Mike McCrum, a San Antonio lawyer under fire for allegedly telling a witness to disappear so prosecutors couldn’t recall her to testify, got a lucky break—at least for a little while—when an appeals court recently halted his contempt-of-court proceedings according to this article in My San Antonio Online. McCrum’s own San Antonio attorneys filed the appeal with an argument that the Visiting Judge hearing his case didn’t have jurisdiction to take up the accusations of contempt-of-court because too much time had passed for a motion to be initiated. The judge had already heard from three witnesses called by the Bexar County district attorney’s office, which is making the accusation that McCrum lied to the judge about whether the witness was under subpoena.
You don’t have to actually be a San Antonio lawyer to get the idea that this is a pretty big deal. McCrum’s San Antonio attorneys filed a request for an emergency stay in combination with the appeal, which was granted by the Fourth Court of Appeals. One of McCrum’s San Antonio attorneys is arguing that “this particular court has no jurisdiction over the case because the time has expired; the time has run.” Well, while that particular detail may be left up to judgment by qualified adjudicators, it seems kind of ridiculous to the general public that a San Antonio lawyer could get away with manipulating the law for the benefit of his client, an individual accused of intoxicated manslaughter, all on a technicality.
Interested in his client’s reputation and arguing that the contempt-of-court proceedings should have been filed as an administrative grievance, McCrum’s San Antonio attorneys are advocating that McCrum’s accusation should have remained confidential unless there’s demonstrated merit and a punishment is imposed. However, it may interest McCrum’s future clients and courtroom adversaries to have access to information about underhanded dealings he may have initiated.
Much of McCrum’s case hinges around whether one woman, Melanie Little, was under subpoena or whether the judge had dismissed her completely from the intoxication manslaughter case when she testified for McCrum’s defense. The San Antonio lawyer’s prosecutors are arguing that he told Little not to come back to court after her testimony, and to turn off her phone because she wasn’t under subpoena; additionally, McCrum also suggested that Little leave the area, characterizing a threatening presence of the prosecution in the intoxication manslaughter case.
While we wait, this matter seems to be little more than a “he-said/she-said” case, with McCrum’s San Antonio attorneys insisting that the judge had dismissed Little and didn’t tell her that she could be recalled. The district attorney’s office should respond soon but in the meantime, it’s difficult not to feel that justice may be slipping away. McCrum may not be a crummy lawyer per se, but if he is manipulating the law, other San Antonio lawyers have a hard standard to live up to in upholding the law when other San Antonio attorneys, like McCrum, are undermining its integrity.