Transcripts from Dupuy Hearings Now Available

The transcripts from the Dupuy “hearings” are now available online at the links below. Read them and decide for yourself whether justice was done.

 

Dupuy Hearing – Feb 11 part 1

http://bit.ly/XVlbi4

 

Dupuy Hearing – Feb 11 part 2

http://bit.ly/ZCNXem

 

Dupuy Hearing – Feb 12 part 1

http://bit.ly/Yq6Xba

 

Dupuy Hearing – Feb 12 part 2

http://bit.ly/VGX8a1

 

Dupuy Hearing – SBOT grievance dismissal evidence

http://bit.ly/XVloC0

Galveston DA Investigates Dupuy for Criminal Complaint, Fiancee Testifies

Galveston DA Investigates Dupuy for Criminal Complaint

Dupuy Continues Bizarre Hearing

Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:08 am

By Chris Paschenko

GALVESTON — Judge Christopher Dupuy voluntarily removed himself Tuesday from hearing an attorney’s family law case but not before finding the attorney in contempt for statements in her recusal motion.

Dupuy’s orders and rulings came amid a series of Monday and Tuesday hearings that attorneys characterized as bizarre.

The Galveston County District Attorney’s Office is investigating to learn if testimony in one of those hearings is connected with its criminal investigation on whether Dupuy abused his official capacity, Criminal District Attorney Jack Roady said.

On Tuesday, Dupuy held attorney Lori Laird in contempt and has recommended that an administrative court judge sentence her to 110 days in jail and fine her $250 for each of apparently 14 counts of contempt. The sentences should run concurrently, Dupuy stated in his Tuesday order.

Laird wasn’t arrested but was released on a personal bond as required by statute.

The contempt order came after a hearing in which Dupuy read allegations against Laird. Dupuy gave Laird’s defense attorneys opportunities to defend, explain or apologize for her statements, which Dupuy characterized as unprofessional pleadings that tended to disrespect authority and impede, embarrass or obstruct the court and its personnel.

With no prosecutor participating in the hearings, Laird’s attorneys, Tad Nelson, Cynthia Tracy and Greg Hughes, repeatedly responded that they would explain if they were presented with evidence against Laird.

Dupuy told the attorneys the evidence was Laird’s recusal motion, and he told the attorneys he wasn’t there to answer their questions. There were no witnesses to cross-examine. The attorneys complained Dupuy denied Laird due process of law.

‘Bizarro world’

“He has as much authority on what he’s doing as to show up at my house and tell me who’s going to cut the turkey,” Nelson said after the hearings. “We’re literally in bizarro world. There isn’t an explanation for it. Nobody has a good answer because there isn’t one. It’s the most mind-boggling thing.”

When asked to comment on the matter, Dupuy referred The Daily News to court documents on his orders and the applicable law.

“As with any other litigant, Ms. Laird was certainly afforded due process,” Dupuy said. “Through her counsels, Ms. Laird exercised her right to remain silent, so as not to further incriminate herself at the show-cause hearings.”

Dupuy declined to say what statute authorized his order, which states it is settled law that contemptuous statements and conduct in any form, including by way of motion, are punishable by criminal contempt.

“Indeed, no party or attorney is allowed a poetic license to take potshots at the judiciary or any trial judge in a motion to recuse on the theory that the trial court would lose jurisdiction to punish their bad behavior,” Dupuy stated in his contempt order.

Dupuy also cites “The Texas Lawyer’s Creed — A Mandate for Professionalism,” which he says the Supreme Court of Texas adopted 15 years ago. The provisions serve as a reminder and guideline for the profession, Dupuy wrote.

Sealed hearing

In a separate recusal hearing on Tuesday, Nelson said an administrative judge removed him and other attorneys and sealed the courtroom.

Attorney Greg Enos said the hearing involved a custody dispute between the judge’s fiancee and a man Enos said he is representing.

Last month, Enos sent a complaint letter to Roady’s office, claiming Dupuy possibly abused his official capacity. Enos claimed in the letter he had circumstantial evidence that Dupuy used county equipment or software to provide legal assistance to a woman he was dating. Dupuy might have used county equipment to help her in a family law matter, which would be a violation of the state’s penal code related to abuse of official capacity, Enos said.

Enos claimed in the complaint that his office received a faxed document on the custody case that listed Dupuy’s name and that could have come from the courthouse.

The judge’s fiancee testified Tuesday about who sent the fax and from where the fax was sent, Enos said. The testimony came from a hearing in which she sought to recuse a district court judge from the custody case, Enos said.

Dupuy, who was elected judge of County Court of Law No. 3 in a 2010 Republican landslide, denied the allegations.

Dupuy said Tuesday he couldn’t comment on testimony from a sealed custody matter. Enos’ allegations are founded upon politics and misconstrued information and are simply unfounded, Dupuy said.

A message emailed to an address believed to belong to the judge’s fiancee seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Enos said a judge sealed the file, but law enforcement, the state bar and a state judicial ethics committee could view the case documents. Enos said he requested transcripts of the recusal hearing and notified the district attorney’s office.

Roady said his office didn’t participate in the custody hearing. Roady also said his office was looking into reports there was testimony related to the office’s ongoing investigation of Dupuy in connection with Enos’ complaint.

Contact reporter Chris Paschenko at 409-683-5241 or chris.paschenko@galvnews.com.

http://www.galvestondailynews.com/news/local_news/article_b8b57ede-75a3-11e2-b1a3-001a4bcf6878.html

Dupuy holds bizarre criminal contempt hearing

Dupuy holds bizarre criminal contempt hearing

Judge asks attorney to explain, defend or apologize for statement; issues no ruling

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 12:00 am

By CHRIS PASCHENKO

Attorneys were at a loss Monday to explain the relevance or legality of a hearing called by a county court judge who has accused an attorney of committing criminal contempt.

In a roughly two-hour hearing, Judge Christopher Dupuy repeatedly asked attorneys representing lawyer Lori Laird to explain, defend or apologize for statements in her November motion that seeks to have the judge removed from hearing a family law case.

When the hearing concluded, Dupuy said he would make a ruling on the matter in the near future. A second but similar hearing involving Laird is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. today.

Dupuy has come under scrutiny for incidents both before and after he was elected judge of Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 in a Republican landslide at the 2010 polls.

Laird was representing a client in a divorce case before Dupuy and filed motions seeking to have him removed from the case. Dupuy accused Laird of filing an unprofessional pleading that tended to disrespect authority and impede, embarrass or obstruct the court and its personnel.

Dupuy in January found Laird in contempt of court and requested another judge to have a hearing to confirm his finding. He also sought to have Laird fined and sentenced to not more than six months in jail and 50 hours of legal education on ethics.

Motion in question

In a 13-page motion filed in November, Laird leveled several allegations against Dupuy, claiming he was biased, in an effort to have him removed from a divorce case. Dupuy denied the allegations and claimed Laird’s recusal motion was frivolous.

Laird was forced to appear for Monday’s hearing because of a show-cause order filed by Dupuy in which he ordered Laird to appear in his court to show cause of why she should not be held in criminal contempt.

Although the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office had a prosecutor, Kevin Petroff, in the courtroom, he sat with spectators that nearly filled the benches behind the bar.

“I was only here to state that if the court were to ask us to participate, that we had no plans to participate,” Petroff said. “Nor were we asked to participate.”

Two tossed

from courtroom

Dupuy had two people removed from his courtroom during the proceeding, his ex-wife, Adrienne Viterna, for chewing gum, and one of Laird’s attorney’s, Tad Nelson, for interrupting the judge.

After Dupuy ordered Nelson out of his court, attorneys Cynthia Tracy and Greg Hughes became Laird’s attorneys of record.

Dupuy questioned the attorneys on more than 30 of Laird’s allegations in her recusal motion and whether she would explain, defend or apologize for the statements therein.

The attorneys responded that they would explain if they were presented with evidence against their client.

Dupuy claimed the evidence was Laird’s recusal motion — which was not entered as evidence — and that he wasn’t there to educate the attorneys or answer their questions.

Hughes said he believed the hearing was about indirect criminal contempt, which would require a prosecutor and evidence of any alleged contempt. The defense should also be able to cross-examine witnesses, he said.

Hearing a ‘charade’

‘We have no evidence and no witnesses to respond to,” Hughes said.

Hughes referred to the hearing as a “charade” that ignored rules of civil or criminal procedure.

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry and Sheriff Henry Trochesset were also present. Trochesset said he was there to make sure that if the judge ordered his staff to do anything, he would make sure it was done properly.

Nelson called the hearing the most bizarre he’d seen.

“What we’ve witnessed today has never happened in the history of Harris or Galveston counties,” Nelson said. “There was no due process. Literally all he did for the first 30 minutes was read allegations that he offered no evidence for.”

Attorney Greg Enos, who was in the gallery, questioned the timing of the hearing, as Laird has a hearing scheduled today that seeks to recuse Dupuy from a case.

Explaining the hearing would be akin to asking farmers to, “explain a three-headed cow that whistled Dixie,” Enos said.

Contact reporter Chris Paschenko at 409-683-5241 or chris.paschenko@galvnews.com.

http://www.galvestondailynews.com/news/local_news/article_d9f54e64-74d4-11e2-8093-0019bb30f31a.html