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Kathryn M. Kase
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Kathryn Kase

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Last updated: 1/30/2019
Ms. Kathryn M. Kase
Attorney Member
Professional Information
Kathryn M. Kase
Attorney at Law
3720 Greenbriar
PO Box 980849
Houston
Texas
77098-  United States
 [ Map ]
713 444-2044 (Phone)
  Out of State
  Texas (1990); District of Columbia (1992); New York (1994)
  Capital Litigation
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Kathryn M. Kase is a criminal defense lawyer.

In addition to her private practice, she serves as General Counsel to the Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. Between June 2017 and January 2019, she served as a Senior Advisor to Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis and worked to carry out Commissioner Ellis’ goal of reducing mass incarceration, social injustices, and racial disparity within the Harris County criminal justice system.

Before joining Commissioner Ellis’ team, she was part of the team who obtained a new, fair sentencing trial for Duane Edward Buck in the U.S. Supreme Court (Buck v. Davis, 137 S. Ct. 759 (2017) (Roberts, C.J.). She has represented capital clients at trial in the state courts of Texas and New York, and has served as learned counsel in federal court.

Her capital defense work has addressed the complexities of intellectual disability, mental illness, and international law. As a result, several of her clients are now off death row and serving life sentences. Prior clients have included: Cary Wayne McKinley, charged with a death penalty offense in New York in 1997 and completely acquitted at trial; Daniel Angel Plata, whose death sentence was commuted following a finding of intellectual disability; Charles Dean Hood, whose execution was stayed following depositions proving the trial judge and prosecutor had had an affair during his death penalty trial; and Ricky Eugene Kerr, now serving a life sentence as a result of her work.

She received a law degree, cum laude, in 1990, from St. Mary’s University School of Law, where she was an Articles Editor for the St. Mary’s Law Journal. After a period in private practice in San Antonio and later in Albany, New York, she joined Texas Defender Service in 2002 and served as its Executive Director from late 2011 to early 2017.

She is a past-president of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and, from 2000 to 2003, served as a Board member for the New York State Defenders Association, which provides backup assistance to public defenders and court-appointed lawyers throughout New York. In Texas, she has served on the advisory boards of the Harris County Public Defender and the Regional Public Defender Office for Capital Cases.

The quality of her legal work has been noted by multiple organizations. In 2002, the Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association named her the Outstanding Criminal Practitioner. In 2015, the National Law Journal recognized her as an Outstanding Woman Lawyer. In 2017, she was named a Premier Woman in Law by the Association of Women Attorneys-Houston.

She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and is licensed to practice law in Texas, New York and the District of Columbia.