West Texas criminal defense lawyers team up 

ALPINE – Veteran West Texas criminal defense lawyer Liz Rogers announced last week that she has teamed up with attorneys Shane O’Neal and Dick DeGuerin to collaborate on cases together to represent the (West Texas) citizen accused.

O’Neal – a graduate of Harvard Law School – worked for the Federal Public Defender Office in Alpine for four years. There, he tried to make pretrial release the norm in the district court for undocumented immigrants accused of illegally reentering to United States.

After some initial success with one defendant, O’Neal said he faced some pushback from the court. “Unfortunately since then, the government has been appealing my attempts to get people illegally-present out on a bond to the district court [judge] who has not been as persuaded by my arguments,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal is now entering the world of private practice and is sharing an office with Rogers. He said he left the Federal Defender’s office so that he could have the ability to represent defendants in both federal and state court. “The criminal practice in state court is, I think, significantly different than in federal court,” O’Neal said. “[State court] is kind of referred to as the wild west.” O’Neal said he also wanted the flexibility to get involved in cases that are more complex or that are more likely to go to trial.

“He’s a very capable young lawyer that has done very well in his short term,” Rogers said of O’Neal.

Dick DeGuerin hardly needs an introduction. He has taken on a number of high-profile cases, representing the illustrious likes of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Congressional Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Allen Stanford, David Koresh and Robert Durst. DeGuerin successfully defended Durst on a self-defense theory after Durst dismembered his neighbor’s body and threw it into Galveston Bay.

“I have kind of made a specialty of murder cases,” DeGuerin said.

While DeGuerin’s main office is in Houston, he maintains a satellite office in Marfa and has worked with Rogers in the past on a number of cases out here. “This is really kind of formalizing a relationship I’ve had with Liz. I’ve admired her for many years,” DeGuerin said.

“For Shane and me, it’s just a great honor for Dick to join us. That’s one of the most wonderful things that he wants to be affiliated with us,” Rogers said.

Rogers worked for the Federal Public Defender Office for almost 30 years before starting her private practice in 2015. She has consistently been on the front lines of West Texas criminal defense – securing multiple not guilty verdicts for clients who acted under duress of cartels and convincing the courts to throw out smuggling charges against a client who had charitably tried to take distressed, injured people to the hospital.

While all three maintain their separate private practices, they said they are thrilled to have the opportunity to work together.