Veteran Dallas Attorney Sets The Record Straight For Success In The Criminal Justice System

(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

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Hired as an assistant district attorney right out of University of Houston law school in 1990 by then District Attorney John Vance, Dan L. Wyde earned experience from prosecuting misdemeanors and moved up to prosecuting to general felonies (aggravated assault, robberies and murder).

In order to move up, sometimes you had to volunteer to work cases that prosecutors would not. Wyde volunteered to prosecute child abuse cases, and covered three district courts at that time.

As an undergrad at University of Texas at Austin, Wyde majored in finance and minored in tax accounting. This served him well as he was assigned to handle white-collar criminal prosecutions for several Fortune 500 companies in the Dallas area. He was promoted to the organized crime division to exclusively handle drug cases.

Courtesy Of Dan Wyde

Courtesy Of Dan Wyde

In 1997, he left the District Attorney’s office and was appointed judge at a County Criminal Court. At the age of 34, Judge Wyde handled 3,000 active cases a year dealing with Class A & B misdemeanors that carry a jail sentence of up to a year and fines of up to $4,000.

Wyde enjoyed his job but after eight and a half years, he felt it was time to do something else.

He resigned from his bench in December of 2005 and filed to run for District Attorney but was unsuccessful in his bid to win that office.

Wyde started his private law practice Wyde & Associates, LLC, a commercial litigation, family law, state election law, federal election law and criminal defense firm in April of 2006.

What did you learn from running for public office?

“Unfortunately, there will be people who will lie about you to make themselves look better than they ever could on their own. Only people without integrity engage in the politics of personal destruction.”

What is the critical thing that people should know about connecting their education to obtaining a job?

“Robert H. Dedman, who wrote “King of Clubs,” said, “You have to learn to earn.”

“When you are talking about the translation of education to jobs, you must learn to earn in our economy. If you can’t get a job making or selling something, you are going to end up in the service industry (banking, law, medical). You must get an education to make a living.”

What else do you think people need to succeed?

“Besides education, you will need persistence. You will be told ‘No’ a lot. If you don’t learn how to accept ‘No’ and rebound, then you’ll end up selling yourself short.”

“You’re not going to get a call out of blue that says come work here, we’re going to pay you a lot of money. You have got to get off your butt and go sell yourself.”

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com