Georgette Oden

Georgette Oden

Associate

Georgette Oden is an associate attorney who joined Simon Greenstone Panatier, PC, in 2018.

Georgette Oden possesses comprehensive experience in complex state and federal criminal and civil litigation, from pretrial motion practice and administrative proceedings through evidentiary hearings, jury trial, appeal and post-conviction challenges in writs of habeas corpus. Ms. Oden has worked as a prosecutor for fourteen years, including ten years death penalty litigation. She also has experience as a state and local tax practitioner in the State Offices of Administrative Hearings and as a criminal appellate defense lawyer. Georgette has briefed death penalty appeals and writs of habeas corpus for both State and the defense, argued before the Fifth Circuit, and has practiced in the U.S. Supreme Court in last-minute litigation regarding over ten executions.

In private practice, Ms. Oden successfully reversed a capital murder conviction and death sentence due to a Fourth Amendment violation, in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ case Albert Leslie Love v. State of Texas,in 2016. It was the first time in years that the State’s highest criminal court reversed a conviction and death sentence and ordered a new trial. Georgette has first-chaired over two hundred fifty trials ranging from misdemeanors to administrative hearings through federal capital evidentiary hearings. Now she is an appellate litigator in the Law and Motions Department.

Georgette serves on the board of directors for Creative Combat, as the Head of Investigations for Bullshido, a “Consumer Reports” of the martial arts world, and as an editor for an online mixed-martial-arts publication. She also volunteers as a sexual assault crisis counselor, and writes about issues in the jiu jitsu community, misogyny, and rape culture for a number of publications.

Practice Areas

  • Appellate
  • Toxic Torts
  • Mesothelioma/Asbestos
  • Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death
  • Products Liability

Education

  • University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas, December 2000, J.D.
  • University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1996, B.A., Majors: Philosophy and Government

Court Admissions

  • State of Texas (2001)
  • United States Supreme Court (2018)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2004)
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (2014)
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (2007)
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (2005)
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (2004)

Representative Cases

Love v. Texas, 2016 Tex. Crim. App. LEXIS 1445 (Tex. Crim. App. 2016), on behalf of the Appellant, Albert Love.

Outcome:Reversed and remanded for new trial on guilt/innocence and punishment.

Description:The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that Appellant’s capital murder conviction and death sentence were improper because his text messages could not be obtained without a probable cause-based warrant since he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the text messages he sent. Consequently, the State was prohibited from compelling the telephone company to turn over defendant’s content-based communications without first obtaining a warrant supported by probable cause. Because there was no warrant and no showing of probable cause, the statutory good faith exception under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 38.23(b) was not triggered and the general statutory exclusionary remedy applied.

 

Williams v. Thaler, 524 Fed. Appx. 960 (5th Cir. 2013), on behalf of Respondent-Appellee, Rick Thaler, Director, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Outcome: Petitioner’s request for a stay of execution was denied.

Description: Petitioner was attempting to avoid the procedural default of his ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim by asserting that ineffective assistance of state habeas counsel caused the procedural default. Petitioner sought a stay of execution so that he may pursue his trial IAC claim. The controlling precedent regarding petitioner’s procedural default argument was in a state of flux. The court nevertheless denied petitioner’s request for a stay of execution because the court had previously considered and denied petitioner’s trial IAC claim on the merits. Petitioner had thus already had his trial IAC claim heard and adjudicated. The court had determined that, when compared with the evidence introduced by the State at petitioner’s trial, it could not say petitioner’s counsel’s alleged deficiency undermined its confidence in petitioner’s sentence. Moreover, circuit precedent held that the Martinezrule did not constitute the sort of “extraordinary circumstance” required to succeed on a Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) motion.

 

Hearn v. Thaler, 669 F.3d 265 (5th Cir. 2012), on behalf of Rick Thaler, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Outcome:  Hearn’s application for a Certificate of Appealability was denied.

Description: Important interpretation of Supreme Court precedent Atkins v. Virginiain Texas. The inmate relied on experts’ opinions despite IQ tests placing him above the commonly accepted threshold. The district court faithfully adhered to 28 U.S.C.S. § 2254(d)’s deferential standard by finding that the state court only performed the task left open to it by Atkins. Atkinscould not have been unreasonably applied because the U.S. Supreme Court had not clearly established the precise boundaries of determining Mental Retardation, leaving that to the States. The inmate argued to the district court that he had a disability due to impairments that affected him “in the same way as MR.” He admitted he was not mentally retarded under the prevailing definition. He, and others like him, could not claim the benefit of Atkinsbecause they did not fit within the clinically accepted definition. Allowing individualized neuropsychological evaluations to wholly replace IQ tests would result in more inconsistent determinations, not less.

Honors and Distictions

  • Austin Bar Foundation, Fellow (2016)

Professional Memberships

  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Member
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Dallas Trial Lawyers Association, Member
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