Mr. Fine has represented clients charged with an array of offenses ranging from driving while intoxicated to murder, from misdemeanor marijuana to multi-kilo conspiracies, from simple theft to million-dollar, white-collar scandals. Examples include the following:
1. Client charged in Enron scandal. Due to aggressive pre-indictment investigation and preparation, evidence was handed over to the Assistant United States Attorney for presentation to the Grand Jury. After hearing the evidence, the Grand Jury refused the case and “No Billed” the client.
2. Client charged with murder in a beating death, in Lubbock, Texas. The case was tried to a jury. The defense was that client, although present during and part of the altercation, did not deliver the fatal blows to the victim. The jury acquitted the client returning a verdict of not guilty.
3. Client charged with possession with intent to deliver 35,000 tablets of ecstasy, in Beaumont, Texas, seized in search of a rented Dodge Neon. (Also located in the car was $350,000 in cash.). The case was tried to a jury. At the time of trial, the case was touted as the largest seizure of ecstasy from a single vehicle stop in Texas history. The defense was that client, although seated next to the door in which the drugs were found, had no knowledge that drugs or proceeds were in the car. After all, he would never transport drugs and drug proceeds in the same vehicle and would never have done either with a car load of young adults. The jury hung, a mistrial was ordered and the case later dismissed.
(This case also involved charges in the Federal District Court, Eastern District of Texas, for possession of narcotics, conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver narcotics, possession of drug proceeds, and money laundering. The federal charges were dismissed following the filing of a motion to suppress all evidence as having been illegally seized.)
4. Client charged with driving while intoxicated in Houston, Texas. Case was tried to a jury. The defense was that client, although almost twice the legal limit according to a breath test, was not intoxicated. Client’s performance on field sobriety test, both on the videotape and further developed through cross-examination, was more consistent with sobriety than intoxication and, therefore, the breath test was not accurate. Jury acquitted client returning a verdict of not guilty.
5. Client charged in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, in multi-defendant drug conspiracy and money laundering case involving hundreds of thousands of hits of ecstasy and more than 600 tons of hydroponically growm marijuana. Client found guilty on lesser offense and setneced to five (5) years probation.
6. Client charged with kidnapping in Houston, Texas. Client was a Houston Police Department, Internal Affairs Detective, charged in connection with an extortion, blackmail, and kidnapping scheme. There was no question as to Client’s guilty. Client, therefore, pled guilty and a jury trial was had on the issue of punishment. The prosecutors asked for 99 years to life. After a two-week trial, the jury assessed punishment at 27 years, approximately one-fourth of what the State sought. Mr. Fine’s co-counsel on this case was Mr. Robert Fickman.
7. Client had been convicted of money laundering over $200,000. His conviction was challenged on two grounds for relief in a post-conviction writ of habeas corpus. The conviction was set aside and a new trial ordered for Client. After the case was set for re-trial, the state dismissed.
8. Client had been convicted of possession of and passing counterfeit money. His conviction was challenged on a single ground for relief in a post-conviction writ of habeas corpus. Client was found “actually innocent” and the case dismissed by the trial court.
Mr. Fine has over 20 years of experience as a trial and appellate lawyer. He is a former State District Judge and is Board Certified Criminal Lawyer. He brings his experience and expertise to bear for those he represents.
During his time on the bench, the New York Times described him as a “maverick former defense lawyer.” He has been named in numerous news articles including in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle, the Austin-American Statesman, as well as several international news publications. His clients have included: organized crime figures; Teamsters Union officials; Enron Broadband Services and other executives; members of the Houston Police Department, Houston Fire Department and Harris County Sheriff’s Office. He has a breadth of experience in the courtroom and has served as lead counsel in cases ranging from simple marijuana possession to multi-kilo narcotics cases, including DWI/DUI, assault, robbery, burglary, illegal weapons, federal conspiracy, money laundering, structuring, kidnapping, rape, sexual assault, and all “aggravated” offenses, including murder. Additionally, Mr. Fine has written articles for several legal journals and is a frequent speaker as a subject of criminal law.
Mr. Fine earned his Bachelor of Arts from Southeastern Louisiana University, in 1990. From 1990 to 1992, he served as a Congressional Aide for Congressman Craig Washington. In 1994, Mr. Fine received his law degree from Texas Tech University and was licensed by the State Bar of Texas. that same year.
He is licensed to practice before the Federal District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, as well as the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition to the courts, before which he is licensed to practice, Mr. Fine has been admitted to practice, on a pro hoc vice basis, before several federal and state courts across the country.
He began his practice in Lubbock, Texas, with Hurley, Sowder & Reyes. In 2000, he moved to Houston, Texas, and joined the law firm of Schneider & McKinney, P.C., a Tier 1 rated law firm. In 2008, he was elected to the 177th Criminal District Court where he served as the Presiding Judge until the end of 2012. Deciding to follow his passion as a trial lawyer, he did not seek re-election. Mr. Fine now practices in the Texas Hill Country. His vast experience as a trial and appellate lawyer serve his clients well in a wide array of areas, including criminal cases, business and commercial disputes and litigation cases, personal inury cases, and family law cases, including divorce, child custody, child support and property division disputes.