We strongly believe that juries have the same priorities whether they are hearing civil or criminal cases. That’s one reason that our firm continues to represent clients facing criminal charges — not only do we enjoy the challenge that criminal cases often bring, but our faith in the judicial system compels us to help these folks even when facing long odds and the formidable resources of governmental agencies.
Our criminal defense team has brought cases to trial in jurisdictions across the nation. While this work often involves the defense of clients in state criminal courts, we also represent corporations and individuals charged in white-collar criminal matters and regularly counsel clients facing criminal investigations by federal and state authorities. We also take pride in our history of vigorously representing public figures in high-profile matters that might include criminal charges as well as civil claims.
Several of our lawyers began their careers as prosecutors, and we think that experience is a major benefit to clients. We tend to evaluate criminal cases from both the prosecution and the defense viewpoints, allowing us to better anticipate strategies from the other side of the aisle.
Our work for clients in criminal matters is quite diverse.
Few legal cases fundamentally redefine a practice of law and impact all the citizens in a state.
The Michael Morton case is one of them. It changed criminal defense work in the state of Texas. And the man who founded and leads our firm, Rusty Hardin, played an important role in it.
Because of the work he did and the reforms that followed, defense attorneys in Texas now have access to all the evidence prosecutors and law enforcement agencies find in their investigations, even evidence that might point to the innocence of the accused.
But it wasn’t always that way. And Michael Morton paid a high price – nearly 25 years of his life – for it.
In March 2002, a federal grand jury returned a thirty-three page indictment alleging that nine persons had engaged in approximately seventy counts of misconduct. All of the allegations arose from the operation of three physical therapy clinics that billed the government for medical services provided by employees of the clinics. By November 2003, six of the original nine accused persons had pleaded guilty and entered into cooperation agreements with the government. We represented one of the remaining three defendants in a month-long federal criminal jury trial. Our client was a respected physician and long-time member of the Houston community. Our client was the only person acquitted of all charges by a jury.