General Counsel, Harris County Deputies’ Organization, Local 154, International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO.
General Counsel, Texas Union of Police and Sheriffs, International Union of Police Associations, AFL- CIO
Founder; Police-Lawyer Utilization Service. (P.L.U.S.) and Counselors Of Police and Sheriffs (C.O.P.S.)
Burt is a former St. Charles Parish, Louisiana Deputy Sheriff and City of Houston, Texas Police Officer.
University of Mississippi, 1974-1977
Houston Community College, 1984-1986, A.A.S.C.J.
University of Houston, 1984-1986, B.S.C.J.
Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, 1986-1988, J.D.
Law Enforcement Training:
Nicholls State University; Thibodaux, Louisiana, Basic Police Academy, 1979
Houston, Texas Police Academy, 1980
Advanced Peace Officer Certificate; Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education.
Represented the Houston Police Patrolmen’s Union (I.U.P.A.) as a representative and staff attorney from 1986 to 1998.
General Counsel of the Harris County Deputies’ Organization 1991-2004 (Covered more Shootings, Grand Juries, Criminal and Civil Trials than any other Attorney in Organization history, to date).
General Counsel of the Texas Union of Police and Sheriffs/I.U.P.A. since October, 1999 and also represents the Pasadena (Texas) Police Patrolmen’s Union and the South Texas Organization of Police.
Provides training nationwide to others on shooting and critical incidents.
Mr. Downey was born in Canton, Massachusetts. He attended Noble and Greenough School in Dedham Massachusetts. He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. While a student in law school, Mr. Downey was chosen to become one of a select group of students to compete in national events as a member of the American Trial Lawyer’s Association (ATLA) Mock Trial Team. He obtained his law degree in 1993 and was one of a very limited group of applicants to be hired before graduation by the Trial Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston, Texas. Mr. Downey served as a trial prosecutor with the District Attorney’s Office until December 1998. He is licensed throughout the State of Texas as well as in the federal courts of the Southern District of Texas. Mr. Downey is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Specialization.
While serving as a prosecutor for Harris County, Mr. Downey held a variety of positions within the District Attorney’s Office and acted as lead trial prosecutor in over 60 jury trials. He was selected to serve as the Chief Prosecutor in charge of two misdemeanor courts including the newly created County Criminal Court at Law No. 15. During his tenure, Mr. Downey achieved Assistant Chief Felony Prosecutor status and was responsible for prosecuting a wide variety of crimes including murder and other first-degree felony crimes.
During his last year with the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Downey was selected to join the Civil Rights Division where he focused his efforts on the investigation and prosecution of law enforcement personnel accused of civil rights violations. He was a member of the Harris County District Attorney’s Shooting Investigation Team which was responsible for examining every officer-related shooting in Harris County in which a citizen was injured.As a prosecutor, Mr. Downey worked closely with members of numerous police agencies including the Houston Police Department, the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, the Texas Rangers, DEA, FBI, ATF, the Secret Service, the Internal Affairs Division and the Department of Justice.
In December 1998, Mr. Downey left the District Attorney’s Office to establish his own firm. In June 2002, Mr. Downey founded The Downey Law Firm at its present location at 2814 Hamilton Street in downtown Houston. He devotes the majority of his practice to representing individual citizens and corporate clients charged with state and federal crimes. His office is staffed with additional attorneys who assist clients on a wide variety of other matters including, but not limited to family law, personal injury law and general litigation.
Mr. Downey undertakes all criminal cases with an eye toward obtaining a dismissal of all charges. He educates all of his clients as to the nature of the charges they face and the legal ramifications of any outcomes that might occur. Mr. Downey has successfully defended citizens accused of a wide range of charges including virtually all forms of felonies and misdemeanors.
Over the years, Mr. Downey has developed a strong working relationship with judges, prosecutors, members of law enforcement, and fellow members of the defense bar. He works hard to maintain a reputation within the community as a vigorous advocate for his clients and an aggressive trial attorney.
Mr. Downey is a former member of the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association. He is a member in good standing with the State Bar of Texas’ Criminal Justice Section as well as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association (TCDLA), and the Harris County Criminal Lawyer’s Association (HCCLA).
Additionally, Mr. Downey has appeared as a legal commentator on criminal matters for MSNBC, The Abrams Report, Court TV and the Catherine Crier Show.
Carson Joachim (pronounced Yokum), graduated law school at Baylor University and has been a licensed attorney for the State of Texas since May of 2002.
Carson is a native Houstonian, began his legal career at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable trial experience in both misdemeanor and felony cases for the three (3) years he spent with the office. Carson represented law enforcement officers from the Houston Police Department as staff counsel for the Houston Police Patrolmen’s Union, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 109. While at H.P.P.U., Carson handled all forms of administrative hearings and appeals related to discipline and officer involved shootings.
Prior to joining the C.O.P.S. legal team in 2018 as an associate attorney, Carson was General Counsel for the Harris County Deputies Organization (HCDO) Carson for ten years handled administrative civil matters, IAD investigations, Federal Lawsuits, grievances and criminal matters for the members of HCDO.
From the valuable experience gained as a prosecutor, Carson has devoted his legal career to trial work giving his clients the ability to fight their case in the courtroom. He recognizes that the issue facing his clients is the most important issue in their life and he will give your case the personal time and attention needed to effectively resolve your legal matter. Should you have an issue involving felony crimes, misdemeanor crimes, juvenile law crimes, or any family law matter you will receive an honest and fair assessment of your case and a zealous and aggressive advocate for your case with Carson Joachim.
On a personal note, Carson is a graduate of Lamar Consolidated High School where he played football, baseball, basketball and track. He accepted a football scholarship from Eastern New Mexico University where he played four years as a wide receiver. After completing his undergraduate degree in Business Administration, Marketing, and English, he attended Baylor University School of Law in Waco, Texas.
Denise has been a Legal Assistant/Paralegal to Attorney Burt Springer since March 3, 1997 and the COPS Office Administrator since September 21, 2004.
She is the Daughter of Retired HPD Sergeant A. T. Cook.
Denise Strybos is the initial contact person for all membership benefits and dues inquiries, for job related grievances and disciplinary appeals, assistance with IAD statements, preparing free Wills & Power of Attorneys under the Legal P.L.U.S. Plan and general information about our organization. Additional, Denise assists the attorney with all Family, Civil District and Criminal cases for COPS members and for referrals by COPS members.
You can reach Denise at (713) 227-COPS or via Email at COPSUNION@aol.com