Posted on May 15, 2013
OC Weekly: Federal Prosecutors Win DEA Bribery Case Involving Orange County Defense Lawyer by R. Scott Moxley:
Veteran Orange County criminal defense lawyer Lawrence Anthony Witsoe closed his eyes and remained motionless late this afternoon as a court clerk read a series of guilty verdicts against him in what could go down as one of the dumbest bribery convictions in California history...
Posted on May 07, 2013
Providence Journal: Defense lawyer accused of bribery opts for a jury trial by Katie Mulvaney:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A defense lawyer accused of bribing a witness has decided to let a jury decide his fate.
Gerard Donley withdrew his bid for a bench trial before Superior Court Judge Robert Krause...
Posted on May 03, 2013
ABAJ: Judge is suspended for jailing lawyer who advised his client to plead the 5th by Debra Cassens Weiss:
A Michigan judge will be suspended for 30 days for jailing a lawyer who asserted his client's Fifth Amendment rights when the judge asked questions about past drug use...
Posted on April 28, 2013
Law.com: Client Identities, Legal Bills Can Be Disclosed, High Court Says by Gina Passarella:
Client identities do not enjoy blanket attorney-client privilege protection under Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law, the state Supreme Court has ruled. The case stems from a request by an Associated Press reporter for legal bills related to the Pennsylvania Senate's hiring of attorneys to represent former state Senator Robert J...
Posted on April 28, 2013
Texas Tribune: Texas Prosecutors No Longer Unassailable by Ross Ramsey:
An elected prosecutor used to have one of the most respected jobs at any level of Texas government.
District attorneys were often big personalities — the courtroom muscle of the criminal justice system, the people showing up on TV to play out the real-life version of “truth, justice and the American way...
Posted on April 27, 2013
NLJ: In Boston Marathon bomb case, resources aren't equal by Zoe Tillman:
The Boston Marathon bombings case promises to be a high-profile spectacle. Every move prosecuting and defense attorneys make will be subject to searing media analysis and second-guessing...
Posted on April 24, 2013
Law.com: Public Defenders for Boston Suspect Facing Furloughs by Zoe Tillman:
As the federal public defender office in Boston prepares to defend Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old charged in the Boston Marathon bombings, the lawyers involved face an added challenge: managing the case in the midst of furloughs.
Posted on April 19, 2013
TimesLeader.com: County public defender fired by Jennifer Learn-Andes:
A litigation threat didn’t stop Luzerne County Manager Robert Lawton from terminating acting Chief Public Defender Al Flora.
Lawton sent council an email Wednesday afternoon saying Flora has been “relieved of his duties” as acting chief, effective immediately...
Posted on April 19, 2013
BLT: U.S. Courts Announce Sequestration Plan for Defenders:
It's rare for a furlough announcement to be considered good news, but that was the case yesterday for the federal public defender office in Washington.
The Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference, the body of judges that decides how the federal judiciary spends its money, announced it had reached a plan for the defender services budget under federally mandated cuts known as sequestration...
Posted on April 15, 2013
“In [Lafler v. Cooper, __ U.S. __, 132 S. Ct. 1376, 182 L. Ed. 2d 398 (2012), and Missouri v. Frye, __ U.S. __, 132 S. Ct. 1399, 182 L. Ed. 2d 379 (2012)], he United States Supreme Court held that habeas petitioners can establish a violation of the sixth amendment right to counsel by proving a reasonable probability [that] they would have accepted the ...
Posted on April 13, 2013
The ultimate decision of what witnesses to call in a trial belongs to defense counsel as the manager of that side of the case. Puglisi v. State, 11-768 (Fla. April 11, 2013), receding from Blanco v. State, 452 So. 2d 520 (Fla. 1984):
The question before us is whether a criminal defendant has the ultimate authority to decide whether to present witnesses at trial when the defendant is represented by counsel...
Posted on April 12, 2013
Constitution Daily: Constitution Check: Can constitutional rights be suspended for lack of funding? by Lyle Denniston:
The statement at issue:
“On a good day, we’re stretched thin. Sequestration takes us well beyond the breaking point. You simply can’t sequester the Sixth Amendment...
Posted on April 09, 2013
HuffPo: Sequester Effects: Top Public Defender Forced To Fire Himself:
WASHINGTON -- As he looked over his office's budget sheets alongside his administrative assistant, Steve Nolder, the director of the public defender's office in southern Ohio, was confronted with no good options...
Posted on April 08, 2013
SFGate (AP): Utah public defense system could draw lawsuit:
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah could be vulnerable to a lawsuit for falling short on its role to provide legal defense for poor people, according to two legal watchdog groups.
Utah is one of only two states that does not fund or provide oversight for its system to supply defense attorneys to those who can't afford them...
Posted on March 19, 2013
NJLJ: Former Prosecutor [now defense lawyer] Convicted of Witness Murder, Racketeering by David Gialanella:
Paul Bergrin, who once earned his living sending criminals to jail, will likely be following in their path.
On Monday, after a seven-week trial, a federal court jury in Newark convicted the former prosecutor on 23 counts, most related to running his criminal defense practice in the city as a racketeering and illegal drug enterprise and serving as "house counsel" to a drug kingpin...
Posted on March 16, 2013
NYTimes: Criminal Lawyer Is Barred From Working in U.S. Court by Benjamin Weiser:
Ivan S. Fisher, a prominent criminal defense lawyer, has been barred from practicing law in Federal District Court in Manhattan, the site of many of his celebrated trials, including representing a New York mafia boss in the well-known pizza connection narcotics case in the 1980s...
Posted on March 15, 2013
NYTimes: Is There Life After Work? by Erin Callan:
AT an office party in 2005, one of my colleagues asked my then husband what I did on weekends. She knew me as someone with great intensity and energy. “Does she kayak, go rock climbing and then run a half marathon?” she joked...
Posted on March 14, 2013
HuffPo: Is the Right to Counsel for Criminal Defendants a Myth? by Judge H. Lee Sarokin, Retired federal judge:
Fifty years after the landmark decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, the right to counsel for persons charged with crimes apparently exists in principle but not in practice...
Posted on March 13, 2013
BLT: Judge Sentences Longtime D.C. Defense Lawyer to 63 Months in Prison:
Calling a defense lawyer's crime "truly unconscionable," a federal judge in Washington today sentenced a longtime Washington attorney to more than five years in prison for his role in a scheme to manufacture evidence to dupe jurors in a drug trial...
Posted on March 12, 2013
Gawker.com: Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Mug Shot Ends Up Next to Own Online Ad After Weekend Arrest by Neetzan Zimmerman:
Bad: Criminal defense attorney Thomas Lewis Edwards of Gainesville, Florida, was arrested over the weekend and charges with multiple counts stemming from an alleged drunken hit-and-run...
Posted on March 06, 2013
Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky Supreme Court to hear 'no win, no pay' criminal fee case; Lawyer faces ethics violations in fee dispute:
Indicted in the 1997 murder of his adoptive father, Alan David Manning agreed to pay attorney Nancy Roberts with assets from the family’s 160-acre Warren County farm, which Manning was due to inherit...
Posted on March 05, 2013
Defendant was not forced into an unconstitutional conundrum to testify when the public defender sought to be relieved because of defendant’s assets. Simmons v. United States, 390 U.S. 377, 394 (1968), allowing a defendant to testify at a suppression hearing without having it used at trial does not apply...
Posted on February 28, 2013
ABAJ: Fifty years after Gideon, lawyers still struggle to provide counsel to the indigent by Mark Walsh:
In June 1962, when the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of the handwritten pauper’s appeal from a Florida inmate named Clarence Earl Gideon, the court correspondent of the New York Times immediately knew he had a good news story on his hands...
Posted on February 27, 2013
Defense lawyer’s posting on YouTube of evidence surveillance video of drug deal going down violated the S.Ct. rule against keeping discovery to one’s self. It was posted “on defendant's Facebook page, under a file headed, ‘cops and task force planting drugs...
Posted on February 25, 2013
Calhoun v. United States, No. 12–6142 (February 25, 2013), Statement of Justice Sotomayor with Breyer on denial of certiorari:
By suggesting that race should play a role in establishing a defendant’s criminal intent, the prosecutor here tapped a deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our Nation...
Posted on February 22, 2013
NYLJ: Lawyer fined $1,500 for plagiarism in brief: Rapper Wins Dismissal of Lawsuit by Lohan by Christine Simmons:
Lindsay Lohan's lawsuit against rapper Armando Perez, known as "Pitbull," has been dismissed, and the actress' attorney in Long Island has been fined $1,500 after the judge found evidence of plagiarism in her court papers.
Posted on February 20, 2013
Seattle Times: Op-ed: Do not break King County’s system of public defense
Changing King County’s public-defense system from nonprofit law offices to an in-house agency is unwise and unnecessary, according to guest columnists Felix G. Luna and Jeffery Robinson
by Felix G...
Posted on February 17, 2013
Forfeiture of defendant’s money in state court rendered defendant an indigent in federal court. His remedy for the Sixth Amendment issue was in state court, not federal court. United States v. Larsen, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20977 (E.D. Wis. February 14, 2013).
Posted on February 14, 2013
Defendant had nine continuances and went through five lawyers. On the trial day, he fired number five, and the USDJ wouldn't go along. He also refused to come out of his cell, smeared himself with feces, and then fought with Marshals. On this record, defendant was not denied his choice of counsel, and the USDJ's findings it was all a ploy to avoid trial are supported by the evidence...