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» Entries tagged with "appellate"

How Important People Think

There aren’t nearly enough Arizona legal blogs, which is the primary reason why I keep the Arizona Appellate Blog in my feed. The constant use of “we” and “our” in posts that are either the product of a depressingly underwhelming group effort or the bizarrely haughty statements of an individual rub me the wrong way. So do somewhat regular comments that seem to indicate its author or authors believe they’re writing to a captivated audience awaiting each post with baited breath. If they are, I can’t imagine who comprises their audience. Regardless, it’s not a worthless blog, as it at least has original content and isn’t just blatantly pimping someone’s services. It’s a sad state of affairs where lawyers writing because they have something to say and not only something to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, lawyers, Uncategorized

Let This Be A Lesson

If you read it carefully, the recent opinion from the Arizona Court of Appeals in State v. Woods can tell you a lot about how criminal appeals work in Arizona. In it, the trial court judge did something very unusual and suppressed evidence obtained during a lawful initial stop and subsequent search of a car because the defendant refused to allow the officer to search some boxes and the officer had no information “to suggest a basis for reasonable suspicion as to the transportation of illegal substances.” The officer had first found the boxes in question during a supposed consent search. The appellate court wrote that the trial court “acknowledged” that their “consistency and density” was “consistent with his experience with packaging of illegal substances.” The use of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Drugs

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

The Stacked Deck

The system isn’t fair. It’s something those of us who pay attention all know, but sometimes it’s more apparent than others. I’m working on a case where the state appealed a lower court judge’s ruling granting a motion to suppress. It’s an uncommon situation due in large part to the fact judges don’t grant motions to suppress all that often. They stretch to find whatever facts best support a denial, knowing that the reviewing court must defer to them. They scour the books for cases that support the state’s position, no matter how old. I’ve seen more rulings for the state finding facts that weren’t really presented or citing ancient cases despite the existence of recent controlling case law than I ever would’ve believed as a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts

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