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Judge Maria T. Jackson was named “Best Criminal Court Judge of 2011” by the Houston Press, making her the first African American woman to be given this honor.


Judge Maria T. Jackson is Compassionate, Fair & Firm







Call today to schedule an appointment! (713)723-2005, or feel free to stop by 12606 Hillcroft at South Main, Houston, Texas 77035.




Call today to schedule an appointment! (713)723-2005, or feel free to stop by 12606 Hillcroft at South Main, Houston, Texas 77035.




Since 1980, Jimmy Coleman and his fine team of Tax Professionals at Greater Houston Consulting & Tax Services, Inc. (GHCT), has been helping Houstonians to rest a little easier when it comes to knowing that their tax related business has been taken care of. That's because Greater Houston Consulting & Tax Services, Inc, has a firm stated commitment that they are governed by: to always put the needs of their customers first. GHCT specializes in Tax Preparation, IRS Representation, Business Start-up/Consulting, and Bookkeeping Services. Conveniently located at 12606 Hillcroft, GHCT is uniquely positioned to service the needs of individuals living in southwest Houston, as well as those having to travel down South Main Street from Missouri City, Sugarland, Richmond, Rosenberg and other parts of Fort Bend County to get to and from work in the Houston area – and other parts of Harris County.


Greater Houston Consulting & Tax Services, Inc., currently has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau with no complaints having ever been filed against it. So, if you're looking for an independent Tax Preparation Service, where honesty, integrity, and putting you first is the order of the day: you should seriously consider calling Jimmy Coleman and his team of professionals at Greater Houston Consulting & Tax Services, Incorporated at (713)723-2005 to schedule an appointment today! GHCT HAS A CUSTOMER FIRST POLICY

What Cynthia Stewart had to say about Greater Houston Consulting & Tax Services, Incorporated: "I have used Greater Houston Consulting and Tax Services to prepare my taxes…They are prompt and dependable. I appreciate their honest approach to my taxes and the thoroughness employed in helping me pay only what is owed or ideally to receive a refund when appropriate. Jimmy Coleman's advice and counsel concerning my personal finances and retirement planning has been invaluable. Cheryl and Nicole are very helpful, efficient and personable, also. You will be well served by any of their staff. I highly recommend this business." What Tammy Michelle Davis had to say about Greater Houston Consulting & Tax Services, Incorporated: "Loyal, Professional, and Honesty at its BEST! ...

Each member of their staff are very professional, loyal and I can count on their dependable and hardworking efforts to get the job done! Thanks Greater Houston!" Another satisfied customer said this about Greater Houston Consulting & Tax Services Incorporated: "This is a tax service that cares about people. Greater Houston Tax Service has "great" employees that knows previous and current customers by their names. Some customers decide to seek other tax services, but they always manage to come back to Greater Houston Tax Service to prepare their taxes the correct way and to fix, what mistakes that was made from other tax services."




For more information on Greater Houston Consulting & Tax Services, Inc., you should call Jimmy Coleman or one of his fine Tax Professionals at (713)723-2005, or feel free to stop by 12606 Hillcroft at South Main, Houston, Texas 77035. Email: and expect to receive a fast, friendly, and educated answer to any tax related questions you may have today!


If you’re looking for a firm that will focus on your individual needs, and always treat you like a client who matters, look no further. Our firm offers a full range of professional services to give you the individual attention that you deserve.

We will thoroughly and conscientiously study your personal situation, and tailor our advice to your specific needs. Reviews, and Compilations Bookkeeping/Write-Up Business Consulting Business Entity Selection Financial Statements Notary Public Payroll Services Sales Tax Services Tax Preparation & Planning Reviews and Compilations

Our review and compilation capabilities are a core part of our services. We tailor each process to the unique needs of your business. We deliver financial statements and reports that are clear, concise and acceptable to all outside parties and that can provide information and insight to help you run your business more effectively. We will work closely with you and your key employees to develop and execute a plan to complete this work by minimizing employee time spent on the process and without disrupting operations.



Notary Public

Business Consulting

Payroll Services

If your business does not currently have bookkeeping staff or if your business is outgrowing its current bookkeeping system, we can provide comprehensive bookkeeping services to ensure the smooth operation of the financial side of your business.

As a true business partner, we are available to help you deal with any business problem or opportunity. We stand ready to engage in business consulting projects to help you make the right decisions for the future of your business.

Business Entity Selection

The business entity—LLP, LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.— that you select for your business has enormous financial and tax implications. It is important that you make the right decision. We can explain each choice and its implications. As your business grows and changes, the type of business entity you choose may need to change also.

Financial Statements

Financial statements are an important tool for management decision making. Financial statements also represent your business to lenders, partners, potential buyers and other interested parties. We will work closely with your key personnel to develop and finalize accurate and timely financial statements.

A notary public can help you to handle various business matters, including witnessing and authenticating document execution and signatures. Several members of our staff are notaries public and are available when you need their services.

Constantly changing federal, state and local laws and tax regulations make payroll management an ongoing challenge for business owners. Our payroll services professionals are well versed on these laws and regulations. We can proactively alert you to material changes that will affect your business and your employees while also keeping payroll running smoothly no matter how large your business and your employee population become.

Sales Tax Services

State and local tax authorities are looking to maximize sales tax collections. We can help you understand and manage your sales tax obligations and prepare sales tax returns in an efficient and timely manner.

Tax Preparation & Planning

Effective tax preparation and planning can help you to minimize your future tax liability. We can help you proactively manage both your personal and your business tax issues, including understanding how upcoming business opportunities impact your tax status and vice versa. Not all tax planning opportunities are readily apparent. By having us on your team, you are more likely to benefit from those opportunities. We understand how the latest federal, state and local tax legislation and other developments affect you and your business and we are constantly identifying new ways to reduce federal, state or local tax liabilities.



Call today to schedule an appointment! (713)723-2005, or feel free to stop by 12606 Hillcroft at South Main, Houston, Texas 77035.





NEVER SAY NEVER: Look, God has placed unique gifts, talents and abilities on the inside of each and every one of us. But the gifts and talents he’s entrusted us with must still be developed and then brought to the market place/political arena. DEVELOPING YOUR BRAND IS VITAL! For me, the recent “2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION” proves this fact, and was a great lesson on branding and knowing your target market/constituency more than anything else. President Donald Trump started his run for the white house long before he announced his bid for POTUS. And he defied every naysayer along the way to achieving his goal. And yes, we too can defy our naysayers in the same way by: ONE: Having the faith that we can do what we’ve been called to do no matter whose for us or against us. TWO: Knowing our strengths and weaknesses before we get started. THREE: Understanding that the “so-called” experts can be wrong. FOUR: Understanding that “political operatives” and “so-called” community leaders should not be the ones who determine when it’s our time to shine. FIVE: Understand that God has the final say on all matters related to his plan for us. HAVE YOU HEARD? WWE Hall of Fame Wrestler Booker T. (real name Booker T. Huffman) has decided he wants to make Houston “GREAT” by becoming our next mayor. I’ve never met Booker T, and I’m not sure if he can do it. However, the recent election win (against all odds) by President Donald Trump has taught me to “NEVER SAY NEVER”.

Aubrey R. Taylor President & Chief Executive Officer Aubrey R. Taylor Communications 957 NASA Parkway #251 Houston, Texas 77058-3039 Email: Blog: Phone: 832.212.8735 I Cell: 281.788.3033

Have You Heard?

Booker T. Is Running for Mayor of Houston...stay tuned!

Please call one of these licensed Attorneys if you have a legal question, issue or concern! Alfred Morris Benoit P: (713)963-8866 Bar Card Number: 24064883 TX License Date: 11/07/2008

Eartha Jean Johnson P: (713)864-9997 Bar Card Number: 10709365 TX License Date: 11/02/1990 Bethew Bertrand Jennings P: (832)524-8352 Bar Card Number: 24036843 TX License Date: 11/06/2002 Christopher Demerson P: (832)209-2201 Bar Card Number: 24066913 TX License Date: 11/06/2009 Latosha Lewis P: (832)426-7027 Bar Card Number: 24027452 TX License Date: 11/01/2000 Noelle Gabrielle Hicks P: (713)981-0900 Bar Card Number: 24068766 TX License Date: 09/03/2009

LEGAL CONNECTIONS Allie R. Booker P: (713)292-2225 Bar Card Number: 24071071 TX License Date: 12/10/2009

Elverine F. Jenkins P: (713)358-5260 Bar Card Number: 24049821 TX License Date: 05/04/2007

Benjamin Lewis Hall P: (713)942-9600 Bar Card Number: 08743745 TX License Date: 05/008/1987

Danyahel Norris P: (713)313-1182 Bar Card Number: 24057372 TX License Date: 11/02/2007

Dwayne Jerel Simpson P: (832)916-0702 Bar Card Number: 24090392 TX License Date: 05/01/2014

Farrah Martinez P: (713)853-9296 Bar Card Number: 24044396 TX License Date: 11/04/2005

Crystal Henderson P: (713)874-1750 Bar Card Number: 24050742 TX License Date: 11/04/2005

Sandra Peake P: (713)723-5082 Bar Card Number: 15679800 TX License Date: 12/30/1982

Ivy V. Ricketts P: (713)666-7098 Bar Card Number: 16882350 TX License Date: 11/07/1986

James Matthew Douglas P: (713)313-7352 Bar Card Number: 06044000 TX License Date: 09/18/1970

Lalla Victoria Morris P: (281)940-3019 Bar Card Number: 24088095 TX License Date: 11/01/2013

Melvin Houston P: (713)212-0600 Bar Card Number: 00793987 TX License Date: 11/03/1995

DeMonica Gladney P: (832)625-3787 Bar Card Number: 00787545 TX License Date: 11/05/1993

Jermecia Ann Beachem P: (713)831-6862 Bar Card Number: 24066906 TX License Date: 11/06/2009

James Goodwille Pierre P: (832)224-6539 Bar Card Number: 24001608 TX License Date: 04/04/2002

Morris Lee Overstreet P: (936)857-5327 Bar Card Number: 00000046 TX License Date: 10/21/1975

Kenyon Kirkpatrick Moore P: (832)639-0835 Bar Card Number: 24064250 TX License Date: 05/05/2010

Travis Alexander Torrence P: (713)241-1294 Bar Card Number: 24051436 TX License Date: 11/04/2005

Gary E. Alfred P: (713)464-5201 Bar Card Number: 24011214 TX License Date: 07/22/1999

Latheina Monique Gonzalez P: (713)993-7153 Bar Card Number: 24040988 TX License Date: 11/06/2003

Reshard JuQuin Alexander P: (832)458-1756 Bar Card Number: 24068428 TX License Date: 11/04/2011

Debra Hatter P: (713)951-5658 Bar Card Number: 24029007 TX License Date: 02/01/2001

Martin Wickliff, Jr. P: (713)750-3110 Bar Card Number: 21419900 TX License Date: 09/24/1973

Keryl L. Burgess Douglas P: (713)819-9945 Bar Card Number: 24060880 TX License Date: 11/07/2008

Gene Watkins P: (713)224-5113 Bar Card Number: 24058954 TX License Date: 11/06/2009

Takasha L. Francis P: (713)588-4459 Bar Card Number: 24035861 TX License Date: 04/08/2004

Joyce A. Raynor P: (713)988-5533 Bar Card Number: 00789572 TX License Date: 05/06/1994

Meet Jana & Whitney LEGAL SERVICES

The Law Office Of WLP focuses on criminal law, juvenile law, family law, guardianship and wills and estate planning. Our law firm represents a broad spectrum of clients. Attorney Jana S. Lewis-Perez CONTACT INFORMATION: PHONE: (281) 968-8317 EMAIL:



Born in Houston and raised in the Dallas area, Jana Lewis received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science with a minor in Accounting and Business Administration from University of Houston in 2006. While at the University of Houston Jana was a member of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law organization. After graduating, Jana took a few years to work in Corporate America and begin a beautiful family. Later, Jana returned to school to obtain her law degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas where she graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctorate Degree in 2012. While attending Thurgood she had the pleasure to hold the positions of Articles Editor of the Thurgood Marshall Law Review and Student Ambassador President. Jana also was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta mock trial team and received several

Whitney WHITE

recognition awards from professors. Jana has always had a passion for criminal law. Jana had the opportunity to gain experience as a Student Attorney while participating in the Thurgood Marshall School of Law Legal Clinic which consisted of the duties of handling criminal misdemeanors from the client interview to trial prep for indigent defendants. In addition, Jana prepared over 20 expunctions and non-disclosures during her time working in the Legal Clinic for one year. Jana was honored to have an article published in Thurgood Marshall Law Review focusing on Exoneration Compensation. Jana is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Texas and is a current member of Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association.

Attorney Whitney L. White CONTACT INFORMATION PHONE: (979) 318-5079 EMAIL: Website:

Born and raised in Bay City, Texas, Whitney attended the University of Texas in Austin where she received her Bachelor of Social Work Degree. Upon graduation, Whitney began striving to achieve her goals and taking steps to begin her career path by transitioning into law school at Thurgood Marshall School of Law. As a first generation college student of her family, Whitney graduated magna cum laude from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. While attending Thurgood, Whitney held the position of Symposium Editor of the Thurgood Marshall Law Review. As Symposium Editor she coordinated outstanding Symposium events – one focusing on Civil Rights and another on the impact of Energy and the Law. Whitney had the opportunity to expand her legal skills by advocating for low income residents while working as a Student Attorney in the Thurgood Marshall Wills, Probate and Guardianship Clinic where she assisted many individuals with their Guardianship matters. In addition, Whitney played a pivotal role in legal matters while being a zealous advocate for indigent individuals during her time working for The Innocence Project. She advocated for disadvantaged individuals who were wrongfully convicted and seeking exoneration where her duties included conducting thorough investigations, interviews, and research. Whitney L. White is licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Texas.



Dallas Jury Finds in Favor of Steve Harvey in $20 million lawsuit NEWS PROVIDED BY The Pittman Law Firm

DALLAS, PRNewswire/ -- TV Host and funnyman Steve Harvey emerged from the courtroom victorious after a Dallas jury ruled that he never agreed to turn over more than 120 hours of his comedic material to Dallas videographer Joseph Cooper or to allow the videographer to use Harvey's face, name and likeness to market Harvey's material. The jury's verdict puts an end to a saga that has plagued Harvey for over 20 years and relieves him of having to pay $20 million in damages sought by the Dallas videographer after Harvey instructed his lawyers to shut down the planned worldwide distribution of recorded footage that Harvey contended still belonged to him. "With this verdict, I can now rest at night knowing that I have been declared the legal owner of that which I created," said Harvey. "I have been writing material for over 40 years, have worked hard on my brand and image and will continue to protect my intellectual property rights. I hope the verdict shows all hardworking artists that they should fight to own their intellectual property rights, no matter how long it takes. The creator of the material should control what goes out and when." According to Aubrey "Nick" Pittman, Harvey's lead trial counsel, the jury heard powerful and emotional testimony of Harvey's life story, including years when he was homeless and penniless, but still determined to make it as an entertainer. Pittman was joined at trial by co-counsel Wendle Van Smith and Ashlei Gradney. While on the stand, Harvey took the jury through his entire career, beginning in 1985 with Harvey's first performance as a stand-up throughout his current run as host of a nationally acclaimed radio show and TV shows Family Feud, The Steve Harvey


Show, Little Big Shots, and an upcoming ABC production, Funderdome. "In the end, the jury heard Mr. Harvey describe the work ethic he inherited from his parents, the never-ending effort he puts into his craft, the importance of protecting his image and the value of an artist's intellectual property rights," said Pittman. The Dallas videographer was ordered to turn over all of Harvey's materials to his attorneys within 3 business days. "With Harvey's heartfelt testimony and facts demonstrating that he did not release his rights in 1993 and did not consent to anyone else exploiting his rights, the jury felt it was the right thing to do to rule in Harvey's favor," said Smith. Harvey received the good news of the jury's ver-

dict just hours before he had to jet off to Manilla, Philippines to serve as host of the Miss Universe Competition for the second consecutive year.

About The Pittman Law Firm: The Pittman Law Firm, P.C. is a full-service law firm whose practice includes presenting high-profile entertainers, teams, sports figures, and other individuals in high stakes litigation. -----------------------------------------------------PICTURED: Steve Harvey Trial Team (lr) Lead counsel Aubrey "Nick" Pittman, Steve Harvey, attorney Ashlei Gradney, and co-counsel Wendle Van Smith.



Judge Jackson was named “Best Criminal Court Judge of 2011” by the Houston Press, making her the first African American woman to be given this honor.


Awards and Recognition

udge Jackson’s passion for public service has not gone unnoticed. Her service to the community has led a number of organizations to recognize her. Judge Jackson was named “Best Criminal Court Judge of 2011” by the Houston Press, making her the first African American woman to be given this honor. Business Journal awarded Judge Jackson the People’s Choice Award for two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, Judge Jackson was named one of the “Top 30 Most Influential Women of Houston.” In 2015, Judge Jackson was recognized again for her judicial service to the community by the Lebanon Times magazine. She was a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Black Heritage Honoree, a Houston Bar Association-CLE distinguished member, and recognized by Houston’s Influential 40 Under 40. The Houston Sun honored Judge Jackson the “Women of Power and Purpose” award in 2013. In addition to breaking the barriers for minority women in the legal profession, Judge Jackson broke barriers for Houston Municipal judges by being the first judge to be acknowledged by the Mayor’s Spotlight City of Houston employee newspaper. In addition to her accomplishments at the state level, Judge Jackson has been recognized as a “Woman of Now” hall of fame honoree by the U.S. House of Representatives, 18th Congressional.


Support Judge Maria T. Jackson

Or Contact her by Postal Mail or Telephone P.O. Box 627 - Houston, TX 77001 / 832-582-1197


udge Maria T. Jackson has been the presiding Judge of the 339th State District Court in Houston, Harris County, Texas since the election of 2008. Judge Jackson presides over serious felony offenses, which run the gamut from low-level drug offenses to capital murder. She has presided over one hundred jury trials and several have been featured on The First 48 Hour national television show. She has appeared on many Houston radio and media outlets like Red, White and Blue Political Show, Magic 102, KCOH, and The Prison Show on FM 90.1. Judge Jackson has taken the lead in implementing sweeping changes for DWI probationers in her court. These changes are so notable that the Harris County Probation Department has followed Judge Jackson’s lead in implementing them county wide.


B.A. Political Science The University of Texas at Arlington Doctor of Jurisprudence Texas A&M School of Law formerly Texas Wesleyan School of Law

Professional Experience

Professional Activities and Memberships


Judge Maria T. Jackson is Compassionate, Fair & Firm

Judge Jackson’s devotion does not stop at public service. She is also a devoted member to her profession and her alma mater Texas A&M University School of Law formerly Texas Wesleyan School of Law. Judge Jackson serves on the Board of District Judges, where she chairs the Security Committee and serves on the Administration of Justice and the Legislative Committee. She serves on the Mental Health Task Force Board. She is currently a member of the State Bar of Texas, Texas State Bar College, Garland R. Walker American Inns of Court, American Bar Association, Houston Lawyers Association, Houston Bar Association, and the Mexican American Bar Association. She serves on the Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards Committee. She is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Houston Bar Foundation. She previously served as past Co- Chair on the Speakers Bureau Committee for the Houston Bar Association and on the Board of Directors for Texas A&M University School of Law.

Community Involvement

When Judge Jackson is not pursuing her passion for the law, she serves her community by volunteering as a mentor for at-risk youth, high school students, law students and young lawyers. She is a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. She is an active member of the Houston Chapter of Links, Inc., where she serves as Chair on the Services to Youth program. She is a sustaining member of the Harris County Democratic Party. She is a member of the Lakewood Church. She is also a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Judge Jackson has served by appointment of the Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice as the presiding Judge in Cameron County, Texas. The United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, the District Attorneys of Alabama, and the National Judicial College selected Judge Jackson as one of twenty-four judges from across the country to receive training at the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI). In 2003-2008, Judge Jackson was appointed by the Mayor and City Council as a Fulltime Municipal Court Judge for the City of Houston. During her tenure as a Municipal Court Judge, she also SEX OFFENDER WHO INFECTED GIRLS WITH HIV GETS LIFE IN PRISON served as a trainer and instructor for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center. She was a Municipal Bond Attorney and a certified Mediator.

David Richard Wilson, 34, a Texas sex offender who infected a young family member with HIV was convicted of sexually assaulting the 15-yearold and sentenced to life in prison inside Judge Maria T. Jackson’s court.

STUDENT SENTENCED TO 48 YEARS IN LONE STAR COLLEGE CAMPUS STABBING: Judge Maria T. Jackson had tough words for Dylan Quick before she sentenced him to 48 years in person. Jackson called Quick's actions "horrific" and said they represent "one of society's worst nightmares." Jackson said Quick targeted "totally and completely innocent" people and "only by the grace of God" did no one die in the April 2013 attack.

EX-ROCKET PLEADS NO CONTEST TO GIRLFRIEND’S ASSAULT: Two high-profile lawyers. A pro athlete and A lover scorned...All gathered inside Judge Maria T. Jackson’s 339th Criminal District Court in Harris County trading accusations, shedding tears and making deals....When the smoke cleared, former Houston Rockets forward Jordan Hill, 25, had pleaded no contest to assaulting his then-girlfriend earlier in 2016, in a move to avoid a felony trial and allow him to rejoin the Los Angeles Lakers. Hill pictured above with prominent Houston attoreny Rusty Hardin.

MOTHER ON TRIAL FOR BURYING HER BABY ALIVE: Narjes Modarresi, 32 was sentenced to life in prison for the April 2010 murder of two-month-old Masih Golabbakhsh by a jury in Judge Maria T. Jackson’s court. The jury deliberated for two hours before returning the guilty verdict.. Modarresi is pictured above with defense attorney George Parnham. According to the defense, severe bipolar disorder is the reason Narjes Modarresi buried her 2-month-old son alive.


Kimberly Nicole Cormier, 42, claimed she was held at gunpoint for days after she accidentally witnessed her boyfriend shoot his cocaine dealer, then the dealer's neighbor on Sept. 2, 2014. Cormier was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the “Bonnie & Clyde” type crime spree.


“Here’s a short list of people who supported Judge Maria T. Jackson’s most recent re-election bid.“

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (Honorary Sponsor) Attorney George Parnham Attorney Windi Alina Pastorini Attorney Mary Elizabeth Conn Attorney Ed Chernoff Attorney Dorian Cotlar Attorney Brian Coyne Attorney Gordon Dees Attorney Mike DeGeurin Attorney Dick DeGuerin Attorney Todd Dupont Attorney Chris Flood Attorney Charles Flood Attorney Carl Haggard Attorney Rusty Hardin Attorney Cheryl Irvin Attorney Deborah Keyser Attorney Thomas Martin Attorney Mae Miller Attorney Tyronne Moncriffe Attorney Loretta Muldrow Attorney Alvin Nunnery Attorney Wendell Odom, Jr. Attorney Carmen Roe Attorney J. Philip Scardino Attorney Robert Scardino Attorney Kent Schaffer Attorney Randy Schaffer Attorney Josh Schaffer Attorney James Stafford Attorney Son Tran Attorney Chris Tritico Attorney Ned Turnbull Attorney Brian Wice Attorney Connie Williams Attorney Cornell Williams Attorney Catherine Bean Attorney David Bires Attorney Dan Cogdell Attorney Skip Cornelius Attorney Eric Davis Attorney Nicole DeBorde Attorney Ronald Green Attorney Matt Hennessey Attorney James Kennedy Attorney Richard Kuniansky Attorney Edward Mallett Attorney Alvin Nunnery Attorney Anthony Osso Attorney David Adler Attorney Alexander Forrest Attorney Richard Haynes Attorney Robert Jones Attorney Thomas Joseph Lewis Attorney Clive Markland Attorney Brent Mayr Attorney Reginald McKamie Attorney Carl Moore Attorney Letitia D. Quinones Attorney Carmen Rose Attorney Catherine Samaan Attorney Tony Smith Attorney Monique C. Sparks Houston Chronicle



First Lady Cecilia Abbott To Chair 34th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards


First Lady Cecilia Abbott, Honorary Chair of the 34th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards, today announced that nominations are open. The Governor’s Volunteer Awards, administered by the OneStar Foundation, honor the contributions of individuals, groups and organizations in Texas that have made a positive impact in their communities or across Texas through service and volunteering. Through her Texanthropy Initiative, Mrs. Abbott is promoting volunteerism and service to others as her primary focus as First Lady of Texas. “I am honored to once again chair the Governor’s Volunteer Awards and help celebrate my fellow Texans who have answered the call to service,” the First Lady said. “Texans are generous by nature, and I am looking forward to this opportunity to applaud those who have committed their time, talent or treasure to help create a brighter future for their fellow Texans.”

The eight award categories are: • Governor’s Lone Star Achievement Award • First Lady’s Rising Star Award • Partners in Education Award • Service to Veterans Award • Higher Education Community Impact Award • Corporate Community Impact Award • Community Leadership Award • National Service “Make a Difference” Award

To see descriptions and criteria for each award, visit To submit a nomination for an award, visit or email for more information. The nominations will close on March 31, 2017. Awardees will be honored in the Fall at an evening reception hosted by the First Lady at the Governor’s Mansion.

Governor Abbott Reappoints Mattax As Commissioner Of Insurance


Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed David Mattax as the Commissioner of Insurance for a term to expire February 1, 2019. David Mattax of Austin has served as Commissioner of Insurance since January 12, 2015. Previously, he served as deputy attorney general for defense litigation, past director of defense litigation, and past chief of the financial litigation division for the Texas Attorney General's Office. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is admitted to practice before the Texas Federal District courts, Fourth and Fifth Circuit U.S. courts of Appeal and U.S. Supreme Court. He is past co-chair of the Amos Commission, and a past board of trustees member of University United Methodist Church. Mattax received a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and a Juris Doctor from The University of Texas at Austin.

Wendy Bould Wright

Governor Greg Abbott

Judge Loyd Wright





“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to earn your trust and support as Judge of Harris County Probate Court No. 1” -- JUDGE LOYD WRIGHT






Governor Abbott Appoints Eight To State Employee Charitable Campaign Advisory Committee

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Eleesha Blackwell, Norma Castilla-Blackwell, David Chapman, Linda Fernandez, Vanessa Nip, Renee Tuggle, Michael Wilson and Elaine Zavala to the State Employee Charitable Advisory Policy Committee for terms set to expire January 1, 2018. The committee advises the comptroller and the state policy committee in adopting rules and establishing procedures for the operation and management of the state employee charitable campaign to the state policy committee. Eleesha Blackwell of College Station is the director of resource development for the United Way of the Brazos Valley. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, American Association of Museums, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and a trustee of the Burke Family Historical Cemetery. Blackwell received a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Texas A&M University, a Master of Arts in museum studies from the George Washington University, and a Master of Public Administration in nonprofit management from the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.


Norma CastillaBlackwell of Canyon Lake is the executive director of CASA of Central Texas, Inc. She is a member of the New Braunfels Rotary Club, Christus Santa Rosa Advisory Board, Canine Classmates, Comal County Citizen’s Sheriff’s Alumni Association and National CASA Suburban Committee and a board member of Canyon Lake Animal Shelter. Castilla-Blackwell received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Texas A&M International University.

David Chapman of Midland is the Scout Executive and CEO for the Buffalo Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is a member and past board member of the Odessa Rotary Club, member of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, Vigil Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow and has served on a number of Non Profit Executive Boards, Chapman received a Bachelor of Science in agriculture education from Texas A&M University - Commerce.

Linda Fernandez of Austin is a division director with the Texas Comptroller’s Office and coordinator for the Texas Match the Promise Foundation. She is a member of the College Savings Plan Network and former member of the Texas State Agency Business Administrators Association and Executive Professional Women. Additionally, she is a former board member of the American Diabetes Foundation Austin Chapter, former vice chair of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Austin Chapter and former president of the Murchison Middle School Parent Teacher Association. Fernandez attended The University of Texas at Austin.




Judge John Schmude Harris County Civil Courthouse 201 Caroline, 15th Floor Houston, Texas 77002

John Schmude Judge 247th District Court

"It is a tremendous honor and privilege to have the opportunity to serve the families of Harris County as Judge of the 247th District Court. Thank you for your support!"




Governor Abbott Appoints Eight To State Employee Charitable Campaign Advisory Committee (CONTINUED)

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Eleesha Blackwell, Norma Castilla-Blackwell, David Chapman, Linda Fernandez, Vanessa Nip, Renee Tuggle, Michael Wilson and Elaine Zavala to the State Employee Charitable Advisory Policy Committee for terms set to expire January 1, 2018. The committee advises the comptroller and the state policy committee in adopting rules and establishing procedures for the operation and management of the state employee charitable campaign to the state policy committee. Vanessa Nip of Austin is the membership coordinator for the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Nip received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art and a Bachelor of Science in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin.


Renee Tuggle of Austin is the Adopt-ABeach Coordinator for the Texas General Land Office. She is currently volunteering her time as wellness coordinator for the Land Office and has held many volunteer roles including team leader for river cleanups at Keep Austin Beautiful and work at the Austin Food Bank. Tuggle received a Bachelor of Arts in retail merchandising and business administration from Sam Houston State University.

Michael Wilson of Austin is the chief operations officer for Meals On Wheels of Central Texas. Wilson received a Bachelor of Arts in English literary criticism, a Master of Arts in cultural geography and sociology, and Doctorate of Philosophy in gerontology from the University of Florida.

Elaine Zavala of Buda is communications coordinator for the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance with the Texas Veterans Commission. She is the vice president for the American Society of Public Administration and member of the Young Catholic Professionals, Texas State University Advisory Council, Texas Exes Alumni Association and the Texas State Alumni Association. Zavala received a Bachelor of Science in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Administration from Texas State University.




“My mission is to serve families in times of crisis in a thoughtful, compassionate, and deliberate way, whether that crisis involves the loss of a loved one, the need for a guardianship, or a mental health issue.”




Pol. Adv. Christine Riddle Butts Campaign, Michael C. Riddle, Treasurer, in compliance with the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.


Experience ~ Integrity ~ Dedication


TRANSFORMING THE TEXAS EDUCATION SYSTEM Hon. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq. & Dr. Michael O. Adams*

Funding More All Day Pre-K

• Eliminate the Harris County Treasurer ‘s Office, transfer it’s duties to the County Budget Office, and invest the savings in all day Pre-K through Independent School Districts (ISDs) in Harris County.

• Eliminate the Harris County Department of Education, transfer it’s functions to local community colleges and ISDs, and invest the savings in all day Pre-K through ISDs in Harris County.

• Transfer Developmental/Remedial Education funding from higher education to investing more in ensuring that all Texas children statewide are reading and doing math at grade level by Third Grade. This is a better use of these funds. It is more cost effective to get students the academic foundation they need for college and career readiness by Middle School rather than trying to do so after they have graduated from High School.

• Move the High School Allocation to helping fund all day Pre-K statewide or to increase funding for Middle School math and reading programs.


• Finally, Community Colleges across the state should work with school districts (ISDs) and Charter Schools to establish more Dual Credit Early College High Schools. Early College High Schools help students better prepare for college while also earning college credits during high school thus reducing the cost of a college education. Making college more affordable must be a priority if we want more college graduates in Texas.

The legislature should also require Texas universities and community colleges to report to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and local school districts the number of students from rash of their high schools that have to take developmental education courses. Each school district should be required to cover the cost of each of their high school graduate once the current funding for developmental education is reallocated to school districts for all day Pre-K and to help them with K-3rd grade math and reading improvement.

Our goal should be to eliminate the need for developmental education for any Texas high school graduate in the next five to ten years.

Pre-K funding would have to be distributed by a voucher in school districts that don’t have the capacity for more students or interest in starting a Pre-K program.

Statewide all day Pre-K will require strengthening standards for Pre-K providers and teachers to maximize the educational benefit of this effort. Invert Education Funding

To keep the Texas economy growing, reduce our state’s prison population and help make sure that future generations of Texans have enough personal wealth for their retirement years, we must make sure that more Hispanic, African American and low income Texans-regardless of race-graduate from High School, in the coming decades, college and career ready.

To do that, we must fundamentally transform our state’s education funding system by inverting it.

Instead of the current system of investing hundreds of millions of dollars in remedial developmental education at the higher education level, those funds along with the High School Allotment should be invested in statewide all day Pre-K early childhood education and ensuring that all Texas children are reading and doing math at grade level by third grade.

Based on existing education and brain science research, spending/investing in early childhood education offers the best long term cost benefit and return on investment (ROI) in terms of academic achievement and student success.

demically and graduating on time.

Community Colleges should work with the School Districts in their community to convert all High Schools in Texas into Early College High Schools. Higher Education research indicates that Dual Credit courses help better prepare African American and Hispanic students for college level academic work.

It’s time to move beyond the old debates, in education, to begin a transformation of the Texas education system that acknowledges and addresses the demographic changes in our student population and the ongoing transformation of our State’s economy as well as that of our nation and the world.

To lead the world, our State and Nation need a new education system built for the “new” and coming “sharing” and cognitive economies. Texas must help lead our Nation into this new reality to maintain our economic and competitive advantage. # # #

*Robinson and Adams are professors at Texas Southern University’s Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs in Houston, Texas.

Instead of waiting until High School and college to spend extra funding on remedial education and specializations such as languages, those funds would have a greater impact in the earlier years of our education system when children’s brains are at the most formative and important stages of development.

In addition to shifting funding to early childhood education and the earlier years of our education system, the State also needs to ensure that we utilize on-line education to strengthen and expand the State’s prison education system. Research has documented the fact that the more educated a person is when they are released from prison, the less likely they are to re-offend. This is not a call for more funding but rather a call to more efficiently and innovatively utilize the funding already being spent in this area.

If we can reduce the state’s prison population and recidivism rate, that would free up hundreds of millions of dollars annually to reinvest in the State’s education system from early childhood education to college affordability.

In addition to those efforts, we need to move our State’s education system from a farm to factory model to a smart and sharing economy education system. This is a transformation that is bigger than, and goes beyond, the current debates on “teaching to the test”, vouchers and Charter Schools as the answers for school “choice”, and H.B.5 (2015 Texas Legislature Regular Session) as the reform for reducing our state’s High School dropout rate and the solution for increasing college and career readiness.

Hon. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq.

Community colleges across our state must take on a greater leadership role in this transformation of education in our State.

Community colleges in Texas should pre-admit every elementary school student in their service area and offer them a college scholarship if they graduate from High School on time and with a 2.75 or better Grade Point Average (GPA). The higher a student’s High School GPA, the more successful they will be in college. Pre-admission could serve as an incentive to encourage more students to stay in school, focus on achieving aca-

Dr. Michael O. Adams*




Texas Democrats and Progressives Need to Embrace Property Tax Reform Carroll G. Robinson, Esq.*

For years, Democrats and progressives have rallied in support for investments in education, improvements in healthcare, and protection of the environment. They have been tireless champions of civil rights and voting rights. Unfortunately, what they haven’t talked about enough—is the increasingly high rate of property taxes surging in Texas.


Democrats need to talk about tax reform

Property taxes in Texas are some of the highest in the country. Because of our antiquated tax system and exploding appraisal rates, middle and working class Texans bare the overwhelming burden of taxation. While

commercial property owners have successfully used the system to keep their taxes low by fighting appraisal values—homeowners have suffered.

Residential tax payers are supposed to be protected by a tax cap,—which is set to 10% per year. But because of near automatic value increases—it’s turned into a backdoor tax increase that is a financial burden on working and middle class Texas homeowners.

These annual increases in property valuation mean annual local property tax bills are increasing at a rate higher (and faster) than the annual rate of inflation and far exceed the av-

erage annual salary increases of working and middle class Texans.

Some people forget that when property valuations increase, homeowners’ property insurance bills increase along with their property tax bill— contributing to the rising cost of home ownership. The purchase price of a home is not the only factor in keeping housing affordable. Consideration must also be given to the long term ability (sustainability) of homeowners to afford annual property tax and homeowners’ insurance payments.

Before the Great Recession, one of the major causes for the loss of homes and the existence of abandoned buildings in inner city neighborhoods was delinquent property taxes; so-called upside down properties where the taxes and fees owed exceeded the value of the property, resulting in evictions. We literally taxed people out of their homes.

Those abandoned homes became sites for crime and violence, while reducing the values of neighboring properties and further destroying inner cities.

While Republicans have talked about property tax reduction— they have not yet done enough to really help fix the problem. GOP state leaders have increasingly shifted the burden of services and taxation downward. While the city has a revenue cap on property taxes—the county doesn’t and those taxes have skyrocketed. Insufficient action by Republicans in Austin and Harris County Government has kept our property taxes far too high.

To solve this problem we need to embrace fiscally sound and progressive solutions.

One of the best ways is to expand the homestead exemption. The legislature should give local governments the authority to expand the property tax exemption for the first $150,000 of residential taxable property. The net effect of this would be a significant tax cut to middle and working class homeowners as well as a cut for all homeowners.

Similarly, a reduction of the 10% tax cap to 5% would reduce the rate of “automatic” increases in appraisal values. Local governments could still raise more revenues but they would need to actually raise the rate rather than simply take advantage of a stealth tax.

Finally, we need fundamental reforms to the appraisal system. There is no debate that large corporate entities have successfully challenged appraisal values reducing their property values and shifting tax burdens to homeowners. Appraisal districts are ill-equipped to fight the well-healed corporate lawyers these firms employ. The Texas Attorney General’s office should be empowered to intervene in any case involving a corporate entity in opposition to their request to lower their appraisal value. We need to level the playing field to protect homeowners.

Middle class Texans need leaders that will advocate for them—not just the special interests. Texas Democrats have to lead the way in fighting for a lower and fairer tax system. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*Carroll G. Robinson, Esq. is a former At-Large Houston City Council Member and Houston Community College Trustee. Carroll has served on the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities, is a past president of the Texas Association of Black City Council Members and is also a former General Counsel of the Texas Democratic Party.

Hon. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq.

“With your input, together, we can make Houston work for “ALL” of Us!” Council Member Mike Knox

City Hall Annex

Mike Knox (center), R.W. Bray, and Freddie Oliver discuss employment and contract opportunities for minority businesses in Houston.

900 Bagby, First Floor Houston, TX 77002 Phone: 832.393.3014 FAX: 832.395.9472 E-Mail:

“Mike Knox Is Our Voice at Houston City Hall.” POL. AD PAID FOR BY MIKE KNOX CAMPAIGN

Meet Mike Knox

Mike Knox is a native Houstonian. He married his high school sweetheart in 1977 and they have raised one son; who now serves the city as a Houston Police Officer. Mike Knox obtained an Associate of Arts degree from the Houston Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston – Downtown while working as a


Houston Police Officer. Mike has a long history of honorable public service. Mike Knox is a veteran who served in the United States Air Force and served over 15 years as a Houston Police Officer. Mike was one of two officers responsible for the creation of the Houston Police Department’s first divisional gang unit in 1988 and helped create and served on the original board of directors for the Texas Gang Investigators Association. Mike authored a book entitled Gangsta in the House; Understanding Gang Culture, which was published in 1995. This book added to the knowledge base on gang culture and was recognized in 2001 by the National Gang Research Center who awarded it the prestigious “Thrasher” award. Mike served his fellow officers as a Board Member of the Houston Police Patrolmen’s Union and chaired the HPPU Political Action Committee. In addition, he served as editor of the “Sentinel” (HPPU) monthly newsletter. Shortly after publishing his book in 1995, Mike began a consulting business

focused on helping law enforcement, schools districts, and communities understand and deal with street gangs and violent youthful offenders. Mike Knox has served his community as a board member of the Spring Branch Education Foundation and was among the original funders of the Spring Branch ISD “Fund for the Future” endowment. He contributed to the creation of the Spring Branch Good Neighbor program. Mike was recruited in 2007 to help the Spring Branch Management District develop the Public Safety component of its service plan and worked as their Director of Community Service for three years. For the past seven years Mike Knox has served as the President of the Yupon Estates Homeowners Association. Mike has a deep interest and investment in Houston and believes Houston City Council deserves a dedicated servant. ---------------------------------------------------------


Council Member Mike Knox attending the installation of the memorial wall honoring the sacrifice of officers killed in the line of duty while assigned to the HPD Westside Command Station.

“Our Voice at Houston City Hall.�

Judge Kelli Johnson is the presiding judge for the 178th Criminal District Court in Harris County.

State Senator Borris Miles represents Senate District 13 in the Texas Legislature.

State Rep. Valoree Swanson, Gov. Greg Abbott and Erin Swanson. State Rep. Swanson currently represents House District 150 in the Texas Legislature.

Judge Michael Gomez is the presiding judge for the 129th Civil District Court in Harris County.

Judge Elaine H. Palmer is the presiding judge for the 215th Civil District Court in Harris County.

State Rep. Briscoe Cain currently represents House District 128 in the Texas Legislature.

Judge Kyle Carter is the presiding judge for the 125th Civil District Court in Harris County.

Dr. Kendall Baker is a local pastor, entrepreneur, and community leader. Dr. Baker is pictured above with his wife Esther Iyoha Baker and thier daughter.

MegaFest will be taking place in Dallas, Texas June 28 - July 1, 2017


Publisher of Houston Business Connections Magazine

Judge Michael Engelhart is the presiding judge for the 151st Civil District Court in Harris County.

Constable May Walker is currently serving the people of Harris County as the Precinct 7 Harris County Constable.



State Rep. Shawn Thierry currently represents House District 146 in the Texas Legislature. She’s pictured above with her Daughter Klaire Bijou.

Commissioner Rodney Ellis is currently serving the people of Harris County as the Precinct 1 Harris County Commissioner.

Judge Ramona Franklin is the presiding judge for the 338th Criminal District Court in Harris County.

Judge Larry Weiman is the presiding judge for the 80th Civil District Court in Harris County.

The Russians are Coming to Houston in September 2017

“Congratulation to Carmen Cuneo for being selected to serve Rotary International 5890 as a District Governor in the Rotary Year 2018-2019” -- AUBREY R. TAYLOR

While our politicians are challenged to reach across the aisle, there is a group of people who do not even see the aisle; they see a much larger picture of the world. The Rotary Club of the University Area-Houston, is hosting an “Open World” team in Houston in September of 2017. “Open World” is a program sponsored by the Department of State to reach out to young professionals in Russia and the former Soviet Union states to introduce rising leaders of emerging countries to the importance of legislative functions in creating and sustaining democracies. The Rotary Club of the University Area will partner with the Rotary Club of Ivanovo, Russia, to bring a team of young professionals to Houston to study “Best Practices in Media”. The team will explore television, radio, print, and online media. They will also meet with elected officials to learn how they use media for imaging and branding, transparency issues, and crisis and emergency management. Carmen Evelyn Cuneo is a member of the Rotary Club of the University Area and has been selected to serve Rotary International District 5890 as District Governor in the Rotary year 2018-2019. She is also the treasure of the Russia - United States Intercountry Committee of Rotary International and a member of the Rotarian Action Group for Peace.


More Community Based Organizations and Black Owned Businesses Should Join Forces With This Nonpartisan Coalition to Get Out The Vote




Sometimes the best thing to do is to just put partisan politics to the side and work together for a common cause. Such was the case back in THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION in Harris County when a collection of business, civic and community leaders joined together to simply urge Harris County voters to get out and vote.”I got into the effort late in the game says Aubrey R. Taylor, publisher of Houston Business Connections Magazine. “But better late than never right?”

“The idea behind what this fine collection of leaders was doing to urge Harris County voters to get to the polls was first pitched to me by (my longtime friend) Brother Chris X”, Taylor explained. “Shortly thereafter I was contacted by Ms. Sarita Scarbrough and the Honorable Jew Don Boney, and I was all in.” THE 2016 NON-PARTISAN COALITION

The grassroots coalition of community organizations, black owned business and community leaders who took part in the 2016 Get-Out-The-Vote-Effort included: The Hon. Jew Don Boney, former Mayor Pro-Tem and City Councilmember, Ms. Sarita Scarbrough, Strategy Creative Group, BSR Consulting, Charity Productions, SHAPE Community Center, Black Lives Matter, Leaders of the New School, The Houston Justice Coalition, African American News & Issues, Aubrey Taylor publisher of the Houston Business Connections Magazine, the Houston Forward Times, United Urban Alliance, Min. Robert Muhammad, Bro. Chris X, Quanell X,





Anthony Collier, Gary Monroe, Jerry Ford, Jr., Durrel Douglas, Travis McGee, Ms. Gladys House, The National Action Network, Charles X. White and The Peoples Political Action Committee.


“The African-American community in Houston continues to be plagued by significant disparities and a highly marginalized quality of life. Among other things, many of the schools serving our community are still failing, black unemployment is still much higher than the national rate, prisons are overflowing with black inmates, families are overwhelmed, neighborhoods are stagnant or gentrifying, and civic inBONEY volvement appears to be eroding while many elected officials seem inadequate, unwilling or unable to effectively provide the leadership we need,” said the Hon. Jew Don Boney and Ms. Sarita Scarbrough.


The importance of voting cannot be overstated. It is the primary tool through which citizens inform their leaders about their needs, interests, and preferences. Unfortunately, fewer Americans and Hous-



tonians are exercising their power to choose, vote, elect, and be heard. That results in fewer of their needs being addressed by those elected to serve. Citizens become frustrated, feel powerless, and decide to not participate in the election process when they are ignored. On the contrary, those who do vote are more likely to have their concerns addressed, while the voices of non-voters remain unheard. This sequence will continue repeat itself until the voting pattern changes. Then the voters will feel empowered.



TUES., FEB. 20TH - FRI. MAR. 2, 2018



We know that the problems are systemic and the result of failed public policies and political systems. By working together in a non-partisan way in 2018 we can ensure that our community is represented no matter who wins or loses on election day. We invite your participation and involvement in this effort. Your active support and participation are especially needed. Please join us as we work to create a future together for the good of us all. --------------------------------------------------------In the next edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine, we will share how you can get involved in this effort.



THE RIGHT AND WRONG WAYS TO FILM THE POLICE rights. While police wear body armor to protect themselves from the public, the public needs to be able to protect themselves from police.


As a citizen of the United States, you have a constitutional right to take photographs and record video of anything that is plainly visible from a public space. This includes federal buildings, transportation buildings, and, perhaps most importantly, police and government officials.

Unfortunately, too many law enforcement officers wish this weren’t the case and try to stop people from recording them in public spaces. Sometimes officers go so far as harassing, detaining, or even arresting people using their cameras or phones to record them in public. At Thiessen Law Firm, we believe firmly that it is important for individuals to know their


During a traffic stop, your rights are intact so long as you are still in an outdoor, public space. In fact, it is in your best interest and benefit to record your interaction with the officer. Documenting the actions of law enforcement helps both you and your lawyer by providing you with a completely objective record of the stop. Taking video of your interaction preserves the truth and holds the police accountable for their actions.


How police react to being recorded usually depends on the individuals involved and how common it is in the area. The more common it is, the more likely their reaction will be neutral or positive. Many officers try to order people to stop recording or put their devices away. Stay cool and calm. This helps to defuse the situation rather than aggravate it, which decreases the chances of your stop going off the rails.

If an officer confronts you for recording their interaction with another person, you can simply respond with open-ended questions, such as, “What am I suspected of?” or “Am I being detained, or am I free to continue documenting?” Doing so is a great tool for disarming an officer. In particular, “Am I being detained?” gives the officer a choice between knowingly violating your rights or not interfering with your right to record.


If you’re stopped or wish to record public police activity to preserve the facts, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind: On private property, the owner determines your right to record. If you disobey, they can order you off the property or have you arrested for trespassing.

Police do not have the right to prevent you from recording in public. On top of that, they definitely do not have the right to seize your device or delete images or video.

Know your device. Be familiar with its functions and how to access them quickly. Stay calm and polite. Never resist an officer physically. You do not want a charge for “assault” or “resisting arrest.”

The key takeaways here are that you have the right to film the police in a public space, and they do not have the right to stop you or delete your documentation. If you find yourself facing criminal charges, you don’t want to get lost in the legal system. Mark Thiessen and his team at Thiessen Law Firm are among the most aggressive criminal attorneys in Houston. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights. Whether you’re facing charges of DWI, possession, theft, or any other criminal charge, contact us today for a free consultation.


Mark Thiessen was born and raised in Houston, Texas. His mother is still a prac-

ticing dentist in Houston and his father a local radiologist. Mr. Thiessen attended the Village School and St. Francis Episcopal Middle School before graduating from the Kinkaid School in 1996. While at the Kinkaid School, Mr. Thiessen won state in advanced acting and was captain of the tennis team. Mr. Thiessen then attended and graduated from Texas Christian University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Marketing. While at TCU, Mr. Thiessen was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and on the dean’s list. He then came back home to Houston and continued his education at South Texas College of Law(STCL) in Houston. While attending STCL, Mr. Thiessen was active in mock trial, various law societies and intramural football. He also studied International Criminal Law at the University of Malta during the Summer of 2001. Additionally, Mr. Thiessen studied abroad at the BPP Law School in London, England and at the University of Hawaii. Studying in these unique legal environments required Mr. Thiessen to adapt to various social, cultural, ethnic and economic groups, which is evident in his personality today. After graduating from law school, Mr. Thiessen practiced civil law for three years in cases ranging from admiralty and maritime issues at Bell, Ryniker & Letourneau to toxic tort and personal injury claims at Brown Sims, P.C. He still main-

tains many close connections in the civil world. In January 2006, though, he followed his true calling to the criminal court room and became a skilled trial lawyer. Trichter & Murphy, P.C., hired Mr. Thiessen as an associate in January 2006, where he worked for over five years. There, he studied under one of the foremost legal authorities in Texas. Although his practice includes all areas of criminal defense, Mr. Thiessen maintains an emphasis on DWI and drugs or controlled substances. The trial of a DWI case dictates that on any given date, a trial lawyer must be not only well-versed in Rules of Evidence, case law pertaining to DWIs and constitutional law, but also numerous areas of science such as anatomy, physiology, toxicology, chemistry, computer science, biology and physics. A DWI case is the most difficult legal case to try because of the quality of adverse political sentiments against alleged drunk drivers such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), much of the offense being videotaped and field sobriety tests that have become scientifically standardized. Also, many DWIs become more difficult when they are coupled with accidents that require accident reconstruction knowledge; injuries that occurred in accidents that require a working knowledge of anatomy, physiology and medicine; and chemical testing that requires breath, blood and urine. Clearly, for the skilled DWI trial lawyer, the defense of a citizen accused of

DWI is intensely complex and requires a great deal of legal and scientific preparation. DWI defendants are unique in the criminal justice system and no greater opportunity exists for an innocent person to be convicted than with a DWI charge. Mr. Thiessen prides himself in being an aggressive trial lawyer. If the district attorney will not bargain or justice will not be served by allowing the client to plead guilty, Mr. Thiessen will aggressively, passionately and professionally represent you in trial. He has a strong reputation as a trial lawyer and works hard to maintain that status. Mr. Thiessen is also the youngest criminal Super Lawyer in Texas for 2013. Fearlessness in the courtroom is a byproduct of Mr. Thiessen’s normal routine. Outside the courtroom, he is an avid competitor in Brazilian jiu jitsu and muay thai. He is a member of BRAZIL-021 School of Jiu Jitsu and has won medals at the Atama Open, Abu Dabai Combat Club, Fight to Win, IBJJF Houston International Open and the Grappler’s Quest Tournament. He is also a member of Team Hoger Muay Thai and is a 2010 Warrior Dash finisher. Mr. Thiessen is also 2012 Color Runfinisher and two time 2013 Tough Mudder finisher. --------------------------------------------------------

If you have a case and want an attorney who does not back down, then you must call Mr. Thiessen at 713-864-9000.

The Marketplace

CALL 832.212.8735 TO ADVERTISE HERE! 3401 Corder Street, Houston, Texas 77021 Telephone:713.748.6024

DeAndre Sam, President/CEO, is the second generation owner of A-Rocket with over 25 years of moving business experience. -----------------------------------------Email:


F E AT U R E D H O U S T O N - A R E A E N T R E P R E N E U R


01 Edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine  

PEOPLE ON THE COVER: Judge Maria T. Jackson of the 339th Criminal District Court in Harris County; Attorney Mark Thiessen, David Mattax, Fir...

01 Edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine  

PEOPLE ON THE COVER: Judge Maria T. Jackson of the 339th Criminal District Court in Harris County; Attorney Mark Thiessen, David Mattax, Fir...