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Why The Work Never Ends

I started work today with the best intentions. I had a list of what I had to accomplish along with a realistic plan of attack. After I sat down and finished my first task, a call came in: CLIENT: A detective came to see me and I pled guilty ME: What? CLIENT: It’s an emergency. I pled guilty. ME: You mean you confessed? CLIENT: Yeah, I pled guilty. I told him all the other stuff I did. ME: Did you say you had a lawyer? CLIENT: No, I just talked to him. He read me my rights and stuff. ME: Why did you talk to him? CLIENT: I don’t know. We’re gonna need to add the new charges to the current plea. ME: What new charges are there going to be? CLIENT: It doesn’t matter, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients

Lessons From Tombstone

I did the tourist thing in Tombstone this past weekend. It was pretty darn fun, I must admit. There’s the OK Corral, where lawmen who were at times outlaws killed some outlaws who were probably at times not outlaws. There’s historic Allen Street, where who knows how many people died in random gunfights. There were mines, graves for people who were little more than expendable commodities to wealthy businessmen, and there was also no shortage of beautiful high desert scenery, where who knows how many people were killed by hostile natives who didn’t take kindly to being exterminated as settlers continued to occupy their territory. The nifty old courthouse museum, where the convicted were hanged and the acquitted were sometimes hanged too, was a real highlight. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants

What’s Wrong With The Current Approach To Biker Profiling

I’ve been closely following legislation and lawsuits regarding biker profiling for over a decade. In that time, Arizona’s motorcyclists’ rights organizations have been giving it more and more attention. I think it’s fair to say that, for many or maybe even most bikers, it is the single most pressing issue they feel those organizations ought to be addressing right now. In many ways, I’m inclined to agree. I hear new stories about police telling business owners not to allow patches in their establishments almost every day. As a criminal defense attorney, I represent clients who are clearly targeted by officers simply because they ride. Even after charges are filed, bikers are regularly treated far more harshly. In the City of Mesa, for instance, there is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Bikers' Rights

They’re Way Too Busy

The West Mesa Justice Court has a fax number. I faxed them something yesterday. Today, the West Mesa Justice Court faxed me a letter saying the court doesn’t accept case documents by fax: Although the court does not have the capability to deal with multiple copies of the same document, they have enough time to send me a fax telling me so. Unfortunately, Brown & Little, P.L.C., implemented a no-fax-acceptance policy of its own this morning. We’ll be faxing the justice court a letter about it later today. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts

You Don’t Pay For Real Awards

I win stuff all the time. Just this week, I won the UK lottery even though I didn’t play. Most weeks, I’m selected to receive a sizable portion of various Nigerian millionaires’ estates. I don’t even know anyone in Nigeria. I also regularly win lawyer awards from people and organizations with writing styles eerily similar to the people who write me about my UK lottery winnings and Nigerian inheritances. I always learn about it by email, though. You can imagine my surprise when this letter arrived the other day: At first glance, I thought it was from the NACDL. I can only assume that’s the intended effect. Every criminal defense attorney knows about the NACDL, and I wouldn’t be surprised if most are … Read entire article »

Filed under: Marketing

Why People Make Jokes About Arizona

Alessandro Garcia is a killer. There’s no doubt about it. By his own ongoing admission, Garcia was part of the infamous Buddhist Temple Massacre that occurred on August 10, 1991. I have no idea what actually happened or who else was involved, but it’s undisputed that Garcia and one or more others killed six Buddhist monks, two young initiates, and an elderly nun. Apparently, they shot all of the victims in the back of the head at close range more than once. The innocent victims were made to kneel on the floor of the temple before being shot dead, one by one. Some had died while praying. All but the first likely witnessed the others being shot. It was part of a robbery, and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases

He Was Screwed No Matter What

In a recent Supreme Court of Arizona case, State v. Duran, the defendant tried to plead guilty but the trial court rejected his plea. The trial court then royally messed up by saying the prosecutor could use statements Duran made in connection with his change of plea if he testified inconsistently with them at trial. It’s important here to keep in mind the fact the trial court was wrong. Duran’s statements never, ever should have been used against him. The trial court made a mistake, and as a result, the defendant was confronted with the dilemma of testifying and bearing the disastrous brunt of the court’s mistake or not testifying and probably making the best of a really bad situation. A conviction would pretty much be guaranteed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Courts

99.9996 Percent Of Prosecutors Are Better Than That

I wrote last week about the first of a great series of articles at the Arizona Republic tackling the subject of prosecutorial misconduct. A surprisingly touchy and defensive group, apparently, some of the biggest-name prosecutors in the state shot back with a group response entitled “Hard-working prosecutors don’t deserve this ‘hack job.'” It went on to read, “Attorneys: Let’s set the record straight, in the interest of justice.” As much as the sassy title probably drew an “Aw, snap!” from every prosecutor whose delicate feelings were bruised by the mean old Arizona Republic’s thought-provoking article, the response from prosecutors didn’t really have much going for it after the title. In fact, it lost me in the first paragraph with this ridiculous statement: A prosecutor’s first duty is to justice, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Prosecutors

Prosecutor of the Year

A wonderful article from the Arizona Republic discusses prosecutorial misconduct in capital cases in Arizona. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but one little part in particular knocked the wind right out of me. It discusses Noel Levy, a former “Arizona Prosecutor of the Year” who seems to have done his best over the years to put people in prison or on death row using every sketchy prosecutor tactic in the prosecution playbook. One particular case involved Ray Krone, who was sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. Krone was convicted and sentenced to die based on a videotape about bite mark evidence that the defense didn’t have time to review. At Krone’s second trial, Levy got another conviction but only a life sentence. Krone, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Death Penalty, Prosecutors

I May Be Amazingly Brilliant and Tall And Good-Looking But I Am Still A Nuts-And-Bolts Criminal Defense Lawyer Available To YOU 24/7

Over at a public defender, Gideon wrote yesterday about a fascinating overturned conviction: Michael Skakel has just had his convictions reversed and a new trial ordered by former Appellate Court judge Thomas Bishop, who was designated to preside over and adjudicate Skakel’s petition for writ of habeas corpus. The allegations revolve mostly around Skakel’s representation by famed celebrity lawyer Mickey Sherman, in that Skakel alleges that Sherman did a terrible job representing him. That “famed celebrity lawyer” was actually the subject of a post at Simple Justice in 2010 after he pled guilty to two counts of willful failure to pay federal income taxes. The post was about how being a celebrity comes at a price and noted how Mickey Sherman was alleged to have converted for personal use money intended to … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Marketing

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