Update 2: A week after the facts chronicled, I’ve been able to get my ego out of the way(a little bit) and look at the situation (a little bit) objectively.
I lead the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association Lawyers Assistance Strike Force. When a lawyer gets himself into trouble with a court, we swoop in and get him out. We have an excellent track record—if a criminal-defense lawyer in the Houston area has been sanctioned or held in contempt in recent years, it’s only because he hasn’t bothered to call us.
The point? I am, to my core, a defender, not a prosecutor. This wouldn’t have been a strike-force case, but if I hadn’t been intimately involved with it, I’d’ve been unhesitatingly and aggressively on the young lawyer’s side, arguing forcefully for forbearance and counseling rather than public criticism.
The takeaway from the original post, for those who might happen by here in the future: if you’re ever called to account for your performance at trial, do all you can within the bounds of the truth to help your client get relief. Communicate with the new lawyer, review what he wants you to review, stonewall the prosecutor, and at the hearing don’t testify like a task force officer. You’ll be my hero. Do otherwise, and I’ll become very cross with you.
(Yes, Juanita and Melissa. I was wrong and you were right. I hope it doesn’t go to your heads and render you as insufferable as you find me. You too, Eric. But not about 776.032.)