Why hire a former prosecutor?
As a former Chief Felony Prosecutor, Brandon understands the intricacies of trial and plea negotiation in Central Texas. All courts are not the same; it is important to have someone that knows how things work in the local courts. Experience on the other side of the courtroom will help in your defense as Brandon can think like a prosecutor and try and anticipate the State’s next move.
After receiving his law license, Brandon immediately began his career as an Assistant District Attorney at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. He successfully tried his first criminal case on his 11th day on the job. Brandon worked for Dallas County from 2006 until 2011. During that time he worked in the Misdemeanor Division and was later promoted to the Felony Division. Brandon was later assigned to the Organized Crime Division, which focused on large-scale narcotics investigations. This position allowed Brandon to get a great deal of experience trying all types of drug cases.
Brandon has tried over 120 jury trials to verdict. Those trials have included offenses such as murder, aggravated robbery, sexual assault, possession with the intent to deliver, theft and driving while intoxicated. In addition to the cases that went to trial, Brandon has negotiated the disposition of ten times that number of cases.
About Brandon Luce
Brandon was born and raised in Waco. He attended Waco High School and graduated in 1998 helping to guide the Lions to their first baseball playoff appearance in 5 years. After high school, he decided to stay in his hometown and went on to Baylor University. While at Baylor, Brandon was a member of the Baylor Baseball team from 1998-2002, including the 2000 Big 12 Championship team. After earning a BBA from Baylor in 2002, Brandon attended St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio. In law school, Brandon was a member of the Mock Trial Team and a staff writer for The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice. Brandon graduated from St. Mary’s in 2006, beginning his career as an attorney.
In the News:
Chief felony prosecutor Luce leaving DA’s office to practice with dad
For almost 10 years, Brandon Luce has prosecuted murderers, rapists, armed robbers, a school arsonist and at least one elected county official.
But the 36-year-old former felony division chief in McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna’s office embarked on the next phase of his career last week and will be sitting on the other side of the counsel table defending those charged by Reyna’s office.
Luce used to think of himself as a lifelong prosecutor. But, he said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with his father, Waco attorney Derrel Luce, make more money and have more free time to spend on the T-ball field coaching his young daughters.
“I just felt like it was the time,” Luce said. “I have been doing it for nine years now, and Dad has a lot of experience to give and it was time now to take advantage of this good opportunity. Not everybody has this kind of opportunity, and working with Dad really means something.”
For those accustomed to Luce’s confident, straightforward style, it might take some getting used to when he lines up on the defendant’s side. There might be an adjustment period for Luce, as well.
“It is going to be different, obviously. Some people say, ‘I could never stand to do that kind of law.’ But you learn in law school that you can always make an argument and zealously represent your client. I have seen some cases where they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. But even the guiltiest person in the world has rights, and there is a need to make sure those rights are protected.”
Reyna promoted Luce in January to felony division chief with responsibility over both of McLennan County’s primary felony courts. He said he is leaving the DA’s office on good terms.
“Brandon was one of the first assistant DAs I hired when I took office,” Reyna said. “He was a great advocate for the victims and citizens of McLennan County. His leadership, courtroom talents and sense of humor will be greatly missed. I want to thank Brandon for his commitment to my vision of making McLennan County a safer place to work and live. I wish Brandon all the best on his new journey practicing law with his father. Having practiced law with my dad, this is something that I can appreciate and respect.”
Luce started working for Reyna in January 2011, trying 62 felony cases in the past five years, including a case in which a defendant who got a life prison term for murder four years ago wanted to wear a full-length rabbit coat to court on his birthday. Luce also assisted in the prosecution of former Tax Assessor-Collector Buddy Skeen, who pleaded guilty to five felony counts that involved misuse of county property and vehicles.
Before moving back to Waco, Luce worked in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office from November 2006 to January 2011. He served as prosecutor in 34 misdemeanor trials and 32 felony trials in Dallas County.
“Brandon Luce has provided a valuable public service to McLennan County as chief felony prosecutor in the 54th District Court,” 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson said. “His departure to practice law with his father, Derrel Luce, is understandable but it is a loss for the county. Brandon is a skilled trial attorney and an excellent advocate who I am sure will be successful in private practice.”
Luce said he will help his father with his personal injury practice and expand the practice with his criminal defense work. Luce said he already has signed up on the court-appointment list to represent indigent defendants.
“It’s really nice to have Brandon here,” said the elder Luce, 63. “He is going to assist me with the personal injury practice, and obviously, do criminal defense work, which I have really never done.”
Brandon Luce graduated from Waco High School and was a first team selection on the Tribune-Herald Super Centex baseball team. He walked on at Baylor, playing four years there before going on to St. Mary’s Law School.
He married his high-school sweetheart and they have two daughters, ages 5 and 3.
Spending more time with his family and having more flexible work hours also is attractive to Luce, he said.
Luce’s father was an All-American linebacker at Baylor and played six years with the Colts, Vikings and Lions in the NFL. He went to law school during NFL off-seasons and has had a successful personal injury practice in Waco for decades.
Judge Ralph Strother said Brandon Luce was a valuable asset to the criminal justice system.
“Mr. Luce is a talented and accomplished prosecutor. His services to the district attorney’s office and to the criminal justice system will be sorely missed.”