Texas Coalition on Lawyer Accountability (TCLA) Files Suit Against Texas State Securities Board for Failure to Release Documents Regarding Attorney General Candidate Ken Paxton

Today the Texas Coalition for Lawyer Accountability (“TCLA”), through its Acting Executive Director, Erica Gammill, is filing a lawsuit against the Texas State Securities Board (“SSB”) to obtain disclosure of public records relating to Ken Paxton.[1] Sections 28A and 28B of the Texas Securities Act allow a court to order release of the documents sought for “good cause shown.” Good cause for disclosure exists for two reasons. You can download the Original Petition filed today, here. First, Mr. Paxton is a lawyer, and on August 5, 2014, Plaintiff filed a grievance against Mr. Paxton because he violated the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. The documents withheld by the SSB contain important evidence relevant to those disciplinary charges. Paxton’s violations include: *(1) Disciplinary Rule 8.04(a)(2), which prohibits a Texas lawyer from committing “any . . . criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects,” and *(2) Disciplinary Rule 8.04(a)(3), which prohibits a Texas lawyer from engaging in conduct involving “dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.” Mr. Paxton violated Disciplinary Rule 8.04(a)(2) by committing a third degree felony. On May 2, 2014, Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan signed a Disciplinary Order against Mr. Paxton. The Order …

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Texas Coalition on Lawyer Accountability (TCLA) Files Grievance Against Attorney General Candidate Ken Paxton

Today the Texas Coalition for Lawyer Accountability (TCLA), through its Acting Executive Director, Erica Gammill, is filing a disciplinary complaint against Ken Paxton based on numerous violations of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Rules”). Ken Paxton is the Republican nominee for Texas Attorney General. On April 9, 2014, the State Bar filed a disciplinary suit against the Libertarian nominee for Texas Attorney General. Fairness requires equal application of disciplinary enforcement, regardless of political party affiliation. Mr. Paxton has recently acknowledged under oath that he committed several violations of the Texas Securities Act by acting as a paid investment adviser representative for Mowery Capital Management, LLC (“MCM”) without registering with the Texas Securities Commission. On May 2, 2014, Texas Securities Commissioner John Morgan signed a Disciplinary Order against Mr. Paxton. The Disciplinary Order found that Mr. Paxton had violated Section 12.B of the Texas Securities Act by acting as a paid investment adviser representative for MCM without registering with the Texas Securities Commission. Mr. Paxton admitted to this illegal and unethical conduct by signing a sworn acknowledgement. By failing to register as required by the Texas Securities Act, Mr. Paxton also apparently committed a third-degree felony under Section …

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Ken Anderson’s law license officially canceled

By Chuck Lindell     Nov. 19th, 2013 American-Statesman Staff The Texas Supreme Court canceled Ken Anderson’s law license Tuesday. Anderson had agreed to give up his law license to settle a civil lawsuit, filed by the State Bar of Texas, that accused him of professional misconduct in his prosecution of Michael Morton in 1986-87. In an order signed by all nine justices, the Supreme Court determined that accepting Anderson’s resignation was “in the best interest of the public and the profession.” “The court deems the professional misconduct (of Anderson) conclusively established for all purposes,” the order read. “Ken Anderson must immediately surrender his state bar card and Texas law license to the clerk of the Supreme Court of Texas.” Without a license, Anderson is barred from practicing law, giving legal advice or describing himself as an attorney. Anderson, Williamson County’s district attorney for 16 years before he became a state district judge in 2002, recently spent four days in jail after being found in contempt of court for telling Morton’s trial judge in 1987 that he had no favorable evidence to provide the defense. Such evidence was later found in Anderson’s trial file. Morton served almost 25 years in prison before he …

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Judge Ken Anderson Resigns Amid Ethics Lawsuit

by Brandi Grissom on Texas Tribune Sept. 24, 2013 X Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from Judge Ken Anderson, state Sen. Rodney Ellis and lawyers for Michael Morton. Williamson County state district Judge Ken Anderson, who oversaw the wrongful murder conviction of Michael Morton in 1987, submitted a letter to Gov. Rick Perry on Monday resigning his position effective immediately. Anderson is facing both civil and criminal court proceedings for his role in prosecuting Morton for the 1986 murder of his wife, Christine Morton. Attorneys for Morton allege that Anderson withheld critical evidence that pointed to Morton’s innocence and that he lied to the judge about the existence of that evidence. Morton was sentenced to life in prison and spent nearly 25 years behind bars before DNA testing revealed that he was innocent and connected another man to his wife’s killing. He was released from prison in 2011. In a statement, Anderson made no reference to the Morton case and thanked his supporters. For the “foreseeable future” he said he would be focused on “making the transition into private life.” “There comes a time when every public official must decide that it is time to leave public life,” Anderson said in …

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Judge vows to make Anderson ruling soon

Civil hearing still tentatively set for Sept. 30 By Brad Stutzman Austin Community Newspapers Staff Judge Ken Anderson is going to have to wait a little longer, before learning if he’s to be banished from the profession he’s practiced for almost 40 years. During a special hearing Friday, visiting Judge Kelly Moore of Brownfield took under advisement competing motions filed by Anderson’s attorneys and lawyers representing the State Bar of Texas’ Commission for Lawyer Discipline. Moore said Friday he’d rule on the motions in seven to 10 days. Friday’s two hour hearing – held at the county’s Justice Center in Georgetown – was a condensed version of the five-day court of inquiry that ended with Anderson being arrested and taken to jail. Friday’s hearing was a civil proceeding, separate from the criminal charges Anderson might later be indicted and tried for. The unresolved nature of the criminal case was at the heart of arguments presented by Eric Nichols, one of two lawyers who joined Anderson in court Friday afternoon. During that April court of inquiry, Judge Louis Sturns ruled there is probable cause to proceed with criminal charges against Anderson. Those charges stem from Anderson’s alleged conduct in 1986-87 when he …

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UPDATE: ‘Michael Morton Act’ signed into law

Posted on May 16, 2013 | By Eva Ruth Moravec | Houston Chronicle Exoneree Michael Morton grinned from ear to ear as he watched Gov. Rick Perry ceremoniously sign into law a bill that bore Morton’s name, meant to reduce wrongful convictions, on Thursday. “This is a huge victory for integrity and fairness in our judicial system,” said Perry, who then gave the pen he used to sign Senate Bill 1611 to Morton. Morton, wearing blue jeans and a navy jacket, kissed the pen and gave the crowd a “thumbs-up”. The bill, written by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, requires prosecutors to give lawyers representing the accused any evidence that is relevant to the defense’s case. The intent of the bill, Ellis has said, is to ensure that key facts that could affect the trial aren’t hidden. “This isn’t necessarily a good thing for me, because my time and my experiences are finished and that’s not going to change,” Morton said to reporters after the bill was signed. “But this law passed today, and was signed, this will make it much better for everybody else, so that what happened to me won’t happen to you.” Morton was wrongly convicted in Williamson County for the slaying of his …

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State Bar files ethics suit against Morton prosecutor

By Chuck Lindell American-Statesman Staff A State Bar of Texas disciplinary commission has filed a lawsuit accusing former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson of violating his duty as a lawyer by intentionally withholding favorable evidence from Michael Morton, who served almost 25 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. If the allegations are found to be true after an as-yet unscheduled civil trial, Anderson — now a state district judge in Georgetown — faces punishments that could include a public reprimand, disbarment or the loss of his law license for a set amount of time. Anderson has denied any wrongdoing. The four-page “disciplinary petition” lists five pieces of information that it says Anderson hid from Morton and his lawyers “before, during and after” Morton’s 1987 trial, when he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife, Christine, in the bed of their Williamson County home. The petition also said Anderson did not reply truthfully when District Judge William Lott, who oversaw Morton’s trial and is now deceased, asked if all favorable evidence had been turned over to defense lawyers as required by law. “During a pretrial hearing, (Anderson) affirmatively told the trial court …

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Anderson deposition delayed; TCLA files grievances against Morton prosecutors

From: YNN – Austin A group of Texas attorneys has filed grievances against current and past Williamson County officials for their roles in the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of Michael Morton. The Texas Coalition for Lawyer Accountability wants the State Bar of Texas to take disciplinary action against former prosecutors Ken Anderson and Mike Davis, and current Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley.

Public hearing to evaluate eyewitness ID model policy

From: Grits For Breakfast Tomorrow I’ll be spending my afternoon at a public hearing  at the capitol to discuss the draft model policy on eyewitness identification procedures for potential use by Texas law-enforcement agencies. In the statute, HB 215, the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) out of Sam Houston State was charged with creating a model policy, with input from law enforcement and special interests like my employers at the Innocence Project of Texas (I participated in their working group as part of my day job). They’ll receive public comment through tomorrow’s hearing and then come up with a final version in the next couple of weeks.

Grievances filed in Morton case

From: Austin American-Statesman By: Chuck Lindell The Texas Coalition on Lawyer Accountability, a relatively new organization that focuses on attorney responsibility, said today it will file grievances against three former or current Williamson County prosecutors involved in the Michael Morton case. The grievances ask the State Bar of Texas to discipline Morton’s trial prosecutors – Ken Anderson, now a district judge in Georgetown, and Mike Davis, now a Round Rock lawyer — and current District Attorney John Bradley.