Thursday, May 23, 2024 May 23, 2024
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Judging the Judges

When I saw the cover of your August issue, dealing with the good, the bad, and the dangerous among Dallas’ judges, I felt sure I’d find Robert Cole mentioned in the last category. You didn’t disappoint me.

I can verify from personal experience just how dangerous Cole is: I’m the motorist you referred to whose harassment by Cole resulted in his censure by the State Commission of Judicial Conduct. That harassment took the form of four traffic-related charges filed against me in J.P. court. At my trial Cole lied under oath on at least four significant points of the case. Fortunately, I was able to refute his testimony with facts which the jury accepted in finding me “not guilty” on three of the charges. The fourth was later dismissed on appeal, so I was not seriously harmed by the ordeal – except, of course, for the thrill of paying nearly a thousand dollars in attorney’s fees for the privilege of defending myself against Cole. The state naturally paid all his expenses.

Cole’s testimony at my trial was simply too far removed from fact to be dismissed as exaggeration. I shall always be convinced that I was that morning a witness to an act of perjury committed by an officer of the court – justifiable perhaps, in his own eyes, to insure a conviction.

Cole volunteered during his testimony that he had at one point in our encounter drawn his gun and was prepared to shoot me. I was not armed. His presence on the bench is an embarrassment to all the citizens of Dallas. The idea of this spiteful, self-serving hypocrite actually sitting in judgment of other people is a joke – a bad and dangerous joke.

Is Robert Cole dangerous? You bet your life he is.

Lee Candler Young


Lexington, Kentucky

At a time when confidence in government is at its lowest ebb in decades, you have obviously decided to get on the bandwagon, not because you had anything substantive to report, but probably because you knew your pointed and frivolous barbs at the judiciary would get attention and sell magazines.

The truth is that we have an honest and dedicated group of people serving as judges in Dallas County, in what are demanding and often thankless jobs. Your comments about some of these fine judges, based upon sketchy and superficial research, are in bad taste and completely unjustified.

William W. Sweet Jr.

Attorney at Law

Sweet & Burke


We must take vehement exception to your flippant and scandalous caricature of Judge Berlaind Brashear, especially to the reference to “Zulu law.” As attorneys we have intimate knowledge of the legal machinery housed by our County Court-house; as minorities we also have insight into the “good ole boy” syndrome that is its great lubricant. Judge Brashear has confronted cronyism candidly, and by doing so bruised many personalities. Because of this we are sure your reporters did not lack negative comments regarding Judge Brashear; we only note your lack of sophistication for not properly evaluating their worth.

We are disappointed in your lack of judgment and taste in repeating racial slurs. It indicates the courage of Judge Brashear and other minority officials who must work under such handicaps.

John M. Lozano

Daniel C. Perez

John R. Martinez

Attorneys at Law


You reported that Judge Ben Ellis will “never, but never, grant a motion to suppress evidence.” As Charlie Chan said, “Correction, please.” Please check out Cause No. CCR-78-929-A. Our firm’s motion to suppress was granted by Judge Ellis on December 1, 1978, on behalf of our client, Rickey Darnell Lowe.

Richard C. Jenkins

Attorney at Law

Jackson, Jenkins and Rowton


We have known Judge J. Roll Fair intimately, probably for more years than you have lived. In reading your remarks about him, I had the feeling you found it difficult to find anything derogatory to say – but there was that category “Dead-wood” to be filled and somebody had to be named.

Cancel our subscription immediatel and Thumbs Down to D Magazine for writing such a harmful article.

Memie Eisner


Having practiced law in the Dallas area for 15 years and having had the pleasure of serving on the bench two of those years, I want you to know Jim Atkinson and Rowland Stiteler’s article rating Dallas judges is an excellent piece of work.

One thing, however: Can someone explain to me why there is a tomato on the judge’s robe?

Frank P. Hernandez

Attorney at Law


Dissent in the Underground Empire

David Bauer’s article, “Lords of an Underground Empire” (June), was an accurate account of the successes of Frank Caven and Charley Hott. They have certainly upgraded the quality of gay clubs in Dallas, and as business people they have been supportive of the gay rights movement. The Coors boycott, cited in the article, is one example of such support.

One negative aspect of their operations is not mentioned in the article, however: Women (gay and straight) and racial minorities are often denied admission to clubs owned by Caven and Hott, through the use of arbitrarily enforced dress codes and identification requirements. As a member of the gay community, I find it embarrassing that any gay business discriminates against members of its own community and others. Many of the non-gay public figures who have courageously spoken out for gay rights have been women and minorities. It is ironic that they stand a good chance of being denied admission to some of Dallas’ nicest gay clubs.

Brian Halliday