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Sucks Not Eating That Cake, Huh?

I covered a pretty amazing hearing recently. It wasn’t amazing because of anything I did. It was amazing because it perfectly showcased the disastrous impact of mandatory sentencing rules and a culture of punishment and cruelty not just on defendants, but on victims. The client was accused of taking money from a family trust. He was left out of it, but his cousins weren’t. He allegedly drained the trust using forged checks. At his first sentencing, the victims said how they weren’t going to get to go to college. He took their college fund, apparently, and now they had to take out student loans. At least one of them wanted to punish him with a long prison sentence. All of them wanted him to repay … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Prosecutors, Victim's Rights

Bad Facts + Time = Bad Law

There is an old saying about bad facts making bad law. It is probably true, but luckily, that does not have to be the case. Look no further than the recent Court of Appeals of Arizona case of State v. Lucas and its predecessor for proof. They also show that nearly-identical bad facts will eventually, even before the same court, create bad law sooner or later. The facts of both cases were simple. Victims have a right to refuse interviews in Arizona, and courts can designate a victim’s representative by law when the victim is a minor. In State v. Lucas, the grandmother was the victim’s representative, and the victim reached the age of majority. The defense wanted to interview her. The law provides the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Victim's Rights

Politics In Action

I’d rather not write a post about Kolby Granville, but he’s a public figure and his Facebook posts make it tough to stay quiet. Kolby seemed nice in law school. I think he was in the peace corps and a famous archer before that. I heard he ran for office before law school too. He asked lots of questions in class. He got some type of firm job after graduating, and he quit to become a teacher, at some point running for and winning a spot on Tempe’s City Council. Like hundreds of other people I don’t really know terribly well along with a small group of people I do, he and I are Facebook buddies. He recently posted this: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Government Rants

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Pinal County has some amazingly friendly people working court security. One guy always used to ask to borrow my car. Another would demand a check made out to him for parking in the public lot in front of the courthouse. Once, after a bit of a hiatus from handling cases there, I came back to court with facial hair. As I passed through the metal detector, one guy got on the radio and said, “we’re gonna need a razor down here.” Upon closer inspection of the quality of beard I had, he got on the radio again. “Better make that a child’s safety razor.” The guy standing in the back with an enviable handlebar mustache got a real chuckle out of that one. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts

Who Needs Lawyers Anyway?

I came across a fascinating post about the unauthorized practice of law after Mauricio Hernandez at the Irreverent Lawyer wrote a post of his own discussing it. It was the sort of thing that took a little time for me to digest before writing about it. For those too lazy to click through, the original article is about a woman with a very strong background in criminal law who moved here then took and passed the Arizona bar before becoming a capital staff attorney in Maricopa County. Ignoring some off-putting personal attacks that may or may not be deserved and a bizarre part in the closing paragraph that tries to make it a red-state-blue-state political problem, it’s a thought-provoking piece about the flagrant unauthorized practice of law by a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Ethics, lawyers, Practice in General, Professionalism

Veterans Court

In a lot of ways, I really like the idea of a special court for veterans. Treating any group or any individual in accordance with the fundamental concept that some sense of dignity and worth should be afforded to criminal defendants is a great idea in my book, even if most other defendants don’t have the same luxury. I’m not willing to slam a program that does something a little closer to right just because the rest of the system treats people totally wrong. On the other hand, it’s tough to stomach a system that superficially kowtows to people whose lives have been directly ruined by the government, whether voluntary or not on their part, while destroying the lives of those whose lives have been less overtly ruined by … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts

A Persuasive Offer To Contribute

Last Monday afternoon, an intriguing email from a charming fellow named Ryan appeared in my inbox: Respected Sir, I would like to inform you that i am interested in contributing “Law” related blog content on your blog. Kindly let me know how should i proceed ahead for contribution. Waiting for your response. Ryan, who identified himself as a publisher as well as a writer, must be a faithful reader too. How else could he know my blog features “Law” related content? He is also quite proactive. After i neglected to respond to him for over a day, he emailed me again during the wee hours of the morning last Wednesday: Hello Sir, Hope you are doing well. I guess you must be busy. Just wanted to know if you got a chance to go … Read entire article »

Filed under: Marketing

Gee Whiz, Referrals!

An email arrived last Monday from Lawyer.com with the title “Potential Client – Action Requested by Tuesday 9.00 AM.” Adrian forwarded the one he got to me shortly afterwards with a message saying “blog fodder?” I really didn’t want to write about it, but I now feel compelled. Apparently, the “Lawyer.com Listing” I didn’t know I had “generated a Potential Criminal Client.” Clicking through took me to a page where information about the “client” was posted. It was someone with questions about something old on his criminal record, and he wanted a consultation. I would’ve ignored it had I not gotten another one. The second one was from a family member of another potential “client” and provided the guy’s full name and jail location as well as … Read entire article »

Filed under: Marketing

An Epic Pinal County Scandal

A little more than a week ago, Scott Greenfield wrote a post at Simple Justice about how a deputy at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office shot an unarmed man in the back despite the fact the man had his hands in the air and was clearly surrendering. If it hadn’t been caught on camera by a bystander, it would never have been news because the sheriff initially lied about the facts, insisted the deputy was justified, and let the deputy return to full duty after only three days of paid administrative leave. Luckily, the footage couldn’t be clearer: CBS 5 – KPHO Scott wrote about the deeper message the sheriff was sending by approving of the officer’s clearly unjustified actions, which is indeed the more important thing to consider. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants, Police, Prosecutors

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