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11-11-05 - A brewing legal feud in north Texas is causing a Sherman attorney to seek a criminal indictment against District Judge Lauri Blake. David Stagner says Judge Blake broke the law and he is getting support from state legal experts.
It began on July 29th in Blake's Fannin County courtroom. It ended moments later when Blake had Stagner removed from the courtroom. Accroding to the court reporter's record, Blake told Stagner, " I'm not playing games, Mr. Stagner... when you decide to have good manners you may come back."
Stagner says his constitutional rights were violated and that the judge broke the law. But nearly four months after the incident, nothing has been done.
Stagner wants Fannin County Attorney Richard Glaser to empanel a special grand jury-- one not empaneled by Judge Blake. Glaser says he will not empanel a special grand jury, but says he has given Stagner the opportunity to present his case before a Fannin County grand jury.
Glaser says he is "researching other options." One of those options could include appointing a special prosecutor to handle the case.
In a recent article in Texas Lawyer magazine, James Alfini, president and dean of the South Texas College of Law and a judicial ethics expert, says, " It's a basic tenet of living in our democracy that someone can't be deprived of his personal freedom with due process of law." He goes on to say, " That's akin to playing God."
Stagner says he will not give up until the case is brought before a special grand jury.
Judge Blake cannot comment on specific cases because of ethical obligations.