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Blog Home Blog Senior U.S. Judge to decide whether Whitaker's appointment was invalid Senior U.S. Judge to decide whether Whitaker's appointment was invalid Senior U.S. District Court Judge David Ezra presided over a hearing yesterday in which Flanary Law Firm challenged President Trump's appointment of Matthew G. Whitaker as Acting Attorney General. On behalf of our client, Luis Valencia, Flanary Law Firm argued that the United States Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice do not have authority to continue in their prosecution of the case because the Acting Attorney General—the highest figure in the Department of Justice—was invalidly appointed. Our Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Authority to Prosecute was filed on November 12 and soon multiple parties followed suit, including Maryland's Attorney General (recently supported by an amicus brief from 15 other attorneys general), multiple federal defendants, and a trio ...
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Blog Home Blog Flanary Law Firm defends client by challenging Trump's choice for Acting Attorney General Flanary Law Firm defends client by challenging Trump's choice for Acting Attorney General Flanary Law Firm, PLLC, filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Authority to Prosecute in Federal court on Monday, November 12, in two federal criminal cases to challenge Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General. In the first challenge of its kind, Attorney Donald H. Flanary, III., asked Federal courts to weigh in on whether President Trump can bypass vital checks and balances—the advice and consent of the Senate—in naming one of the most consequential positions in his administration. If Trump can appoint Whitaker, he can violate the text and spirit of the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Attorney General-specific Succession Act, 28 U.S.C. 508(a). Our motion was quickly ...
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Blog Home Blog Donald Flanary to Teach at TCDLA's Annual Tim Evans Trial College Donald Flanary to Teach at TCDLA's Annual Tim Evans Trial College Donald H. Flanary, III., of Flanary Law Firm, PLLC, will be teaching on Monday, March 26th, at the 42nd Annual Tim Evans Texas Criminal Trial College, hosted by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association (TCDLA). The College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, serves as the venue for this prestigious week-long program. Eighty young lawyers are selected to participate from across Texas. They receive a "case file" before the program in order for them to study and prepare for the week ahead. Throughout the program, students watch demonstrations and then participate in various exercises--based on the case file--that prepare them for each step of defending a case at trial. The college is overseen ...
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Blog Home Blog Playpen Child Pornography Cases Present New Legal Challenges Playpen Child Pornography Cases Present New Legal Challenges An FBI sting of the prolific child pornography website Playpen, hosted on the “dark web” service Tor, has resulted in fascinating legal questions that, unfortunately, have mostly been decided in favor of the government. These legal decisions will help shape the future of AlphaBay court cases and possibly the DreamHost subpoena request—two recent, bold moves by the Department of Justice to tackle suspected crimes online. The legal questions will not be confined to child pornography, but instead will shape how federal law enforcement agencies tackle online crime, particularly where a suspect conceals their physical location through technological means. In February of 2015, FBI agents arrested a man believed to be the host of Playpen and seized the server hosting the site. They ...
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Blog Home Blog Don Flanary Presenting at TCDLA 30th Annual Rusty Duncan Seminar Don Flanary Presenting at TCDLA 30th Annual Rusty Duncan Seminar Attorney Don Flanary will be presenting an educational course entitled "Warrantless Data Searches" at the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association's 30th Annual Rusty Duncan seminar on Friday, June 23rd at 2:15pm. TCDLA holds the annual seminar in San Antonio as an educational event for criminal defense lawyers. This year's event will be held on June 21-24 at the Hyatt Regency located at: 123 Losoya St. San Antonio, TX 78205. More information can be found on the TCDLA website's event page and on the TCDLA's 30th Annual Rusty Duncan seminar brochure and course agenda. Don Flanary's presentation on "Warrantless Data Searches" will take place on Friday, June 23rd at 2:15pm in the Ballroom - Track 3 for Cyber Crimes and Digital ...
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Blog Home Blog State Legislature Considering Additional Teacher-Student Relationship Measures State Legislature Considering Additional Teacher-Student Relationship Measures The San Antonio Express-News called on the Texas Legislature in a March 24 editorial to address the number of reported cases of improper relationships between educators and students that “is growing at an alarming rate.” The editorial stated that in “many districts, teachers who engage in improper relationship with students are allowed to keep their teaching certificates, and fewer than half face criminal charges.” The Express-News cited an Austin American-Statesman investigation that found only 308 of the 686 teachers who lost their teaching licenses following allegations of an impropriety with a student in cases reported to Texas Education Agency (TEA) between January 2010 and December 2016 were charged with a crime. “In an effort to avoid lengthy and expensive lawsuits, school districts often allow ...
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Blog Home Blog Flanary Law Firm Providing Pro Bono Help to Grandpa Fighting Marijuana Charges Flanary Law Firm Providing Pro Bono Help to Grandpa Fighting Marijuana Charges We heard Phillip Blanton’s story and knew the Flanary Law Firm needed to help him. Texans consider ourselves freedom-loving people, but in one major respect, Californians have us beat. Phillip Blanton saw the ugly side of Texas on his trip to visit his now 21-year-old granddaughter in the midst of her battle with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the Houston Methodist Hospital Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Mr. Blanton is a 67-year-old medical marijuana user and Californian who thought marijuana might help his granddaughter, too. On his drive from Newman, California, he was stopped by Texas state troopers in Wise County, north of Dallas. Police, suspicious of anyone driving through Small Town, Texas ...
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Blog Home Blog The Flanary Law Firm Challenges the Constitutionality of Federal Marijuana Enforcement The Flanary Law Firm Challenges the Constitutionality of Federal Marijuana Enforcement Does the federal government have the right to arrest someone in Texas for behavior they condone in Colorado? Do states, and their residents, deserve equal treatment by the federal government—at least treatment that bears some rational relation to the facts on the ground? The cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana is legal in eight states and the District of Columbia under state law, but illegal under federal law. The federal government is not prosecuting the vast majority of marijuana growers in those states, but is in Texas. Why? Our client, Michael Myers, allegedly grew marijuana in a residence in San Antonio. Under the laws of Texas, Myers is undoubtedly in hot water. Under the laws ...
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Blog Home Blog Nico LaHood Could be Saving Bexar County More Than $9 Million a Year Nico LaHood Could be Saving Bexar County More Than $9 Million a Year Changes are in store for Harris County since Democrat Kim Ogg beat incumbent Republican Devon Anderson for the position of District Attorney in the November election. Not only has the new DA implemented a personnel turnover among the ranks of prosecuting attorneys, but she’s also held true to a campaign promise to no longer arrest people caught with zero to four ounces of marijuana. Ogg announced the new program on February 16, 2017, which served to expand the already existent "First Chance" Program implemented by Anderson, allowing first-time offenders found in possession of zero to two ounces of marijuana to sign a form and complete community service hours rather than face arrest, ...
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Blog Home Blog Flanary Law Firm Walks in San Antonio’s Annual MLK March Flanary Law Firm Walks in San Antonio’s Annual MLK March The Flanary Law Firm participated in San Antonio’s 30th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March on January 16, 2017.  San Antonio does not host a traditional parade like many other cities, but rather about 300,000 people in the community meet up and walk 2.75 miles down Martin Luther King Drive, ending with a giant celebration. The Flanary Law Firm draws inspiration from Martin Luther King, Jr. as a champion of non-violent civil disobedience in the efforts to change unjust laws. After all, he was arrested 29 times. King also suffered under heavy FBI and NSA surveillance for years, as revealed by the Church Committee in 1975. The FBI, under the direction of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, tapped King’s ...
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Blog Home Blog Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Rules Improper Photography Law Unconstitutional Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Rules Improper Photography Law Unconstitutional A Vice News article reported that a Texas state law which banned “improper photography or visual recording,” with the “intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person” was deemed an unconstitutional violation of First Amendment rights. This ruling comes as a result of a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals case involving Ronald Thompson, represented by attorney Don Flanary. Thompson was accused of snapping pictures of small children in their swimsuits underwater, without parental permission, at a San Antonio water park. He was charged with 26 counts of “improper photography.” The San Antonio-based 4th Court of Appeals previously struck down his conviction and the ruling by the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the decision. Read ...
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Blog Home Blog Recent NPR Article Discusses Pending Free Speech Decision and Justin Carter Case Recent NPR Article Discusses Pending Free Speech Decision and Justin Carter Case NPR’s All Tech Considered blog discusses the upcoming Supreme Court decision on Monday that may change the playing field for free speech online. At issue: “When is a seemingly threatening online message a crime?” The answer to this question next week will impact Justin Carter, a Texas gamer indicted for making “terroristic threats” in an online video game, shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013. Justin Carter is represented pro-bono by Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley’s own attorney Don Flanary. View the full NPR article from December 1st. 1005 S Alamo St San Antonio, TX 78210 219 E Del Mar Suite 2 Laredo, TX 78041 PHONE: (210) 738-8383 FAX: (210) 738-9426 ...
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Blog Home Blog Upcoming Supreme Court Decision May Impact Justin Carter Case Upcoming Supreme Court Decision May Impact Justin Carter Case A new San Antonio Express-News article discusses upcoming oral arguments in Anthony Ellis’ appeal. Ellis was jailed for four years after being convicted for posting a threat to kill his ex-wife on Facebook. The upcoming decision will have wide-reaching implications on other online free speech cases, including that of Justin Carter, a teen indicted for posting “terroristic threats” on an online video game. Read the November 30th article online. 1005 S Alamo St San Antonio, TX 78210 219 E Del Mar Suite 2 Laredo, TX 78041 PHONE: (210) 738-8383 FAX: (210) 738-9426 ...
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Blog Home Blog Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Case Involving Free Speech Online Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Case Involving Free Speech Online In a recent USA Today article published on December 1st, Supreme Court correspondent Richard Wolf weighs in on a pending decision regarding free speech and threats made online. Attorney Don Flanary represents 19-year old Justin Carter, who was jailed last year for comments and alleged threats made in an online video game. The young adult’s words led to his arrest and indictment on third degree felony charges for making a “terroristic threat”. Learn more about the implications of free speech online. 1005 S Alamo St San Antonio, TX 78210 219 E Del Mar Suite 2 Laredo, TX 78041 PHONE: (210) 738-8383 FAX: (210) 738-9426 ...
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Blog Home Blog Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Throws Out Improper Photography Law Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Throws Out Improper Photography Law Ronald Thompson was arrested in September of 2011 for “improper photography.” He was later indicted on 26 counts of improper photography for allegedly taking pictures of children at SeaWorld San Antonio. Don Flanary, a known First Amendment warrior and experienced trial attorney, brought the case to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In an 8 to 1 Decision on September 17, 2014, the  Court struck down a portion of the improper photography law, ruling that portions were unconstitutional and a violation of free speech. View the original Texas Court of Criminal Appeals opinion. 1005 S Alamo St San Antonio, TX 78210 219 E Del Mar Suite 2 Laredo, TX 78041 PHONE: (210) 738-8383 FAX: (210) 738-9426 ...
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Blog Home Blog Ex-cleric Gets Probation in Bribery Case Ex-cleric Gets Probation in Bribery Case Attorney Don Flanary of Goldstein, Goldstein & Hilley appeared alongside his client, Anthony M. “Tony” Mayhan on Friday, August 8th in Federal Court. Mayhan received five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service (U.S. v. Anthony Mayhan; Cause No. 5:12-CR-1084-FB). In October, Mayhan pleaded guilty to a bribery charge while working for the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). Mayhan was the compliance officer for SAISD from 2002 to 2011, and allegedly funneled contracts to family members and others. His actions were deemed more of a conflict of interest than theft as Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom McHugh told the judge. McHugh further noted that the SAISD did not lose money as the contracts were still executed. Tony Mayhan is a former Vietnam vet and priest. In ...
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Blog Home Blog Attorney Don Flanary Secures Acquittal in Intoxication Manslaughter Case Attorney Don Flanary Secures Acquittal in Intoxication Manslaughter Case As reported by San Antonio Express-News, Attorney Don Flanary secured an acquittal on Friday, May 30, 2014, in the case of: State of Texas v. Eugene Malloy (Cause No. 2009-CR-4541) in the 379th Judicial District Court of Bexar County Texas. Jurors acquitted Eugene Malloy of intoxication manslaughter in the death of a 10-year-old boy more than five years ago. The not-guilty verdict was reached after the jury deliberated less than three hours. Defense attorneys Donald Flanary and Casie Gotro questioned the legitimacy of the blood test, arguing Malloy only had two mixed drinks at a bar earlier that night. Prosecutors argued Malloy had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 -- nearly twice the legal limit -- when his SUV sideswiped a van on Dec. 17, 2008, ...
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Blog Home Blog Don Flanary's Teenage Client Faces Decade in Prison for Social Media Comment Don Flanary's Teenage Client Faces Decade in Prison for Social Media Comment As reported by The Washington Post on February 13th, 2014, Attorney Don Flanary's teenage client faces a decade in prison for comments he made on Facebook, suggesting he would shoot children at an unnamed elementary school. Justin Carter, of New Braunsfel, was arrested one year ago, jailed and charged with a terroristic threat after the Austin Police Department received an anonymous tip from a person living in Canada who viewed the comments online. Comal County prosecutor Laura Bates and Comal County District Attorney Jennifer Tharp are pushing the charge, according to the opinion blog. However, the state does not have the entire comment thread to provide context. Learn more about in the article ...
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Blog Home Blog Attorney Donald Flanary Said Arresting Teenage Client for Facebook Threat "Bonkers" Attorney Donald Flanary Said Arresting Teenage Client for Facebook Threat "Bonkers As reported by the Houston Press on February 12th, 2014, attorney Donald Flanary said charging his teenage client with a third-degree terroristic threat for a Facebook comment is absurd considering the prosecution does not have the conversation thread.Justin Carter, of New Braunfels, posted a comment saying he would shoot up an elementary school, and another saying he would eat the children's beating hearts. Flanary said the police do not have the conversation because Facebook has not supplied it. Flanary said it is important that if someone is criminally charged on the basis of his or her words, a jury needs to see all the words. In Carter's case that includes whatever comment precipitated the hyperbolic ...
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Blog Home Blog Attorney Donald Flanary Selected as Candidate for San Antonio City Council Attorney Donald Flanary Selected as Candidate for San Antonio City Council Donald Flanary is one of three candidates selected to potentially fill the vacant Northeast Side District 10 seat on the San Antonio City Council, as reported by the San Antonio Express-News. The three candidates to fill the seat vacated by Carlton Soules were chosen from a pool of seven. The council will make an official appointment Thursday, and the appointee will serve until a May 10 special election. Flanary and the other two candidates, Michael Gallagher, 67, and Kathy Scheidel, 58, said if they are chosen to be the interim council member, they would run for the seat in May. Learn more in a January 29th, 2014, article from the San Antonio Express-News. 1005 S ...
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Blog Home Blog Attorney Donald Flanary Will Seek to Dismiss Case Against Texas Teen for Facebook Comments Attorney Donald Flanary Will Seek to Dismiss Case Against Texas Teen for Facebook Comments As reported by MSNBC, Attorney Donald Flanary said he will seek to have the case dismissed against his teenage client who posted what have been called "terroristic threats" on Facebook. At the pre-trial hearing Aug. 12, Flanary said the case should be dismissed because Justin Carter's remarks on the internet were protected speech and do not constitute a real threat. Justin Carter, of New Braunfels, posted a comment saying he would shoot up an elementary school, and another saying he would eat the children's beating hearts. Flanary insisted the remarks were a sarcastic response to another Facebook user, but a Texas grand jury indicted the teenager on terrorism charges ...
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Blog Home Blog Texas Teen Jailed for Facebook Comments Out on Bail Texas Teen Jailed for Facebook Comments Out on Bail A New Braunfels teenager accused of making threats on Facebook is out of jail after an anonymous donor paid his $500,000 bail, as reported by CNN. Justin Carter's attorney Donald Flanary said he thinks the bail was too costly and unreasonable. Flanary said his client had to stay in jail because he could not afford to post bail and he could not afford a lawyer. Flanary recently took the case pro bono, saying he has never seen someone be treated so unfairly. Carter allegedly posted comments about shooting students at an unnamed elementary school. The teenager was arrested and charged with a terroristic threat after the Austin Police Department received an anonymous tip about the comments. Read the original article ...
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