Matthew Paul by mikeholy


									Matthew Paul
 December 2, 1955 ~ March 25, 2007

Family Memory Book
       Friday, April 13, 2007

     State Capitol Auditorium
          Austin, Texas
 The tide recedes but leaves behind bright sea shells on the sand;
   The sun sets but a gentle warmth still lingers on the land;
         The music fades but echoes on in sweet refrain;
    For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.

                           To Lisa –
Matthew continually encouraged the mind and inspired the soul.
We will cherish the memory of his generous smile and giving heart.

     Your Friends at the State Prosecuting Attorneys Office
                         April 13, 2007
                                                      In Memoriam:

                                          Matthew Paul
                                                       1955 ~ 2007

   Matthew Paul, the State Prosecuting Attorney, passed away suddenly on Sunday, March 25, 2007. Matthew grew up in
Lubbock, attending Lubbock Christian High School. He later attended Abilene Christian University, earning a B.S. degree
in biology. He spent three years at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas before deciding to pursue a legal education at
the University of Texas School of Law in Austin.

   Matthew graduated first in his class at the University of Texas School of Law, receiving a J.D. degree with High Honors
in August 1985. At the law school, he was awarded the Order of the Coif, the Chancellors Award, and the Carrington,
Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal Academic Excellence Award, and he was selected for the Geary-Brice Moot Court

  Matthew was appointed State Prosecuting Attorney in 1996. Prior to his appointment as State Prosecuting Attorney, he
was an Assistant County Attorney in Kerrville from 1985 to 1987, and an Assistant State Prosecuting Attorney from 1987 to

  Matthew was recognized in many ways for his academic and legal excellence. He was selected as a faculty member for
the College of Advanced Judicial Studies from 1995 to 1997, and he presented papers and lectures at the State Bar of Texas
Advanced Criminal Law Course, the Elected Prosecutors’ Course, the Prosecutors’ Appellate Conference, the Career
Prosecutor Course, and the Annual Conference sponsored by the Texas District & County Attorneys Association. In 2005,
the Texas District & County Attorneys Association presented to Matthew the C. Chris Marshall Distinguished Faculty
Award for outstanding contributions to the education of Texas prosecutors. This was his most treasured recognition.

   Matthew was a contributing author to The Texas Lawyer magazine, to the State Bar’s Texas Criminal Appellate
Manual, and to The Texas Prosecutor, the official journal of the Texas District & County Attorneys Association. He was
also the author of two law review articles. Matthew Paul was the epitome of academic and professional excellence.
Although any path in the legal profession would have been open to him, he chose public service as his calling. He will be
missed by all of us.

  A memorial service will be held at the State Capitol auditorium (Room E1.004) in Austin on Friday, April 13 at 3:30 p.m.
Tax-deductible memorial contributions may be made to the Texas District & County Attorneys Foundation in Austin.
Direct any inquiries to Jeff Van Horn at (512) 463-1660.

                                                      Family Memory Book
                                         Memorial Service in Celebration of Matthew Paul
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                                         Heartfelt Thoughts and Memories:
                                          Colleagues’ Statements

Matthew loved the law. In my discussions with him, Matthew helped shape within me a deep respect and love for the law
and how it is carefully studied and shaped by our efforts. I pray that his family will be comforted in their time of grief.
                                                                                              Doug Norman (Corpus Christi, Texas)

I want you to know how much Matthew is going to be missed. I feel
honored and privileged to have had opportunities to discuss legal issues
with Matthew as he helped me work out problems I had come up from time
to time, but, more importantly, I had the amazing opportunity and privilege
to call Matthew a friend. He was a source of knowledge and wisdom that is
going to be immensely missed. Matthew, although undoubtedly one of the
smartest people I know, was never condescending and he always had time
to share ideas and give his invaluable input. I enjoyed many opportunities
throughout the years to spend some time with Matthew over lunch or
dinner during seminars and I can honestly say that those seminars will
never be the same again. There will be an undeniable void that will only be
filled by time and wonderful memories of such gracious friend and
colleague. I am truly sorry for your loss and please know that you and your
family are in my thoughts and prayers.
                                             Mary Beth Welsh (San Antonio, Texas)

Matthew was in many ways larger than life. He was brilliant, yet humble; a teacher, yet a student; and cerebral, yet
personable. Matthew took his calling to the highest level. He was a man of dignity—always professional and courteous.
 In the truest sense, he was both a gentleman and a scholar. He was a person who one could trust and trust completely.
 Always he had the time to help out others and share his thoughts on the most difficult legal issues. Always, too, he had the
patience and kindness to help those with the more mundane legal matters. He would never fail to rise to the occasion. Just
recently, despite a heavy caseload himself, he prepared and filed a motion for rehearing in a challenging case arising in
Denton County. And I never felt I had a stronger ally, nor felt prouder representing the State of Texas, than when
Matthew joined me in doing battle over the Saldano capital case in the Court of Criminal Appeals. With Matthew’s
passing, a vast hollow will remain within Texas criminal justice system that will not be easily filled.

Some years ago, Matthew shared with me that he had taken up fly-fishing. I wanted to go fishing with him but, sadly, the
closest I came was sharing a few files. I wish I had wet a line with him in one of those cool, clear, hill country streams
catching some Guadalupe bass or, maybe in the right season, some trout below Canyon Lake. I believe he would have been
an excellent companion and, probably, a superb angler. Maybe the fish are happier though.

I feel fortunate that I enjoyed a long, and as it turns out, last face-to-face visit with him at the TDCAA Annual Update in
South Padre last year. I feel, though, that I have lost my primary inspiration, my mentor, and a friend. A fair tribute to
Matthew is that penned by W. H. Auden in Funeral Blues. Matthew cannot be replaced.
                                                                                                       John Stride (Denton, Texas)

Matthew Paul made a remarkable contribution to the law by professionalizing the State Prosecuting Attorney's Office. He
well understood the need for a strong collaborative relationship between the SPA and elected prosecutors. By balancing
the need for consistent statewide criminal justice policy and the individual needs of local jurisdictions, Matthew elevated
the value of the SPA throughout the State of Texas. He will be missed.
                                                                                                 John Bradley (Georgetown, Texas)

                                                       Family Memory Book
                                          Memorial Service in Celebration of Matthew Paul
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It came with great sadness, as well as shock, when I was informed of the death of your husband. In my capacity as the
Chief of the Legal Services Bureau for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office from 1982 until my retirement in 2001 I
had the opportunity during that period to work with or against many lawyers. Since included within the Legal Services
Bureau was the appellate division, I had the good fortune to interface with your husband on numerous occasions.

In the criminal law community, of which I was a participant for thirty-five years, we have a tendency to characterize
lawyers as either trial lawyers or book lawyers. Unfortunately such a characterization is really too simplistic because
although there ostensibly are many trial lawyers there are extremely few “book lawyers” although I suspect some lawyers
profess to be “book lawyers.” It is beyond dispute, however, that your husband was the premier “book lawyer.”

                                       The State’s Attorney Office for the State of Texas has indeed been fortunate over the
                                       years to have individuals who could be called “book lawyers.” Your husband
                                       followed in the footsteps of the highly respected prior members of that office such as
                                       Leon Douglas, Jim Vollers, Bob Huttash, Alfred Walker and Carl Dally. Each of
                                       these individuals in turn left a commendable legacy, reflecting their particular
                                       philosophy, vis-à-vis the role of the State’s Attorney’s Office which, during much of
                                       their tenures, was more in the nature of being de facto prosecutors, “sitting in” for
                                       the district or county attorney who did not appear for argument before the Court
                                       versus being the designated representative of the State of Texas in the Court of
                                       Criminal Appeals. Succinctly, your husband’s predecessors mostly had been forced
                                       to assume the role of defense before the Court.

With Matthew’s arrival at the State’s Attorney Office, the Office’s philosophy changed dramatically as the Office
undertook a more aggressive offensive role as the attorney for the State before the Court. Matthew employed extremely
talented individuals in Betty Marshall and Jeff Van Horn in taking this new direction. I frequently had the opportunity to
discuss with Matthew appeals originating out of Harris County as well as other counties in the state, and the propriety or
wisdom of seeking a petition for discretionary review or the strategy to employ after seeking a review. Suffice to say the
depth demonstrated by your husband in discussing a case, that is his appreciation for the significance of each case, the
potential impact on other cases, and equities involved in soliciting review should form the basis for the prototype for all
future “book lawyers.” When one was through discussing a legal issue with Matthew, one patently knew which road was
to be traveled down.

In closing it is difficult to understand why things happen the way they do. About fifteen years ago the State of Texas lost
one of the finest “book lawyers”, as well as a person when Chris Marshall was tragically shot in a Tarrant County
courtroom. Although the circumstances are now quite different, the State of Texas has again lost one of its finest “book
lawyers” and persons in your husband. May I express my personal sympathies, and God bless you and your family.
                                                                                             Calvin A. Hartmann (Houston, Texas)

We had worked closely together on two cases from my county and I always enjoyed seeing him at the various CLE's. He
was so helpful and supportive of the issues I had on appeal.
                                                                                                     Patricia Dyer (Abilene, Texas)

I had the pleasure of serving on various committees with Matthew Paul and I sought much advice from him during
preparations for capital murder cases that my prosecutor and I worked over the years. From the moment I met Matthew, I
was struck by his considerate spirit. He was interested in what others had to say; he refused to dominate a conversation.
He cared about those who sought information gleaning what they needed from him. He never rushed through an
interaction with someone needing his assistance, and he freely shared the vast wealth and depth of his knowledge.
Importantly, Matthew Paul did was was right and just with the wisdom he had been blessed with. He was an asset to the
criminal justice community; many victims received their deserved justice against evildoers because Matthew Paul was
available and willing to help. He was a true gentleman and a man of character and integrity.
                                                                                            A.P. Merillat (Special Prosecution Unit)

                                                       Family Memory Book
                                          Memorial Service in Celebration of Matthew Paul
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Matthew Paul was an invaluable resource to the criminal justice system in Texas; and specifically Texas prosecutors. The
time he spent sharing his knowledge with lawyers across the state as a frequent lecturer at continuing education functions
advanced the cause of justice in Texas in ways to great to measure. The selfless manner in which he responded to
innumerable requests for assistance and advice from prosecuting attorneys from all parts of Texas should serve as a model
to all who aspire to a career in public service. He was a true professional and his charm, wit and intellect will be sorely
                                                                                                William Lee Hon (Livingston, Texas)

I've known Matthew for something like fifteen years - since my days as a briefing attorney at
the Court of Criminal Appeals (1991-1992). He always had a tremendous energy level and
big smile. Over the years, our handshakes became hugs.

As everyone who knew him will attest, he was very smart. But he was also such a good
listener. Each of those qualities in him complimented the other. And he had what I think
can best be described as a "vision" of the law. He seemed to know where it had been and
where it needed to go. When it came to specific questions about the law, he was the type of
guy who could tell you the name of the controlling case on point and the year it was
decided. Even when he didn't know the name, though, he knew there had been a case and,
generally what it stood for. To a young lawyer like me, he was an inspiration.

Recently I took a position in a case that was not universally accepted as the best position for prosecutors across the state.
Some agreed with me that it was the right thing to do, and others did not. But Matthew listened to my reasoning, helped
me refine my argument, and ultimately stood behind me as I asked for what some people called a big change in the law. I
don't know if I would have had the courage to see that case through without his assurance that I was on the right path.

Matthew was honest and loyal. He was peaceful and strong. And he was always there, not only for me, but for all of us,
reassuring us and supporting us. He always reached out his hand. He always took our calls. He always encouraged us to
do the right thing. To speak the truth. To argue for justice. And to not be afraid.

I knew Matthew had been ill. He sat with me at an oral argument at the Court of Criminal Appeals some time ago, and he
did not look well. I was concerned for him. But he wasn't the kind of person who openly talked about his health; and I did
not want to make him uncomfortable by forcing him into a conversation about it. Still, he just carried on. And then later,
he seemed to rally. Every time I saw him after that oral argument day, he looked better. At the end of last week, I called
him to talk about a legal issue that I had been thinking about, and he seemed so strong - like he could have run a marathon.
After we talked about the issue I had called to talk about, I said I had another thing I wanted to run by him relating to a
brief I was working on at the time; and - of course - he was happy to continue talking with me about the law. Then, he
asked if there was anything else. I replied that I did have one other thing that had been on my mind lately but it wasn't
that important and I did not want to take up any more of his time because I knew he was busy and had his own work to
do. Well, Matthew insisted that I tell him about it. We talked for a long time.

He had a truly generous spirit. He just gave himself, and gave himself, and gave himself. That is the kind of thing that
made him so different - that made him stand out to me.

I don't know how he did it. He fought his illnesses, he was always available to answer questions for and advise prosecutors
like me - from all over the state, he wrote articles and gave speeches, and somehow he got his own work done too - and he
was a master at his work. He almost seemed like some kind of super-hero who could be in two places at one time, or
make time stand still, so that he could get everything done before a deadline.

Matthew was a good friend. It is a vast understatement to say that I will miss him. I don't know how I will continue to do
my job as I have done it in the past with out him. I believed he earned his ticket to the good seats. I trust and pray he is
with God today.
                                                                                                 Kevin P. Yeary (San Antonio, Texas)

                                                       Family Memory Book
                                          Memorial Service in Celebration of Matthew Paul
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Matthew Paul was a little different. I mean, how many appellate lawyers can say they played winning basketball in high
school? Or delivered babies in the wilds of Africa? Or learned French well enough as an adult to converse easily with
native speakers in Quebec? Or studied the great religions, the human genome, and fly fishing?

Matthew was always curious, always reading, equally at home in the courtroom and the Cloakroom. And he loved his
work. He was really, really good at it, writing convincing briefs, arguing important cases, answering questions from
prosecutors all over the state, and teaching at numerous conferences. He could think better, write better, and see farther in
the law than the rest of us. I will miss Matthew, but it's Texas that's lost one of her best.
                                                                       Betty Marshall (Former Assistant, State Prosecuting Attorney’s Office)

I was very blessed to have worked with Matthew Paul. I was thinking yesterday it felt as if I had known him for a long
time and it was only 14 short months. When you work daily with people you spend more time with them than you do your
family. In certain ways they become your family. Everyday was a special experience. Matthew made you feel like you
where a valuable asset and that each contribution each of us in the office made was important.

Matthew respected your opinion and was always willing to listen. Matthew made you feel like a person of substance.
Sometimes working with people they declare they have an “open door” policy; but he truly did. All this Matthew did
without judgment. He never was too busy to talk to you; and there where some very wonderful conversations. I have
never worked with a more brilliant and kind man. Matthew has such wit and was quick to smile and laugh. I miss his
voice and his laughter.

                                 Matthew loved Lisa Paul and when he spoke of her he lit up.

                                 Matthew loved the law and relished the banter and difference of opinions of the attorneys
                                 in the office and for that matter the entire State of Texas. The Friday before his passing he
                                 was having one of those lively conversations in the late afternoon and Matthew was so

                                 Mathew loved his family. His office is filled with mementos of the family, the law, and the
                                 State he loves so much, each item a treasure of those he treasures so much. Each item is a
                                 part of what makes Matthew, Matthew. Some gifts from those that held him in such high

                                 In his office the degrees that showed the path he had chosen, the awards that chose him.

                                 He recently told me his second career was going to be teaching. The world has lost a great

All these things where apparent everyday and in every way with Matthew. To walk in his office is a window into his soul,
the soul of a man that was honest, true, and valued those he cared for. Matthew was generous in spirit, time, and his
friendship, in knowledge, in forgiveness and in material ways; always willing to work for the good of all. Always giving of
his self. This was especially evident in this year’s Legislative session. I miss him terribly, each day not getting the early
morning phone call and seeing him come into the office carrying that large brief case with him.

I regret the dinners that he and Lisa and my family will not share, I miss the years we will not work together. I miss the
many things I will not learn from Matthew. I will miss the way he made me feel I could do anything.
I miss the way he made me feel I was important to his agency and him. Most of all I miss his wonderful stories; stories of
just plain life and the ordinary everyday experiences life holds; as seen through Matthew’s eyes.

Bless Matthew Paul, a man that blessed so many.
                                                                                    Brenda Kunco (Office of the State Prosecuting Attorney)

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                                          Memorial Service in Celebration of Matthew Paul
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Please accept my deepest condolences on Matthew’s passing. Matthew was not only a very bright attorney, he was a very
kind and considerate person. The State of Texas has lost one of its best prosecutors and those of us who knew Matthew
have lost a very dear friend.
                                                                                                 Alan E. Battaglia (San Antonio, Texas)

Matthew was a calm and caring friend in a rough and often hard-edged business. Like many of us, although I knew him for
many years, I knew Matthew mostly over the telephone, and mostly through "emergency" calls to him when an issue just
didn't have an answer. Over the years I'd call him to ask about a thorny issue, or get his read on how the court was looking
at some area of the law, or just get a trusted second opinion, because Matthew was a really brilliant criminal lawyer.
Thinking about him today, I'm struck most at how I never got anything but help and a helping attitude from him. Unlike
almost every other lawyer I know, Matthew never seemed to lose patience; he understood that when people called, they
needed help, and he always tried to give it. I spoke with him about a case just a week or two ago, and when we finished
talking, I remember thinking how nice it was that he was there to discuss the issue without having to have things
explained to him, how comforting it was that he understood and shared my frustration with the case, and what a kind
friend he was to end the conversation -- as he so often did -- by asking how life was going and taking time just to chat for a
moment. We have lost a truly exceptional colleague and a kind friend.
                                                                                                           Sue Korioth (Dallas, Texas)

Matthew Paul inspired me to be a better, more selfless attorney. I work in a
jurisdiction with three attorneys. All of the attorneys are responsible for the appeals
that follow their convictions. I had one particularly heinous case of child abuse that
resulted in a conviction. On appeal, the court of appeals held that the State had failed
to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. I was disheartened by this decision, and
apparently so was Mr. Paul. He called me on his own initiative and commiserated
with me. Apparently, he had read the court of appeals decision, which was
unpublished, and felt compelled to contact me. He offered the support of the State
Prosecutor's Office should I seek to appeal the court of appeals decision. Fortunately,
the court of appeals later reversed their own decision, and affirmed the conviction.
The child abuser is now in prison. I looked forward to sharing that information with
Mr. Paul the next time I saw him (although I am sure he had already read t he court of
appeals opinion). I wish now that I had called him just as he had called me.
                                                                  Michael Hess (Sinton, Texas)

The thing I remember about Matthew Paul first is actually the first TDCAA lecture I heard him present. He responded to
criticism that the Court of Criminal Appeals was too radical by having himself, Betty Marshall, and Jeff Van Horn pose in
militant fatigues and berets. What I remember most, despite thinking that this was hysterically funny, was that Mr. Paul
made a point to direct everyone to the completely unrecognizable "little red book" on the desk in the picture. To me that
little reference has always encapsulated what I saw as Mr. Paul's deliciously wry wit and his incredible depth of
knowledge. I was fortunate enough to have a few conversations with him on occasion, enough to find out that the "little
red book" joke was not a fluke, and was quickly humbled by the knowledge that this person was "right" about the law more
often than I would ever be. Still, he never made me feel that any of my questions were stupid or silly, quite the contrary, in
fact, as he answered me, he always managed to make me feel that I'd stumbled upon some great unanswered dilemma that
he was more than happy to help me solve. It was always clear to me that he loved the law and he loved prosecutors and
prosecution, and it was impossible to end a conversation with him without feeling the same way. His example will always
be the professional bar I seek to surmount, and I will miss his insight, his lectures, and his ironic references to communist
propaganda dearly.
                                                                                                     David Newell (Richmond, Texas)

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                                          Memorial Service in Celebration of Matthew Paul
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                                             I met Matthew Paul when I went to work at the Court of Criminal Appeals as
                                             a senior research attorney for Judge Chuck Miller. At the time, Matthew was
                                             the assistant state prosecuting attorney. Coming from the Rio Grande Valley,
                                             I really felt like a small fish in the big city. To add to that, it was a turbulent
                                             time for my judge, who ended up choosing not to run again after some bad
                                             press and a criminal investigation. It was a lot for a small town girl to handle.

                                             Matthew was kind and thoughtful and helpful to me in what was a difficult
                                             time in my career. His amazing breadth and depth of knowledge, coupled
                                             with his kind and friendly nature, made me want to be like him.

                                             I ended up moving out of Austin but I have never forgotten how kind this
                                             impressive, but humble, man was to me and for me, he still stands as my
                                             inspiration for the kind of attorney I aspire to be.
                                                                                             Cynthia Morales (Corpus Christi, Texas)

It's hard to believe I'm writing a "remembrance" of Matthew. He was such a part of the everyday fabric of our work, even if
we didn't talk to him on a daily basis. Matthew was the consummate gentleman. He possessed an intellect far beyond that
of most of us mortals, but he never acted like it.

He was humble and gracious at every turn. And what an eloquent writer and perfect example for us all in artful and
persuasive writing. I first remember reading his brilliant prose in the Clewis motion for rehearing, which for some
inexplicable reason the CCA denied, but not because Matthew didn't present a superb and compelling argument. From that
point on in the 90's, I (along with so many others in our office and in all the prosecutors'
offices around the State) called Matthew regularly for his sage advice.

And, if we didn't call Matthew, then he called us! Whenever he saw a decision from one of our intermediate courts which
troubled him in some way, Matthew was there, not only to express his lament but to offer invaluable, specific input as to
how to redress the claim. Once, he not only reviewed and offered extremely constructive comments on a motion for
rehearing in a case reversed on appeal, but did so while he was taking a well-deserved winter vacation!

In August of 2005, I had the privilege to sit with Matthew as faculty for the TDCAA Advanced Appellate Advocacy Seminar,
"presiding" over the same group of attendees' in workshops and oral argument presentations. True to form, Matthew was
kind and diplomatic, as well as very respectful to his lesser colleague (me) on the bench. I also got the pleasure of going to
lunch and meeting Lisa; their deep bond and mutual respect for one another were quite apparent.
I can't imagine this world without Matthew, but that is not our choice. We never will forget him, though, and his
thoughtful, warm, and altogether genuine soul.
                                                                                                        Lori Ordiway (Dallas, Texas)

I have had the good fortune to meet a handful of extraordinary people in my career. People that are respected for their
work and admired by their peers. People that have both the talent and character to make a lasting mark on our world.
Matthew Paul was such a man. Like many prosecutors, I relied on Matthew to get me out of a number of tough scrapes.
His brilliant legal mind and clarity of thought made him equal to the most difficult task. Ultimately, it was his unselfish
commitment to serving others that made him great.

I have always been careful about who I go to for advice. There are a number of people that have good legal minds, but I
search for people with wisdom; people that are concerned with doing things right; and people that demonstrate sincerity
by living their values. That is why I valued Matthew. He got it. He had a clear vision of what was important in life and he
dared to live it. I depended on his sound judgment and good advice. His wisdom made me a better person. I consider
Matthew Paul to be irreplaceable on both a professional and personal level. His impact on my life is a lasting one. It was a
blessing to know him.
                                                                                                           Bill Turner (Bryan, Texas)

                                                       Family Memory Book
                                          Memorial Service in Celebration of Matthew Paul
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Matthew was one of the first people to extend the hand of friendship to me
when I moved to Austin to work at the Court of Criminal Appeals. When he
learned that I knew no one in the city, he kindly invited me to join him and
some of his colleagues at their regular weekly watering hole * "The Cloak
Room." I formed some very special friendships there, and I have many fond
memories of those times. Matthew was at the heart of every interesting and
sometimes highly-animated conversation on criminal law issues as well as
current affairs. Matthew was a very bright lawyer and a good man. I will miss
him very much.
                                           Kelli Weaver (Office of the Attorney General)

I was fortunate to have known Matthew professionally and socially. As the State Prosecuting Attorney, Matthew had the
best interests of the State of Texas in mind. He could foresee long-range consequences of legal arguments by litigants and
legal holdings by courts. That is what made Matthew a great appellate attorney, rather than simply a good one. Criminal
law practitioners and the courts will miss Matthew’s contributions to the jurisprudence of Texas through his arguments,
articles, training, and advice. I will miss Matthew as a friend.
                                                                                            Forrest Lumpkin (Office of the Attorney General)

Matthew Paul. It never felt right to just say "Matthew." Maybe because he was, as he teased at the first criminal appellate
seminar, related to Pope Paul. A kind, gentle, supportive person--so right in his role of State Prosecuting Attorney--
guiding the masses of district attorneys and assistant district attorneys through the appellate system and watching that
our work did not go far astray. I was enjoying the chance to work with him in updating his chapter on petitions for
discretionary review for the State's Appellate Manual when--before we were done--he is gone. Too soon, too short a time,
what a loss. And so I will say to you what I did not say to Matthew Paul. Thanks for sharing your intellect, your kind
regard, and for being such a role model and inspiration to me. Aloha and Mahalo Matthew Paul.
                                                                                                    Gail Kikawa McConnell (Conroe, Texas)

                                                       Family Memory Book
                                          Memorial Service in Celebration of Matthew Paul
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                Written for the May/June 2007 Issue of The Texas Prosecutor
                                             By Diane Beckham, Senior Staff Counsel
                                         Texas District and County Attorneys Association

On March 25, Texas prosecutors lost an irreplaceable ally with the death of State Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Paul. Those of us fortunate
enough to count him as a friend lost something even more significant. Matthew’s unique combination of brilliance, humility, fairness, warmth and
humor will be sorely missed by his friends and family.

         Matthew loved learning more than just about anything, whether it was learning to play the guitar, exploring a
new place outdoors, discovering a great new author, or researching some esoteric point of law. In part because of his
curiosity about life and his joy in living it, Matthew seemed to have countless facets. For instance, before he went to UT
law school (where he graduated first in his class), Matthew spent three years in medical school. Before that, he helped his
doctor father deliver babies in Africa.

         He would probably agree that some of his happiest moments were spent discussing criminal law with his beloved
past and current colleagues at the SPA’s office, Jeff Van Horn, Betty Marshall, and Lisa McMinn. He was generous in giving
his time to any prosecutor who approached him for advice on a legal problem, and best of all, he never patronized or made
any of us feel dumb for asking. Just the opposite: He made us all feel like he was happy to be asked and excited about the
chance to investigate some new legal question. And equally importantly, he never failed to ask each caller or visitor how
things were going. He remembered the names of our children and our ongoing life struggles and triumphs, and he always
cared enough to ask about them and listen to the answers.

         In that way, Matthew reminded a lot of us of former Fort Worth appellate chief C. Chris Marshall, who also was
taken from the prosecutor ranks far too early when he was killed in the Tarrant County Courthouse shooting in July 1992.
Both men were always eager to share what their unmatched brains held and bighearted teachers and mentors. In 2005,
Matthew received the C. Chris Marshall Distinguished Faculty Award from TDCAA, a perfect tribute to a man who
followed in Chris’s footsteps of fairness, generosity, and wisdom.

           As bright as he was, Matthew could also laugh at himself for his very few weaknesses, notably, his befuddlement
at technology. He needed (and was always grateful for) help with e-mail, PowerPoint, and most things related to the
computer, such as font styles, point sizes. Matthew’s office manager, Brenda Kunco, cheerfully served as his technology
translator in the SPA’s office, as did Theresa Garza and Pam Wood before Brenda. He once shouted his lunch order—
repeatedly, unsuccessfully, and with increasing volume—to the wrong ordering station at a drive-through fast-food
restaurant (a pole with no speaker, basically). For years after that, to make me laugh, he would turn to the nearest pole,
pillar, or column and begin shouting a random lunch order.

          When he talked about his job representing the State before the Court of Criminal Appeals, he got most excited
when he talked about the cases that required collaboration with other prosecutors. He was thrilled to win victories in
Saldano v. State1 alongside then-Collin County appellate chief John Stride and in Margraves v. State2 with Brazos County
District Attorney Bill Turner. In 2001, when the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled3 that the SPA had the right to file the
single petition for discretionary review for the State—thereby potentially shutting elected prosecutors out of the loop if
the SPA chose to file—Matthew went well out of his way to reassure prosecutors that his office’s policy of collaboration
with local elected officials would continue. That generous approach was certainly not required by the law. But choosing to
collaborate rather than exercising power was exactly the sort of choice you’d expect from Matthew.

  Saldano v. State, 70 S.W.3d 873 (Tex. Crim. App. 2002) (elected district or county attorney, rather than the Texas Attorney General, has the constitutional
and statutory right to represent the State on appeal and on writs of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court).
 Margraves v. State, 34 S.W.3d 912 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000) (rejecting argument of defendant, a regent from Texas A&M University, that if a defendant can
show a mixed use of state property—one for official business purposes and one for personal reasons—the defendant is not guilty of official misconduct).
  Ex parte Taylor, 36 S.W.3d 883 (Tex. Crim. App. 2001) (the State can only file one PDR in any case; if the SPA files, that PDR is treated as the official
petition for the state, leaving any other petition by the district or county attorney to be treated as an amicus brief).

                                                                   Family Memory Book
                                                      Memorial Service in Celebration of Matthew Paul
                                                                        Page 9 of 10
         I was lucky enough to get to work with Matthew on a few different publications, most notably the Prosecutor Trial
Notebook. He devoted countless hours to helping write a resource that the TDCAA Publications Committee thought would
help guide new prosecutors from first contact with a suspect through post-conviction procedures. We started from
scratch, we usually worked right up until the last second (but never completely busted a deadline), and he never once
complained about the amount of work required or the deadline pressure.

         Even before that, Matthew was one of the first people I met when I moved back to Austin to work for TDCAA
more than 10 years ago. Almost certainly, we first started talking because I needed his help answering a legal question. But
he became my friend when he asked about how I was doing, and he helped me get through the worst days of my then-3-
year-old son’s autism diagnosis and how it had turned my world upside-down. He listened, helped me translate doctor-
speak about brain terminology, and helped me laugh through the darkest days. Ten years later, with the crisis days long
past and my son thriving beautifully as an A student and budding actor, Matthew still never failed to ask how Alex was
doing whenever we talked.

          He wasn’t as excited to talk about his own health concerns over the years. He was incredibly stoic and preferred
to keep those to himself, so much so that even with his health issues, his death at 51 caught us all by surprise. He came in to
the office and did his work on days when he felt horribly. When asked how he was doing or feeling, his answer was never
any worse than, “Pretty good,” even on days when you knew he just wished that were true.

        Matthew was an enthusiastic supporter of all TDCAA efforts, whether that was teaching, writing a book, reading
a manuscript from another author, or helping plan a seminar. We’re humbled that his family has named the Texas District
& County Attorneys Foundation as the recipient for memorial donations.4 We will use all donations made in his name for
educational purposes for prosecutors, and we will do our best to use the funds on projects that will honor Matthew best.

        Matthew will be sorely missed by his wife, Lisa (whose bright smile and cheerfulness has long been part of our
annual conferences), his mother Dorothy, his siblings, Mark, Lauri, Holly, and Amy, and the rest of his fun-loving family.
We at TDCAA extend our heartfelt condolences to all of them.

           The Texas criminal justice community will miss Matthew’s fairness, his insight, and his elegant way of writing
and expressing himself. All of his friends will miss his laughter, his warmth and concern, and his generosity of spirit.
Matthew loved the law, being a prosecutor, and working with all of us. He will not be forgotten, and Texas is a richer place
for all his contributions.


          One of the last petitions for discretionary review Matthew Paul wrote was in Curtis v. State, No. 1820-06, in which
the lower court of appeals had ruled that officers did not have reasonable suspicion to stop a motorist who had swerved in
his lane of traffic. Jeff Van Horn brought smiles to the faces of those who attended Matthew’s funeral service in Ballinger
on March 29 when he read the following excerpt from Matthew’s PDR:

          “The Court of Appeals noted that there are any number of reasons why a person might swerve or weave out of his

lane of traffic, including dropping a sandwich on the floor. It is true that a driver might weave once because he dropped his

sandwich on the floor of his vehicle. But three times? For a person to have that much trouble accomplishing the ordinary

activity of feeding himself is alone evidence of significant impairment. One drop of a sandwich is understandable. Three

unsuccessful attempts to move sandwich from hand to mouth is slapstick comedy.”

 Interested people can send any contributions to TDCAF, 1210 Nueces St., Austin, TX 78701. Please include Matthew’s name on the memo line so that we
can direct the funds accordingly.

                                                               Family Memory Book
                                                  Memorial Service in Celebration of Matthew Paul
                                                                    Page 10 of 10

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