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GG&H In the News

Gerry Goldstein on Texas Marijuana Laws

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.

Watch the Video Here

A Remembrance of My Partner: Van G. Hilley

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.

Read More of Gerald H. Goldstein’s Words About Van G. Hilley

Gerry Goldstein to Speak at Upcoming Cannabis Grand Cru Event

Former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and lifetime chair of the Legal Committee of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Gerald “Gerry” Harris Goldstein of Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley was asked to speak at the 2016 Cannabis Grand Cru Event alongside current and former sheriffs. The Cannabis Grand Cru Event took place in Seattle, WA on March 19th.

Read full article here.

Cynthia Orr discusses the Ken Paxton indictment

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.

Read the article here.

Gerry Goldstein: Board Certified for 40 Years

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.

Read the entire interview with Gerry Goldstein.

Murder Charges Dropped Against Hannah Overton

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.

Read the full ABC News article here.

Cameron Wins Appeal and Will Receive Murder Retrial

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.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Rules Improper Photography Law Unconstitutional

A Vice News article reported that a Texas state law which banned “improper photography or visual recording,” with the “intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person” was deemed an unconstitutional violation of First Amendment rights. This ruling comes as a result of a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals case involving Ronald Thompson, represented by attorney Don Flanary.

Thompson was accused of snapping pictures of small children in their swimsuits underwater, without parental permission, at a San Antonio water park. He was charged with 26 counts of “improper photography.” The San Antonio-based 4th Court of Appeals previously struck down his conviction and the ruling by the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the decision.

Read the full Vice News article here.

Corpus Christi Caller Times Discusses Hannah Overton’s Appeal

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.

Recent NPR Article Discusses Pending Free Speech Decision and Justin Carter Case

NPR’s All Tech Considered blog discusses the upcoming Supreme Court decision on Monday that may change the playing field for free speech online. At issue: “When is a seemingly threatening online message a crime?” The answer to this question next week will impact Justin Carter, a Texas gamer indicted for making “terroristic threats” in an online video game, shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013. Justin Carter is represented pro-bono by Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley’s own attorney Don Flanary.

View the full NPR article from December 1st.

Upcoming Supreme Court Decision May Impact Justin Carter Case

A new San Antonio Express-News article discusses upcoming oral arguments in Anthony Ellis’ appeal. Ellis was jailed for four years after being convicted for posting a threat to kill his ex-wife on Facebook. The upcoming decision will have wide-reaching implications on other online free speech cases, including that of Justin Carter, a teen indicted for posting “terroristic threats” on an online video game.

Read the November 30th article online.

Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Case Involving Free Speech Online

In a recent USA Today article published on December 1st, Supreme Court correspondent Richard Wolf weighs in on a pending decision regarding free speech and threats made online. Attorney Don Flanary represents 19-year old Justin Carter, who was jailed last year for comments and alleged threats made in an online video game. The young adult’s words led to his arrest and indictment on third degree felony charges for making a “terroristic threat”.

Learn more about the implications of free speech online.

Parole When Innocence Is Claimed

In the Room for Debate opinions page of the New York Times, criminal law experts and prison reform advocates tackle the issue of exoneration and innocence. The question put up for debate on November 13th is: “Should prisoners for whom there is substantial evidence of innocence be required to admit guilt to be granted parole?”

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.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Throws Out Improper Photography Law

Ronald Thompson was arrested in September of 2011 for “improper photography.” He was later indicted on 26 counts of improper photography for allegedly taking pictures of children at SeaWorld San Antonio. Don Flanary, a known First Amendment warrior and experienced trial attorney, brought the case to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

In an 8 to 1 Decision on September 17, 2014, the  Court struck down a portion of the improper photography law, ruling that portions were unconstitutional and a violation of free speech.

View the original Texas Court of Criminal Appeals opinion.

Overton Wins Appeal in Capital Murder Case

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.

Additional Resources:

Ex-cleric Gets Probation in Bribery Case

Attorney Don Flanary of Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley appeared alongside his client, Anthony M. “Tony” Mayhan on Friday, August 8th in Federal Court. Mayhan received five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service (U.S. v. Anthony Mayhan; Cause No. 5:12-CR-1084-FB).

In October, Mayhan pleaded guilty to a bribery charge while working for the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). Mayhan was the compliance officer for SAISD from 2002 to 2011, and allegedly funneled contracts to family members and others. His actions were deemed more of a conflict of interest than theft as Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom McHugh told the judge. McHugh further noted that the SAISD did not lose money as the contracts were still executed.

Tony Mayhan is a former Vietnam vet and priest. In 1991, Mayhan received permission from the Vatican to leave the priesthood in good standing. Mayhan may face up to 10 years in prison if the terms of probation are violated.

Read more in an article by the San Antonio Express-News.

Oral Arguments for Hannah Overton Appellate Hearing

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

Attorney Don Flanary Secures Acquittal in Intoxication Manslaughter Case

As reported by San Antonio Express-News, Attorney Don Flanary secured an acquittal on Friday, May 30, 2014, in the case of: State of Texas v. Eugene Malloy (Cause No. 2009-CR-4541) in the 379th Judicial District Court of Bexar County Texas.

Jurors acquitted Eugene Malloy of intoxication manslaughter in the death of a 10-year-old boy more than five years ago.

The not-guilty verdict was reached after the jury deliberated less than three hours. Defense attorneys Donald Flanary and Casie Gotro questioned the legitimacy of the blood test, arguing Malloy only had two mixed drinks at a bar earlier that night.

Prosecutors argued Malloy had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 — nearly twice the legal limit — when his SUV sideswiped a van on Dec. 17, 2008, on Bandera Road near Loop 1604. The van flipped and ejected the child from the vehicle, killing him. If convicted, Malloy would have faced up to 20 years in prison.

Learn more in an article published by the San Antonio Express-News.

Cynthia Orr to Receive 2014 Robert C. Heeney Award from NACDL

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.

View the original NACDL news release.

Attorney Gerry Goldstein Discusses Local Racism Incident

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.