EDTX Notice of Vacancy – Pro Se Law Clerk

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas is accepting applications for the position of Pro Se Law Clerk. The continuation of this position is subject to the annual allocation of pro se law clerk positions issued by the Administrative Office. The duty station for this position is in the Tyler office. Check the employment section of the court’s website for additional information regarding the posting.

General Order 17-05 – Reassigning Sherman Division Criminal Cases

Effective April 1, 2017, Sherman Division criminal cases will be reassigned/assigned as follows:

Cases assigned to U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone will be referred to Magistrate Judge Christine A. Nowak.

Cases assigned to U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant will be referred to Magistrate Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson.

Five cases are exempted from the reassignment of cases.  They are:

1. USA v. Jose Victor Hernandez-Cuellar, 4:16cr111-ALM-CAN
2. USA v. Jessie Jerome Jorden, et al., 4:16cr73-ALM-CAN
3. USA v. Anthony John Yanis, et al., 4:16cr128-MAC-KPJ
4. USA v. Salvador Parrish Rodriguez-Pulido, et al., 4:16cr34-MAC-KPJ
5. USA v. Ryan Lee Hastings, 4:16cr89-MAC-KPJ

Amicus in TC Heartland Provides EDTX Statistics

It would take more time than I have available to reproduce and analyze all the briefing and amici filed in the TC Heartland case that’s being argued before the Supreme Court later this month, but I did want to mention one filed today by Ericsson, Allergan and Traxxas.  The reason is that it provides really good current statistics on the district, including win rates, affirmance rates, and so forth, as well as a reference to the recent EDTX-free “Slowpoke Report.  (And major bonus points for using “grouse” as a verb). The brief (attached) is also a good example of

“Federal Practice in the Eastern District of Texas” CLE – Tyler, Texas

The Smith County Bar Association is one of the state’s oldest, having celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2008.  Tomorrow is is hosting five hours of live, local CLE in the jury room of the Steger courthouse in downtown Tyler.

Now you can’t attend, but that’s only because it sold out weeks ago – otherwise they’d love to see you. As I’ve posted on previously, I’m moderating the panel on conflicts and joining the panel on federal & local civil procedure with Wes Hill, Judge Rodney Gilstrap and Judge Trey Schroeder, and am really looking forward to both.  (Okay, not so much on the conflicts, but we’ll get through it).

For a complete agenda for this program that you can’t attend, click here.  I will be sure to tell you later how great it was.

Brit Featherston Appointed Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas

I want to congratulate my fellow Baylor JD ’92 Brit Featherston, who was appointed Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas on September 30th, 2016.
Brit started his career in law enforcement in 1981, at the Port Arthur police department, then came to Baylor, where his brother Tom was (and still is) teaching. After graduating, Brit did a bit of insurance defense before returning to law enforcement at the U.S. Attorney’s office.  While there, he was associated with several high profile cases.
James Byrd, Jr. case
Brit and two other federal prosecutors were assigned to prosecute the James Byrd Jr. case. The case revolved around three white supremacists who dragged Byrd behind a pick-up truck for several miles to his death. Of the three charged, two were given the death penalty and the third a life sentence. As a result of the Byrd case, Texas passed hate crime legislation that expanded upon the 1969 federal hate crime law. The resulting legislation has been widely adopted and is still in effect today.
September 11, 2001
On a special detail for the U.S. Department of Justice, Brit moved his family to the 13th floor of a high rise directly across from the Pentagon just two months before 9/11. While he was downtown, his wife, Amy was driving next to the Pentagon when it was struck by American Airlines Flight 77. Thinking a bomb had detonated, she sped away as a hail of debris rained down. For four days, Brit , his wife, and their two-year old Anna, watched the Pentagon burn from across the street. Without power for several days, carrying groceries and Anna up and down 13 flights of stairs became routine.
From Space Shuttle Columbia to Colombia, South America
9/11 is not the only major U.S. tragedy Brit  has witnessed. After completing his work in Washington, D.C., Featherston moved his family back to Lufkin, Texas. Not long after returning to Texas, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry above Lufkin. Featherston coordinated the initial command post with the FBI to manage the recovery of the shuttle and its cargo – what turned out to be the largest search operation ever conducted in the U.S.
In 2009 Brit began working to stem the flow of drugs into the United States by going after the sources by prosecuting organized drug crimes. In 2010 he returned to the D.C. area to become the National Crisis Management Coordinator for all U.S. Attorney’s Offices before returning to the Beaumont  area as the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Today, Brit’s office works closely with the Colombian National Police and special prosecutors who work directly for the president of Colombia. In coordination with the Colombian police and special prosecutors, and working with the DEA, key drug smugglers who move drugs from Colombia into the United States are identified and extradited.
Congratulations again to Brit for this recognition of his outstanding work. Thanks to Baylor Law School for flagging Brit’s appointment and for providing the above information on his career of service.