Category: Nasty Little Surprises

  • Texas’s Accomplice Witness Rule

    Here’s the application paragraph of the accomplice-witness-as-a-question-of-fact jury instruction from the Harris County jury charge bank. Therefore, if you believe from the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that an offense was committed and you further believe from the evidence that the witness, _____ , was an accomplice, or you have a reasonable doubt whether he […]

  • NLS Tactics and Strategy

    Blonde Justice and Western Justice (what is this “Justice” thing of which you speak?) have addressed the question of why a criminal-defense lawyer would not share exculpatory information before trial with the Government. WJ asked, “why would someone wait until trial to show the prosecutor exculpatory information like that?” The Blonde’s answer (written before WJ’s […]

  • The Client’s Decisions, the Lawyer’s, and Chastisement to Insolent Pups

    In a criminal case in Texas, the accused has five decisions to make: Whether to plead guilty or not guilty; Whether to try the case to judge or jury; Whether to ask (in the event of conviction) for probation; Whether to testify or not; and Whether to have judge or jury (in the event of […]

  • The Defense Investigator

    In a comment to my “Who Are You” poll post, reader Sean Shopes writes: While I checked the “non-lawyer, elsewhere” box I thought I’d chime in as a criminal defense professional – I am a defense investigator in San Francisco. I am curious about your thoughts regarding defense investigators (to include Public Defender Investigators as […]

  • Four Nasty Little Surprises

    I recently mentioned that part of being prepared for trial is having “nasty surprises for the State prepared.” For each of the cases I have set for trial, I have an NLS prepared. Often the Nasty Little Surprise (“NLS”) is the cornerstone of the successful defense of a criminal case. An NLS can be a […]