The recent release of IE7 and the upcoming release of Windows Vista are predicted to bring an explosion of blogging in 2007 and beyond, by exposing more folks to RSS, and I welcome it. Good blogs can provide the public with the information they need to make well informed decisions about any number of problems and issues that life throws at us, and lawyer blogs are the rule here not the exception.

With that in mind, here are examples of two other Austin attorneys who blog on criminal defense issues. (By way of complete disclosure, I should probably mention that they are also both friends of mine.)

Bill Mange comments on the New York Times piece reprinted in the Statesman about a senior pentagon official  criticizing lawyers who dare represent Guantanamo detainees. The government official intimates that CEOs should shun using law firms who choose to expend time and effort on these pro-bono cases.

Bill then makes an excellent comparison of these modern day strong arm tactics to McCarthy era blacklisting , and uses the example of Austinite John Henry Faulk’s successful libel case as a backdrop.

Bill quotes from The Jury Returns, written by Faulk’s lawyer Louis Nizer:

They pulverized him out of the entertainment industry and left him unemployed and unemployable for 6 ½ years.  They ruined his reputation and left him and his family in a state of starvation.  They made a ghastly lesson of him, so that all others who dared to challenge them in the future would be terrorized by his example.

But they had chosen the wrong man to humiliate and destroy.  In the great American tradition, which even they should have admired, Faulk rejected the role of a defeated martyr, refused to acknowledge his comatose enfeeblement, and actually attacked his tormentors.  He demanded their condemnation.  Scorning compromise, he insisted on complete judicial vindication.

Those interested in Faulk’s story should also reference Fear on Trial, either the book written by him, or the movie based on it starring George C Scott as the plaintiff’s lawyer.

Ken Gibson posts commentary on the University of Texas Police Department’s recent predilection for making more and more DWI arrests, and all over Travis County at that, rather than staying at “home” on campus and protecting the students. As he points out, they have the authority to do it:

Most folks don’t realize that UT police have jurisdiction to make arrests in any county that the University owns property. What that means is that a UT police officer basically has statewide jurisdiction.

However, Ken questions the wisdom of their new gung-ho attitude:

For every arrest, an officer will be gone from their job at the University for a minimum 8 hours and could be days, if the case goes to trial. This is time that they will be gone from their original job, protecting UT property and students. There are so many agencies that are available to make DWI arrests, and as an alumnus of UT, I find it a huge waste of University resources for these officers to make traffic stops off of campus.

I concur – and recommend adding Bill and Ken’s blogs to your RSS readers.

And to any other local Austin lawyer bloggers (criminal defense or otherwise) out there that I haven’t run across… please email me, and I’ll add your feed to mine and probably plug you on my blog.