Monday, December 29, 2008

Farewell to Sharon Levine

This morning, as we were eating breakfast with our girls, my wife asked me where Emory University was.  I said it was in Georgia and I asked her why.  She said she was reading the obituary of an attorney who was only 38 when she died after battling Hodgkins Disease.  I asked who and she read the name Sharon Renee Levine.

Sharon Levine, by her hard work and dogged determination, set into motion the events that led to the downfall of Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal.  Ms. Levine represented one of the Ibarra brothers who were arrested for videotaping a police raid on a house in their neighborhood.  Believing that her client had been arrested without cause, Ms. Levine took the matter to trial - twice.  After the first trial ended in a hung jury, the state offered a $1 fine in exchange for a guilty plea.  Again Ms. Levine and Mr. Ibarra declined and set the matter for trial. 

The jury in the second trial found Mr. Ibarra not guilty.  That verdict set the stage for the civil rights suit filed by the Ibarra's against Harris County.  The judge in that matter ordered then-D.A. Chuck Rosenthal to turn over e-mails to the Ibarras.  After defying the court's order, Mr. Rosenthal was forced to resign from office earlier this year.

The toppling of the Rosenthal regime was the result of Ms. Levine's tireless devotion to her client in a fairly meaningless (except for Mr. Ibarra and his family) case.

Rest in peace, Sharon.

8 comments:

Sharon said...

THAT is the type of lawyer I will be when finished with law school. Watch me.

Paul B. Kennedy said...

I think Ms. Levine should be an example for all of us.

Michael said...

I hope that the HCDLA puts up a plaque in her honor.

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Anonymous said...

There are very few people in the world that are very close to being perfect in so many ways. Sharon was one of those few. What an honor to have met her before she passed.

j said...

My name is Jan Stone, Sharon was my sister. My family and I read your comments on the 30th, the day of her funeral. I can't recall how we found them but they meant the world to us, I think we googled her obit. She was very special, it's wonderful to know how widely that was recognized by her professional community and the day to day people she touched. Thank you for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Sharon Levine was a force to be reckoned with in a court of law. But, more importantly, she was a "breath of fresh air." I met her when I rented office space at 4300 Scotland in Houston in 2001 where I had a small law office for about two years.

Sharon had a special gift -- the art of reaching out. How did she do it, what was the magic that she had? The simple truth, as I saw it, was that each and every day Sharon met Life with a smile on her face. She had a verve, a certain sass, blended with the heart of a gladiator.

The gladiator's heart is what makes good trial lawyers --- a willingness to fight, understanding that the stakes are high, a willingness to fight, solid knowledge of the Law and an understanding of human nature.

I will remember her -- her smile, her sass and most of all, her friendship.


Steve Wisch
Houston

KIM said...

Hi, i am kimbailey.
The Sharon Levine by here a hard work and dogged determination on this blog.

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kimbailey

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