be crystal clear. I thank you for the constructive criticism, won’t happen again.

  15. Ah! Interesting this gets. I was just thinking after reading everyones comments, that if she lived in Virginia the state would prosecute her and that Miranda would not apply as she made the statement before she was questioned by police. I was just thinking, oh by the way I did not mean not yo post my full name I am not ashamed of my views and I respect all others all so.

  16. I just had a look at the blog in question. Yikes.

    Shouldn’t prosecutors possess some level of moral authority? or at least not talk about drinking in every single entry? She comes off as a bitchy lush.

    I find her cutesy tone atrocious and offensive, considering her position. She has not been punished enough. She should lose her job for having had a blog like that. This wouldn’t fly in the corporate world. She would have been fired from any business that cared at all about their public image.

    Well, I AM always hearing that prosecutors make shit for money. I guess you get what you pay for.

    God help us all.

    • I don’t pretend to know what should happen to her.

      I’m sorry to see her blog go; I’d like to think that in her shoes I’d’ve deleted the offending post and weathered the storm.

      Should prosecutors possess some level of moral authority? Wouldn’t it be better for all involved that they admit that they are not better, but only more fortunate, than the people they are prosecuting?

      But nooooo. Suggest to prosecutors that they’re no better than the accused, and they’ll jump all over you for being pedantic and judgmental.

      Fuck ’em. The path of the self-righteous is beset on all sides by the truth. I might have chosen to jump that fence if I’d been in LAE’s position (intoxicated in public, maybe ignorant of the law), and I’m happy to admit it. We’re all only human. We make mistakes. I’m not putting people in jail for mistakes that I, in the same position, might make.

  17. Mr. B.,
    Your reply and summation is dead on, I don’t think anyone can say anything else. LaE & her petty criminal activities will soon be forgotten. She may very well be the first and only prosecutor to publicly confess to knowingly and willingly making a petty human mistake or (decision) while off duty.

    Questions come to mind. How should we deal with the presentage of prosecutors that refuse to admit that they themselves are human and have knowingly made (felonious) mistakes while on duty? One might think the answer is in the court where they were allowed to dole out mistake after mistake or with the Texas Board of Pardon and Paroles. The topic is hot & heavy in the newspaper & on TV just about every other week, but not one single reporter asks the question or deals with it.

    I used to say fuck’em & feed’em fishheads, but that doesn’t deal with it head on. Any ideas to pass on would be appriciated. Thanks.

  18. I just heard yesterday from a prosecutor in the AG’s office that LAE was ‘disciplined’ but kept her job. I was glad to hear that. I must say I will miss her blogging.

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