/Stephen Gustitis

About Stephen Gustitis

Stephen Gustitis is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a highly rated defense attorney with over 27 years experience.

“The Perfect Cross-Examination”

The perfect cross examination is there. Somewhere to be discovered, perhaps? Better yet - waiting to be built. We recognize its appearance, though. It is crisp and it's clean. Short questions compelling but one-word answers from the witness. Its logic is simple, yet compelling. The perfect cross demands the jury's attention. Through it we demonstrate [...]

By | April 12th, 2015|"Off The Back", Courtroom Trial Practice|Comments Off on “The Perfect Cross-Examination”

“On Choosing the Right Law Partner”

Joining forces. Teaming up. Going partners. Whatever you call it, choosing a law partner can be a pivotal decision in one's career. Most criminal defense attorneys practice solo, enjoying the "lone-wolf" style of life. However, a well working partnership can enhance the lives of each partner in ways that one lawyer working alone cannot. Conversely, [...]

By | March 5th, 2015|"Off The Back", Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on “On Choosing the Right Law Partner”

“Ignorance of the Law is Now an Excuse”

Here's my take on another inauspicious decision by the United States Supreme Court. It's Heien v. North Carolina, 574 U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 530, 190 L.Ed.2d 475 (2014). If you've been under a rock recently and missed the action, the upshot of the case is police officers can now rely upon a reasonable mistake of [...]

By | February 12th, 2015|"Off The Back", Criminal Law Developments|Comments Off on “Ignorance of the Law is Now an Excuse”

“Marketing Your Credibility Online”

Criminal defense lawyers are reservoirs of credibility. We work to establish it with prosecutors, judges, and witnesses . . .  not to mention the juries who adjudge our clients' fate. With potential new clients, from the moment they decide to call for the first consultation, until our case file is closed, credibility makes the attorney-client [...]

By | January 20th, 2015|"Off The Back", Practice Management and Fees|Comments Off on “Marketing Your Credibility Online”

Your Word Is Your Bond

Trey Apffel, President of the State Bar of Texas, wrote a stirring opinion column last month in the Texas Bar Journal. It was an introspective piece on the significance of humility in the practice of law. Trey's "Little Advice" was  offered to the new lawyers entering the Bar this year. He shared his father's counsel [...]

By | January 7th, 2015|Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on Your Word Is Your Bond

The Art of Trial Advocacy for the Criminal Defense Attorney

Paul Looney and Clay Conrad's article in the November 2014 issue of  "Voice for the Defense" reveals the true nature of trial advocacy. It's an art form. The article chronicles a lifetime of experience successfully trying criminal cases and helps defense lawyers understand credibility is their most important trial asset.

By | January 2nd, 2015|Building the Persuasive Case|Comments Off on The Art of Trial Advocacy for the Criminal Defense Attorney

“Quick-and-Dirty Phlebotomy Basics”

The DWI blood test case is becoming the stock-in-trade of many law enforcement agencies across the state. Whether it's a sample provided voluntarily after arrest, or obtained via search warrant following a refusal, defending blood tests are now commonplace for the DWI defense attorney. Making preparation more demanding is the technical nature of these cases. [...]

By | December 5th, 2014|"Off The Back", Bryan College Station DWI, Courtroom Trial Practice|Comments Off on “Quick-and-Dirty Phlebotomy Basics”

“Defense at a Premium”

Providing clients the highest level of customer service is a top priority. Generally, high quality service results from the time we invest in a case and legion are the justifications for managing our caseloads accordingly. More time invested generally means better service. One caseload management approach is expressly rejecting new clients. However, I was never [...]

By | November 3rd, 2014|"Off The Back", Practice Management and Fees|Comments Off on “Defense at a Premium”

Using the Texas “Motion for New Trial” Like a Surgeon

On June 25, 2014, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in Lundgren v. State, 34 S.W. 3d (Tex. Crim. App. 2014) that a motion for new trial "retroactively stayed the commencement of community supervision" until the motion was overruled by operation of law. The ruling saved Mr. Lundgren from 300 days in the Wise County [...]

By | October 6th, 2014|Criminal Appeals, Criminal Law Developments|Comments Off on Using the Texas “Motion for New Trial” Like a Surgeon

“Who Should Polygraph Our Clients?”

For young criminal defense attorneys learning the ropes, "who should polygraph my client" is a familiar question. There are limited exceptions to this rule but, generally, defense attorneys should not permit their client to submit to a polygraph examination administered by the police. The best reason is results of the police administered polygraph, including pre- [...]

By | October 2nd, 2014|"Off The Back", Police Encounters|Comments Off on “Who Should Polygraph Our Clients?”