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Folding the Tent on Charlie Baird's Circus

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Late last year, the notorious Judge Charlie Baird in Austin was proceeding with a "court of inquiry" regarding the infamous Cameron Todd Willingham case.  Judge Baird's proceedings were lawless for a number of reasons:

1.  The purpose of a court of inquiry is to determine if there is probable cause to believe a prosecutable crime has been committed, and the statute of limitations had long since run on the offenses alleged.

2.  The court of inquiry statute requires the judge calling for the court to refer the matter to the presiding judge for assignment.  Proceeding with the court himself, as Judge Baird was doing, is patently illegal.

3.  The DA moved to recuse Judge Baird for bias, and the recusal procedure calls for the challenged judge to refer that motion for assignment to be heard by another judge.

On December 14, the Court of Appeals issued an order halting the circus, and on December 21, it issued an opinion explaining the order.  See prior posts here and here.  The stay was based on reason 3, above.

Willingham's family moved for rehearing, but they had one major problem.  The Court of Appeals' order and opinion dealt only with the question of which judge would hear the matter.  Twelve days after the opinion was issued, Judge Baird became ex-Judge Baird. [Insert Hallelujah Chorus here.]  Guess what happens next.
Yesterday, the Court of Appeals dismissed the motion as moot.

Criminal defendants who want Baird's assistance can now hire him as their lawyer, though.  His website is here, promoting himself as a private-practice lawyer while pictured in his judicial robes.  Is that legal in Texas?

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