Casie Gotro Attorney for Bandido in Twin Peaks mistrial gets 3-year license suspension
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The law license of the firebrand Houston attorney who won a mistrial in the only Twin Peaks shootout case to go to trial has been suspended by the State Bar of Texas.
Casie Gotro will be unable to practice law for three years and must pay $59,000 in restitution to clients she failed to serve, the State Bar announced Monday.
During the Carrizal proceedings, Gotro and former McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna’s office constantly butted heads over defense access to evidence in the case. Gotro succeeded in getting 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother recused from Carrizal’s case based on the question of the judge’s ability to be fair in the case.
Carrizal’s trial was delayed on at least three occasions after Gotro uncovered evidence that Reyna’s office should have turned over to the defense before trial but did not do so.
During one of the revelations, an angry Gotro stormed out of the courtroom during a break, calling back over her shoulder that the DA’s office failure to disclose evidence was criminal.
Gotro, 46, withdrew as Carrizal’s attorney after the trial, saying she was going to take a break from practicing law. She insisted there was no conflict between her and Carrizal, but she said she handled the case for free, was only paid $8,000 for a portion of her expenses and fees from a Bandidos defense fund and just could not afford to take on a retrial.
Carrizal said Monday by phone that he did not file the grievances that led to Gotro’s suspension.
According to the State Bar’s public release about attorney disciplinary actions, Gotro was suspended for three years in one case, had a suspension probated in another case and received a partially probated suspension in a third. Details of the cases and clients were not disclosed.
Also, the bar charged that “upon termination of representation, Gotro also failed to refund advance payments of fees that had not been earned” and failed to timely respond to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel.
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In the case in which the State Bar suspended her license for six months and probated the remaining six months, the allegations were nearly the same as the other case. Gotro was ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution and $816 in attorneys’ fees.
In the case that was fully probated, the bar charged that Gotro failed to keep her client informed, failed to return papers and property to her client after her termination and failed to refund payments she had not earned. She was ordered to make $10,000 in restitution and to pay $1,734 in attorneys’ fees.
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