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  • Bio

RC Pate

Why I’m Called the DWI Guru

After getting a B.A. in physics and religion from Trinity University and graduating from law school at the University of Houston, I served as a prosecutor in San Antonio for two-and-a-half years. During that time, I tried many people for DWIs and gained tremendous knowledge of the process. I worked my way up the chain of command but when I was told that I couldn’t be promoted unless I cut my hair, I quit. My first DWI client hired me the day I left the district attorney’s office.

What Sets Me Apart

I am one of the very DWI attorneys designated as an ACS-CHAL lawyer-scientist by the American Chemical Society, Chemistry and the Law Division. That means I’ve studied gas chromatography and mass spectrometry – the scientific methods used to determine the amount of alcohol or other intoxicants in a blood sample. I know how to:

  • Understand test results.
  • Request the correct paperwork from the lab.
  • Force the government to defend its lab results and not just accept a number as the value of your blood alcohol level.

Professional Associations

  • ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist
  • San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Editor, Defender Magazine
  • National College of DUI Defense
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • Texas DWI Lawyers Association

Other Interests

I have many different hobbies. I coach my eight year old daughters soccer team and am a coach for the San Antonio Slayers. When I’m not doing something athletic, I am probably playing Settlers of Catan.

What does being a ACS-CHAL Lawyer scientist mean?

It means RC has studied the scientific process of gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry. Those are the scientific methods used to determine the amount of alcohol or other intoxicants in a blood sample.

For each lab, there is a slightly different procedure they use for preparing the blood sample for analysis. Blood has to be taken from the vial and several chemicals are added to it. Depending upon what substance they are looking for, or what brand of machine they are using, the paramaters are different. The precise combination of those chemicals is important. Too little or too much of one chemical may inflate the result or invalidate the test.

Does your lawyer know what n-propanol is? And how it can affect your reading? A Lawyer Scientist like RC will know the answer to these questions. He will know how to ask for the correct paperwork from the lab. He will force the government scientist to “show their work” before just accepting a number as the value of your blood alcohol level.

As you can imagine, if you don’t really know the specifics of these fields, it becomes impossible to tell whether the State’s scientist has done their job correctly. If your case is going to come down to how this analysis was performed, it’s best to get someone who understands it through and through

How do you get to be a Lawyer Scientist?

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is the largest scientific organization in the world. In fact, it was chartered by the US Congress, but has members all over the world. A subgroup of the ACS is the Chemistry and the Law division (ACS-CHAL). Only the ACS-CHAL can designate someone as a lawyer-scientist. It is by no means an easy designation to get.

In order to receive the designation a lawyer needs to take a series of 4 classes at the Axion labs. in Chicago. These classes are taught by experts in their field, on the subjects of how the machine works to evaluate alcohol or other drugs in a person’s blood. In fact, Dr. Harold McNair actually wrote the book that virtually every government scientist will agree is the leading textbook on the subject. Dr. McNair did his work studying under a guy named AJ Martin, who was awarded the nobel prize for Gas Chromatography. So the Lawyer scientist has literally one degree of seperation from his own education and that of the nobel prize winner for the science.

After taking the four classes a person has to pass a 100 question test, then show they are in good standing with both the ACS and their local bar association. So far there are less than 100 Lawyers with the designation of Lawyer Scientist. None of those lawyers practice in the same parts of Texas as RC. It is fair to say, that virtually nobody else has the qualifications RC does to attack the blood science in your case.

If your case is going to depend on determinations of alcohol or other drugs in your blood, it makes sense to hire a lawyer who understands these processes. If your lawyer doesn’t know the process, how can they possibly point out mistakes in that process? Contact us today to get a free consultation about your case. It might be the best decision you ever made.

Contact the DWI Guru Today 

Get an experienced DWI attorney on your side. Call the Law Office of RC Pate at (210) 757-4373
or use the online form to schedule a consultation.