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“Years of Trial Experience”

Divorce lawyer John Clinton, running for criminal court judge, seems to be saying that when he was a Houston police officer he “amassed years of trial experience.”


(Full video here.)

This could be true only in the sense in which a career criminal has amassed years of policing experience. Maybe Clinton spoke awkwardly, and meant to convey that as a lawyer he had amassed years of trial experience. That could be literally true: “years of trial experience” might mean one uncontested divorce (an uncontested divorce prove-up is, technically, a “trial”) in 1997, and another in 1998. But the literal truth can be deceptive: divorces, car crashes, and slip-and-falls (which Clinton also handles) rarely end in jury trials, and even when they do, they are a far cry from anything that happens in the criminal courthouse. District clerk’s records show that Clinton has only handled one criminal case in Harris County, and he didn’t try that one. (Note to clients: Clinton does, however, have a perfect record; every criminal case he ever took got dismissed.)


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