“Convicted last year of intoxication manslaughter for the death of her boyfriend, the 21-year-old daughter of a state district judge is suing the truck driver she ran into during a drunken driving crash. …[Elizabeth] Shelton had a blood alcohol concentration more than three times the legal limit, two tests showed.” (Brian Rogers, Houston Chronicle, Dec. 18). Feral Child has been digging up all sorts of interesting stuff about the lawyer representing Elizabeth Shelton, too — his name is Mark Sandoval — and his past dealings with her father, Harris County Judge Pat Shelton. He wonders whether it has something to do with standards being lower in Texas, although, unfortunately, we can think of this sort of thing going on in many other states too. And then Mark Bennett of Defending People jumps in and does even more research about Sandoval’s disciplinary record. And does he ever find stuff.
The Houston Chronicle deserves credit for breaking the original story, but as you may have noticed it took only hours for two skillful bloggers, SSFC and Bennett, to push it much farther. The blogosphere is proving itself extremely powerful in shedding a quick and bright light on some of the darker corners of the legal system.