"The Jinx" - The Capital Murder Trial of Robert Durst

with Dick Durguerin, Durst's Criminal Law Attorney
790 KABC, April 16, 2016

Dick DeGuerin made his reputation handling tough cases, something he does to this day.  He started as a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in 1965, and moved to Butler Binion, a prominent civil firm, in 1968.  In 1970, while Dick was still an associate at Butler Binion, federal authorities charged well known criminal-defense lawyer Bob Tarrant with illegal possession and sale of machine guns.  Bob, who was colorful to say the least, had a collection of every Thompson model ever made.  Dick knew and respected Bob from his time as a prosecutor and volunteered to assist Percy Foreman who was leading the defense.  During the trial, Percy told Dick to “come see me when this is over.”  He did.  Dick sought Jack Binion’s counsel about the job Percy offered, and the advice was simple: “You’re a damn fool if you don’t take it.”

When Dick took the job, Percy Foreman was already the man to see if you were in serious legal trouble.  In a 1952 Houston murder trial, Percy contended that the elected Harris County Sheriff and a Texas Ranger beat a confession out of the defendant.  The Sheriff and the Ranger were present when Percy gave his closing argument accusing them of the misconduct.  After the not-guilty verdict was read, the Sheriff and the Ranger jumped the bar and assaulted Percy in the courtroom.  Upon leaving the hospital shortly thereafter, Percy said “I harbor no malice toward these poor, misguided minions of the law.”  The 1964 Florida trial of Candace Mossler was covered nationwide and solidified Percy’s courtroom reputation.  She was acquitted of her husband’s murder in a case that was ahead of its time in subject matter and defensive approach.

Dick left Foreman & DeGuerin in 1982 with Lewis Dickson, and they formed DeGuerin & Dickson.  They continued the tradition of their former firm, aggressively representing their clients’ interests.  That tradition remains.