Brown & Little, P.L.C. » Entries tagged with "appeals"

A Nice Thought, At Least

When a judge begins a dissent by calling something agents did “a profoundly disturbing use of government power that directly imperils some of our most fundamental constitutional values,” I expect it is going to be a good read. I also assume the case probably arose in Arizona, where most people seem to think fundamental constitutional values should be limited to an appreciation of the sacred right to have law enforcement make sure nobody but them breaks any laws. With the recent Ninth Circuit case of United States v. Black, I was right on both counts. The description of what happened from the dissent in Black is pretty much as spot-on as the analysis. As it explains, the government went to a “bad” part of town to find “bad” people to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Drugs

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

Life’s Too Short

Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice put up a post earlier today about the disturbing phenomenon of new lawyers teaching continuing legal education courses. It’s a must-read that brings a story to mind. Pretty much every year I attend the Arizona Public Defender Association’s Annual Statewide Conference. I am perpetually surprised by the lack of the experience of many of the presenters and the depth of experience of most of those who sit in the audience. One particular situation arising from that continues to amuse me years later. For a few years, I’ve frequently sought advice from an appellate public defender I met through my wife. To say I admire him greatly would be an understatement. He’s amazing. He’s been licensed since 1975 and is an encyclopedia … Read entire article »

Filed under: CLE

Winning Without Trying

My fantasy football team is really kicking some ass this year. In fact, I haven’t lost yet. Not once. Even when I have a bad week, my opponent somehow manages to do worse. In all the years I’ve been playing fantasy sports, I’ve never seen anything approaching this kind of success. Admittedly, I have a secret this year. The secret started when I forgot to do any preparation for the draft. Hell, I actually forgot about the draft. The system’s defaults picked a great team for me based on its internal formulas. I was quite pleased. Since seeing the immediate success of the team I played no part in creating, my strategy has remained hands-off. I rely entirely on whatever numbers happen to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Prosecutors

Too Good to Last

You may remember an old post about whether you can get a DUI in a car that doesn’t work. The issue came down to “actual physical control.” That’s because you don’t have to drive to get a DUI in Arizona; you just have to have actual physical control of a vehicle. When Arizona’s Court of Appeals, Division Two came out with a related opinion in State v. Zaragoza, I put up another post about actual control. I was pretty negative about whether the opinion would make a difference. It turns out I was right to be negative, but for the wrong reasons. This summer, the Supreme Court of Arizona vacated the opinion of the Court of Appeals. In Zaragoza, the defendant staggered to his car and got … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, DUI

Death Penalty

I often get questions from family and friends about cases in the media, especially death penalty cases. I don’t want to discuss the merits of whether or not we should have a death penalty; instead, I want to focus on process itself. People almost universally get upset over the cost and time of such cases. No doubt it is frustrating to hear about someone who committed a heinous crime and received expensive legal representation for free, and I certainly think that the system could be streamlined. I’ve heard numerous times that “we all know he (or she) is guilty, why can’t we just execute them immediately” or “why do we have to pay for their defense.” While the complete answer to the question would … Read entire article »

Filed under: Death Penalty

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