Twin Peaks defense attorneys honored as lawyers of the year

Casie L. Gotro and F. Clinton Broden. (TCDLA photos)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) F. Clinton Broden, of Dallas, and Casie L. Gotro, of Houston, will be honored at a state defense lawyer’s association luncheon in San Antonio Thursday as the Percy Foreman Lawyers of the Year.

Broden, who defended Hewitt resident Matthew Alan Clendennen, and Gotro, who represented Christopher Jacob Carrizal, then president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos motorcycle group, were selected based on their outstanding legal representation in the Twin Peaks case.

The awards will be presented during a ceremony at noon Thursday at the 31st Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Seminar in San Antonio.

A special prosecutor dismissed the case against Clendennen in April and Carrizal’s trial ended in a mistrial and is set to go back to court in August, although Gotro was granted permission to withdraw from the case for the pending re-trial.

TCDLA pointed to Broden’s work that ultimately resulted in a succession of recusals and dismissals and the subsequent filing of several civil lawsuits.

“Of the 177 people arrested in the aftermath of the Twin Peaks shooting, all but a handful of cases have been dismissed and/or declined,” a news release issued Thursday by TCVDLA said.

Broden, a 1990 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, “for the last three years has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Twin Peaks prosecutions. During the course of his representation,” the TCDLA said in a press release.

“Broden successfully overturned two gag orders, initiated a Court of Inquiry, successfully recused two different district judges, and obtained affidavits from former members of law enforcement officials and former ADAs alleging corruption in McLennan County.”

The dismissal ultimately was granted based upon a decision by the special prosecutor that adequate probable cause did not exist for the original arrest.

Gotro, a 2004 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, is a member of the TCDLA Board of Directors.

“Casie was the first—and only—defense attorney to take a Twin Peaks case to trial,” the release says.

That case resulted in a mistrial after the jury deliberated for two days and deadlocked 10 to 2 in favor of acquittal.

Gotro, the release says, “found repeated instances of the DA withholding favorable evidence, including untested ballistic evidence stored under other cause numbers and an assistant attorney general admitting that the DA had been withholding evidence.”

The event in San Antonio is an annual seminar presented by TCDLA in honor of the late Rusty Duncan and it bears his name.

Duncan who died in 1990 in a car crash in Denton, was a prominent Texas defense lawyer who was editor of the group’s magazine, “Voice for the Defense,” served as a justice on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals from 1987 until his death.

The Rusty Duncan seminar is held annually to provide continuing legal education for criminal defense attorneys.