Steve

/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.

“Using SFST Validation Studies in Your Next DWI Trial”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) spent many thousands of dollars on studies to develop a battery of DWI investigation tools called field sobriety tests. The studies were funded by NHTSA to validate and standardize the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), the Walk-and-Turn, and the One-Leg-Stand tests. Standardization meant developing a method of administering and interpreting [...]

By | August 12th, 2015|"Off The Back", Bryan College Station DWI|1 Comment

“Getting Jurors to Tell Us the Truth”

The United States Constitution guarantees our right to a jury trial in both the original document and the Bill of Rights.1 The same right is further guaranteed by our Texas Constitution, art. 1, sec. 15. But more precisely, each constitution guarantees the criminally accused a right to a jury that is fair and impartial. To this [...]

By | July 10th, 2015|"Off The Back", Courtroom Trial Practice|Comments Off on “Getting Jurors to Tell Us the Truth”

“A Dark Side of Practicing Law”

Trial lawyers are masters of disguise. They learn to shroud fear, surprise, uncertainty, and a plethora of other emotions that might damage their credibility with jurors or belie a position of strength with an adversary. Similarly, those same skills enable them to conceal the repercussions of a dark side of practicing law. Stress, depression, mental [...]

By | May 20th, 2015|"Off The Back", Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on “A Dark Side of Practicing Law”

“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”