Harris County, TX: Indigent Defense

In Houston, Texas, people languish in jail every day because the attorneys appointed by local judges to represent them do not fight for them. The attorneys often carry far more cases than they could competently handle. And the people they represent are often trapped: unable to speak for themselves, and with no one to speak on their behalf.      

Drew Willey, our client, set out to help people who were represented by the attorneys in Houston who were appointed to the most cases and, therefore, were the most likely to be without a voice in the criminal legal system. 

Drew's very first attempts to help people were frustrated by threats of criminal prosecution under Texas's barratry statute, which forbids attorneys from communicating in certain circumstances with people who already have attorneys. Because that statute is unconstitutional as applied to Drew and his work, we are representing him in a federal-court challenge seeking an order that he be permitted to do his vital work without further threats.