The Texas Legislature is entertaining a number of marijuana bills — ranging from legalizing medical marijuana to decriminalizing small amounts — and San Antonio officials are for the most part very supportive. District Attorney Nico LaHood and nationally prominent, long-time defense lawyer Gerry Goldstein join Rick Casey in the studio.
GG&H In the News
A Remembrance of My Partner: Van G. Hilley
The essence of any successful partnership is trust and respect for one another. I can honestly attest that practicing law with Van Hilley was more a pleasure and a privilege than a profession. Day in and day out, for almost forty years, Van never failed to earn my trust and respect. Perhaps that explains why Van and I never had a written or even an oral partnership agreement. In fact, we never discussed money or how to divide same. We never even discussed the fact that we never had a discussion about money. I have more discussions about money with my wife than I ever had with my law partner.
Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley attorney Cynthia Orr discusses the indictment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for securities fraud with Texas Lawyer. Orr says there appear to be some possible weaknesses in the indictment, including whether the one of Paxton’s alleged omissions would be material to an investor’s decision. Paxton is alleged to have not told investors that he was an investor in the company. The allegation that Paxton failed to disclose he had been compensated, however, may be stronger, she said.
In an interview with the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Gerry Goldstein discusses being part of the inaugural class of board-certified criminal defense lawyers. Mr. Goldstein was part of the first group of attorneys to be officially recognized as specialists in Criminal Law in 1975. Certification is a rigorous process. Attorneys must meet certain qualifications and pass an exam. In the interview, Mr. Goldstein talks about what it was like to be among the first to take the exam, and what it has meant for his career since.
An ABC News article discusses how the legal team at Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley was able to have a murder conviction overturned on appeal for client Hannah Overton, a mother who was prosecuted and wrongfully convicted for the 2007 death of her 4-year-old foster son. The Nueces County District Attorney announced in April that he moved to dismiss his own case.
Vanessa Cameron will receive a new trial after being convicted of murder in 2012 and receiving a sentence of more than 70 years in prison. Cameron, represented by attorney Gerry Goldstein, appealed her sentence by arguing her constitutional right to a public trial previously was violated because the trial court excluded the public from voir dire. The Fourth Court of Appeals reversed her conviction and the State appealed. However, the Court of Criminal Appeal upheld the decision of the Fourth Court of Appeals.View the original Texas Court of Criminal Appeals opinion.
An article in the Corpus Christi Caller Times discusses the ruling released by the state’s highest court that Hannah Overton’s conviction be overturned. Attorney Cynthia Orr is representing Overton who was previously convicted for the murder of her 4-year-old foster son by sodium poisoning. In a 17-page opinion, the Court of Criminal Appeals cited Overton’s ineffective representation from her lawyers during trial for the ruling.Read the full Corpus Christi Caller Times article here.
This question is especially heated when the exoneration of men and women in prison is considered, including the 2011 exoneration of Michael Morton who was freed from prison after 25 years for the alleged murder of his wife. Attorney Gerry Goldstein represented Morton and is a noted advocate for those wrongfully convicted and imprisoned in Texas.
Read more and join the debate online.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned the capital murder conviction of Hannah Overton (NO. WR-75,804-02). Overton was previously convicted for the murder of her four-year-old foster child by sodium poisoning in 2007. Her defense team included Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley’s attorney Cynthia Orr.
The defense argued evidence was ignored that showed the child may have had an eating disorder called pica, which made him consume large quantities of inappropriate items including those containing sodium.It is now up to the District Attorney to determine if Overton will be tried instead on a lesser charge, if the charges will be dismissed, or if she will be retried again for capital murder.
MEYERS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which PRICE, WOMACK, JOHNSON, HERVEY, COCHRAN, ALCALA, JJ., joined. COCHRAN, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which JOHNSON and ALCALA, JJ., joined. KELLER, P.J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which KEASLER, J., joined.
Arguments heard on April 2, 2014 before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals featuring dialogue from defense attorney Cynthia Orr (Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley). Transcripts of the oral arguments can be downloaded here.
Overton v. Texas, Tex. Ct. Crim. App., Case No. 13-07-00735-CR
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will recognize Cynthia Hujar Orr with the Robert C. Heeney Award at the Foundation for Criminal Justice’s gala, “Celebrating Liberty’s Last Champions: Guardians of the Constitution” in August.
The award, one of the organization’s most prestigious, is given every year to an NACDL member who best exemplifies the goals and values of the organization and of the legal profession. It is named after the 18th president of the NACDL, and been awarded to an attorney every year since 1981, including Gerry Goldstein in 1991. NACDL President Jerry J. Cox will give the award to Orr during the Annual Meeting and CLE Seminar in Philadelphia.
Orr was president of the organization from 2009 to 2010. During her tenure, the organization took on New York’s inadequate indigent defense services and the federal government’s lack of transparency in proceedings for people detained in Guantanamo Bay. The organization also released a major report with the Heritage Foundation on overcriminalization. Orr has served in every officer position in NACDL, and currently serves as Fifth Circuit Vice Chair to NACDL’s Amicus Curiae Committee and as a member of NACDL’s Champion Advisory Board, and as a member of NACDL’s Death Penalty, Corrections, Forfeiture Abuse, Fourth Amendment Advocacy, and Discovery Reform Committees.
The National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys is dedicated to ensuring justice and due process for persons accused of crime and fostering the integrity, independence and expertise of the criminal defense profession.
As reported by KENS 5 in San Antonio on May 13, 2014, a Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center employee filed a complaint with the city against his supervisor for calling him a racial slur in front of other employees.
City human resources employees investigated the claim that Facilities Coordinator Robert Lassare called the building maintenance officer the N-word. Lassare was suspended for two days.
Civil rights attorney Gerry Goldstein was interviewed in regards to the incident, saying race relations need to be changed throughout the country. Goldstein said people have moved beyond racism in most cases, and when there is an instance he would expect for repercussions.
As reported by the San Antonio Express-News, attorney Gerry Goldstein’s landmark case State of Texas v. Richard C. Dexter concerning the adult film “Deep Throat” is one that still teaches lessons about law.
Richard C. Dexter was arrested four consecutive nights in 1974 and charged with commercial obscenity and felony possession of a criminal instrument after the opening of the X-rated film at the Fiesta Theater.
Prosecutors led by District Attorney Ted Butler claimed explicit sexual acts in the film were “morbid and shameful, patently offensive and without redeeming social value.” Prosecutors argued the trial would establish a standard for obscenity.
Goldstein had a panel of expert witnesses, including psychiatrists, psychologists and sex therapists, who testified that “Deep Throat” was harmless entertainment, humorous and could be educational.
Attorney Cynthia Orr has been featured in a documentary detailing the history of the Hannah Overton capital murder case in which a Corpus Christi woman was sentenced to life in prison for the death of her foster son.
Orr and attorney Gerry Goldstein have worked with Overton in her attempt to overturn her 2007 capital murder conviction. The film follows how the case was perceived in the local community and what the family is doing to bring the mother home.
Watch the documentary trailer:
As reported by Texas Monthly on April 26th, 2012, former prosecutor Sandra Eastwood took the stand in the third day of the Hannah Overton hearing as attorney Gerry Goldstein questioned her about whether or not she withheld critical evidence from the defense.
Goldstein questioned Eastwood about notes that were written in her handwriting, emails sent from her own email account, and papers signed with her signature. The former assistant district attorney also was questioned about withholding police reports and photos as evidence.
As reported by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times on April 25th, 2012,, former District Attorney Anna Jimenez testified she thought Sandra Eastwood, the lead prosecutor in Hannah Overton’s case, used unethical behavior during the trial.
Attorney Gerry Goldstein questioned Jimenez about whether she believed critical evidence was withheld from the defense when Overton was convicted of capital murder in 2007 for the death of her foster son Andrew Burd.
As reported by KIII TV on April 25th, 2012, the Hannah Overton hearing continued at the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi for the third day of testimony in which attorney Gerry Goldstein is trying to get Overton’s capital murder conviction overturned.
One of Overton’s attorneys said key evidence was withheld from the defense when she was convicted of killing her 4-year old foster son, Andrew Burd. Burd died in 2006 of elevated sodium levels. Former prosecutor Sandra Eastwood took the stand for the first day, in which Goldstein, Overton’s defense attorney, questioned whether she was abusing prescription drugs during the 2007 capital murder trial.
Attorney Gerry Goldstein questioned former prosecutor Sandra Eastwood about the Hannah Overton case, a trial in which the accused was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Eastwood was questioned about whether or not she withheld critical evidence from the defense.
Goldstein questioned Eastwood about notes that were written in her handwriting, emails sent from her own email account, and papers signed with her signature. The former assistant district attorney said she cannot remember seeing the evidence and she could not confirm the handwriting.
As reported by the Austin American-Statesman on October 11th, 2011, Michael Morton has been released from prison after serving 25 years for a crime he did not commit, and his lawyers are looking to prove the prosecution botched the case.
Gerry Goldstein, one of Morton’s lawyers, is working to have a vigorous investigation into the wrongful conviction. Morton served 25 years in prison for the 1986 murder of his wife in Austin.
Defense attorneys are showing evidence was hidden from the case and leads that could have prevented to conviction were ignored. Court documents prepared by Morton’s legal team focused on four allegations of wrongdoing.