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Adventures in Expert-Land

I used an expert voice analyst in one of my cases last year. I’ve been thinking about writing about the experience for a while, as it left me with grave doubts about the supposed science of voice elimination. For some reason, I started thinking about it again over the holidays and finally decided to write something. It seemed like a good way to kick off the new year and get back to blawging. The case involved an extensive, multi-jurisdictional wiretapping investigation. My client was accused of conspiring to purchase drugs and using a wire communication to facilitate a felony drug crime. He claimed it wasn’t him on the phone. We wanted to use an expert to eliminate my client as a potential match for … Read entire article »

Filed under: Experts

Arpaio Set to Music

For your amusement, here’s a little song someone wrote about Sheriff Joe: (H/T Kris and Bob) … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Who Plans These Things?

Maricopa County Superior Court’s Downtown Regional Court Center, or “Downtown RCC” as they call it, may be the most irritating place in the state to handle a case. The Maricopa County regional court centers are where a lot of felony cases end up in their early stages. The cases I’ve had there are ones in which the county attorney has filed a complaint but probable cause has yet to be found for the charges by way of a grand jury indictment or preliminary hearing. When I’m at the Downtown RCC, I usually have to find out what the initial plea offer is and either affirm the preliminary hearing or request a continuance to see about getting a better offer or a dismissal. Downtown RCC is in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Practice in General, Prosecutors

The Double-Call

Sometimes one call isn’t enough. That’s what a number of my clients seem to think, at least. My phone will ring, but I either miss it or can’t pick up because I’m busy. Sure enough, the same number will call again after having not left a message moments before. It’s the dreaded “double-call,” a phenomenon every attorney encounters at some point. It isn’t just clients that do it either. Other attorneys, police officers, and legal assistants do it too. Admittedly, the tactic can be helpful. If I miss the first call because I’m a little too slow picking up and the number shows up as unknown, it’s nice to have a second chance. The tactic is less helpful when I’m not picking … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients

What's the Solution?

When Fourthamendment.com calls Maricopa County “a banana republic where the Sheriff can intimidate any official he wants,” it’s a good sign we’ve reached a low point. I don’t disagree with the sentiment, though the sheriff’s willingness to intimidate isn’t limited to officials. It’s depressing. Nobody here is safe, and this should be getting a lot more press. The mainstream, national media seems to be ignoring Maricopa County altogether. I’m still seeing more traffic going to posts about David DeCosta and smoking bans than goes to posts about what could be the breakdown of constitutional government as we know it. It seems no one is listening. Scott Greenfield even started losing interest, but Mark Bennett argued Maricopa matters. That prompted another post from Scott about what … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Donahoe Charged

Holy crap. I’ve written about Judge Donahoe of the Maricopa County Superior Court here, here, here, and here. The county attorney just charged him with three felony counts. I’ve uploaded the complaint, release questionnaire, and probable cause statement here. I have too much work on my desk to comment on it now, but “holy crap” pretty much sums it up. I think my most recent post has become even more relevant. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

More from the Land of Sheriff Joe (Updated)

Out-of-state bloggers beat me to it again. Bobby Frederick, Jeff Gamso, and Scott Greenfield write about how Judge Donahoe has refused to unseal the documents deputy Stoddard took from a defense lawyer’s file and how Sheriff Joe issued an inaccurate press release attacking Donahoe and has apparently refused to put deputies in the courtroom where all of this started. Also worth noting is the fact that two county supervisors with a supposed history of problems with Sheriff Joe have been indicted on numerous felony charges. I don’t have much to add, as the absurdity of the situation here speaks for itself. We have elected a sheriff who thinks he has unlimited powers and a county attorney who seems to support him. The courts can’t control either … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Legal Strategery in Marikafka County

Adam Stoddard is probably still in jail. If you need some background, catch up here, here, and here. Maricopa County has seen bomb threats and pepper spray incidents that may be related to his detention, as well as a law enforcement rally and vigil showing support for him. Meanwhile, deputy county attorney Tom Liddy, who still seems to be counsel for Stoddard, makes what could at best be called weak offering in his defense. Will disclosing the contents of the documents Stoddard illegally viewed and seized really help get him out any sooner? It seems Liddy, who claims to represent Stoddard and not the sheriff, is more concerned about making a joke out of the fourth, fifth, sixth, and fourteenth amendments than he is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Procedural Rules

No Constitutional Crisis Here

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Stoddard violated a defendant’s constitutional rights, Superior Court Judge Gary Donahoe held him in contempt, and Stoddard is now in jail after refusing to follow the judge’s order and apologize. The way I see it, the loser here isn’t Stoddard or his boss, the ever-defiant Sheriff Joe. I think Stoddard ends up looking good to most people. Even I’m a little impressed with the guy. He did his job, refused to apologize for doing what he was trained to do, then took one for the team and followed the judge’s order. I tend to have serious problems with blindly following authority, but I can definitely appreciate how far Stoddard is willing to go to do what he perceives to be his … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Courts, Government Rants

You and What Army?

My recent prediction was wrong, and for a moment, being wrong never felt so good. Judge Donahoe of the Maricopa County Superior Court held Deputy Stoddard of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in contempt for rifling through a defense lawyer’s file in court. Here is the minute entry. Judge Donahoe’s order was unusual though, as Deputy Stoddard wasn’t fined or sentenced to a definite jail term as a result of his contempt. It wasn’t punitive, criminal contempt. Instead, it was civil contempt. The point was to coerce Deputy Stoddard to hold a press conference and apologize to the defense lawyer. The defense lawyer must be satisfied with the apology in order for Deputy Stoddard to avoid jail. The court’s order was strange, but that wasn’t … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

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