DWI and interpreter
[page 52, line 14]
JUDGE VANCE: Mr. Todd
MR. TODD: Yes, sir. I have to get up out of the chair.
I see the faces and friends of mine. You know, when you get to a place as a lawyer that you see lawyers that you knew who were either appointed or elected to a district bench or a county bench and they served their time and they retired, you know you’re getting on down the road. But I’ve had that privilege. I’ve had some of the — you know, folks, if I had it all to do over again, I wouldn’t hesitate one minute. I’d rather be a lawyer than to be anything in the world I know.
MR. TODD: Really. I can’t imagine of a life any more wonderful or exciting or rewarding than that of a lawyer. But I want to tell you something. We’re losing a lot, folks. Back when I started practicing law, you know what we did? We shook hands with each other. A lawyer would call another lawyer, and we got a deal. We shook hands. That settled it. You better not do that nowadays. You better not.
Folks, what do we owe each other as lawyers? What do you owe me and what do I owe you? I owe you respect and confidence. I owe you to be honest with you, not to lie to you, not to deceive you.
The other day I was in Judge Karen Green’s court. And I’m going to compliment her; I think she’s doing a great job. But anyhow, Craig Jett and I were in there and we had tried a case. It was one of those DWI cases where the naturalization group were trying to deport this man — who had lived here in Dallas all these years, 31 years — because he was convicted of a DWI several years ago. And Craig had an interpreter to testify for him and that he didn’t think he could understand English. And I don’t think he could either. But after the case was over — Judge Greene rules. After it was over somebody reported to her that she had — that they had seen Craig and me out in the hall talking to this defendant. I was in Judge Green’s court not long after that, and she asked me about it. At first it startled me, and then I realized what she was talking about. I said, “Well, Judge Greene it’s one thing to talk to a man out in the hall. It’s another thing to put him — to let him understand what’s going on in court.” But I said, “I can assure you I’d rather have — I’d rather have you thinking well of me than anything else you could do.” We must have that with each other. Judges and lawyers must trust each other. We must. We owe that to each other.
It’s just — and I haven’t — I haven’t been the lawyer I should have been. I could have been a lot better one than what I’ve been.