Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct
8.04 (a) A lawyer shall not… (5) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official
8.02 (a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory official or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.
A Plot To Control The Bench
“The Club’s” Code Words: “KEEPING THE POWER DRY”
… JUDGE MARISELA SALDANA’S CAMPAIGN WORKER THROWS AWAY ABOUT 500 COPIES OF EL DEFENZOR FROM THE COURTHOUSE & BRAGS ABOUT IT TO STAFF
Corpus Christi/Nueces County, TX –
Judge Marisela Saldana (a candidate for the 148th District Court) and John Martinez (a candidate for County Court At Law #3) have been chosen by a very powerful downtown “Millionaire Lawyers Club” as the recipients of their investment in the Judicial Bench. These are just two candidates “The Club” wants in the respective seats. Please read on to learn why
One of the most severe errors a person can make is assuming that one will always receive a just and impartial trial from an unbiased judge here in Nueces County. The problem of bad/corrupt judges, defined as those who deliberately disobey and/or abuse their oath of office for whatever reason (bribery, blackmail, political allegiance, personnel bias, etc) has plagued the regional courts.
It seems as though a few judges regard their oath of office as a mere ritual to be handily ignored as soon as they occupy their chambers. Once comfortably in place in their courtrooms, they take on the mantle of demigods and proceed as if they have carte-blanc to do as they please. Instead of objectivity administering true justice, they rule according to their personal biases and political allegiances, legislating from the bench with a wave of the hand, confident in the knowledge that their misdeeds have scant chance of ever reaching the Supreme Court.
Case in point. Judge Marisela Saldana (who currently is serving as County Court At Law #3 and is seeking a seat in the 148th District Court) not too long ago was taken to court by an Afro-American (by the last name of Watson) who accused her of abusing her authority and even poking his chest. The charge of “official oppression” was never allowed to be considered seriously because the case landed in a courtroom of a judge whom she had helped politically in the past.
The Defenzor newspaper revealed in the first part of this specific series about a week ago that there have always been suspicions that a downtown power group of “millionaires” has been attempting to influence the judicial bench, the day-in and day-out functions of the courthouse, and specific judges that are receptive to their power agendas or financial incentives. However the objective data or proof has always been miniscule or lacking. Part I of this series revealed – beyond a doubt — that millionaire Injury Lawyers that have amassed mammoth fortunes (especially in Nueces County and South Texas) from the pain and suffering and injuries of the poor and disenfranchised and working class of the region (mostly Hispanics) are now clearly utilizing the courthouse to perpetuate their monopoly on power. “They are trying to crush the little guy,” one downtown attorney told El Defenzor, “They are relentlessly trying to tear down parts of the structure that ensures they abide by the rules of fair play.”
In October 15, 2003, an email by Power Broker Attorney Mikal Watts was obtained by a local publication that glimpsed at such political dictates. It reads: “Crew: … Vilma Luna is our hero, and Jaime Capelo is our enemy. First, Vilma wisely established a working relationship with Republicans in control of the House. Second, she arranged for me and her to have a meeting with rep. Joe Nixon, the author of H.B. 4, and did an outstanding job negotiating with him to save our practice. Third, I wrote an amendment that created large exceptions to the products bill as originally written, including exceptions re: adequate standards, misleading the government, or failing to warn of defects, and she caused Nixon to meet with us, and to actually consider it… At 12:30 a.m. this morning the house passed H.B. 4 with Vilma’s amendments in it.”
However the above email is politically inconsequential and now even considered miniscule by many readers when they compared it to the new documents and information cited by this newspaper – in addition to, oral interviews officially taken from persons that consistently work inside the courthouse and others who are affiliated with prominent law firms. From “delicate interactions” with a few of the Millionaire Lawyers to outright glimpses of game plans to “filthy backroom” deals have been shared and will be shared with our readers in the next few additions when we begin a new series.
When rumors began to circulate in April of last year that District Judge Rose Vela would not be seeking reelection to the 148th District Court, this “Millionaire Lawyers Club” or powerbase began to plot an orchestrated attempt to influence the judicial bench. To illustrate this point, in our last edition we cited an email by Attorney Mikal C. Watts send to the organized “powerbase”:
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HB4 was a disaster for consumers in this state. To hell with the attorneys. It killed consumer protection.
The trial lawyers rolled over on this and have been paying a very heavy price. Nixon used the trial lawyers like a woman.