THE FIFTH ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM ON LEGAL MALPRACTICE AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY: ARTICLE: TAKE THE MONEY OR RUN: THE RISKY BUSINESS OF ACTING AS BOTH YOUR CLIENT'S LAWYER AND BAIL BONDSMAN Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2006 St. Mary's University of San Antonio
St. Mary's Law Journal

THE FIFTH ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM ON LEGAL MALPRACTICE AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY: ARTICLE: TAKE THE MONEY OR RUN: THE RISKY BUSINESS OF ACTING AS BOTH YOUR CLIENT'S LAWYER AND BAIL BONDSMAN

2006

37 St. Mary's L. J. 933

Author

DAYLA S. PEPI* and DONNA D. BLOOM**

Excerpt




I. Introduction
 
Stephanie sat behind the plate glass window in the attorney-client meeting rooms of the county jail with a white face mask covering her nose and mouth, standard procedure for recent detainees, crying hysterically, angrily poking at the air, repeatedly demanding an answer to the same question of her criminal defense attorney: "Why did you do this to me? I did everything you asked me to!" It was then we realized that our client, whom we were representing in an ancillary civil matter, had been betrayed by her criminal defense attorney, the implications of which we would not know until later. Our client was charged with a criminal offense and subsequently released on bond, which her criminal defense attorney posted. The day before her plea bargain conference her criminal defense attorney jumped off her bond after nearly two years of being out on bond and surrendered her back into the custody of the Bexar County Jail. The events that transpired after that incident were predictable, including our client taking a plea on her criminal charges, and it begs the question: Would the outcome have been the same if her bail bondsman had been anyone other than her criminal defense attorney?

Prior to that experience, we were not aware that Texas permitted attorneys, by statute, to be bail bondsmen for their clients. Consequently, we researched this issue and realized that Texas was, when it comes to allowing attorneys to be bondsmen for their clients, an anomaly. ...
 
 
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