Saturday, December 20, 2008
The One and Only Percy
Percy Foreman had a super ego. But it worked in the majority of his cases. He defended some obnoxious people and won their freedom. However, in looking at the record, Percy persuaded many of his clients to plead guilty for a lesser sentence. He was tall and had a strong speaking voice. Percy came from deep East Texas to Houston where he found that most of the people who were there in an early time came from some part of East Texas. He took advantage of the fact that he understood this culture. Once I arrived late in the courtroom and found myself seated between Percy and the jury. Every time he made a major point in interrogating a witness he looked over at me and beamed. Then I realized that he was wooing the jury. I changed seats the first chance I got. One of Percy's strong points in defending a really guilty client was to press for a delay. At one time he had so many clients who were delayed by the fact that he was their only attorney that he found a doctor who would testify that Percy was too ill to go to trial. This was a frustration to prosecutors but kept some real rascals from going to trial. I sat through many of Percy's cases. His technique was to woo the jury. If he could not get an acquital he might get a hung jury. I remember one case where a printer from the Houston Post, where I was employed, was on a jury hearing one of Percy's cases. The jury found Percy's client innocent and he was turned loose. The next day this juror came back to work at The Post driving a brand new Cadillac sedan. I went down and asked the printer where he got the luxury vehicle. He said Percy had given it to him for being such a great juror. "You don't think that guy that Percy was representing was really guilty, do you? he asked me."