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

How It Really Works

Rule 9.1 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure seems pretty simple. It covers a defendant’s waiver of the right to be present in court and provides as follows: [A] defendant may waive the right to be present at any proceeding by voluntarily absenting himself or herself from it. The court may infer that an absence is voluntary if the defendant had personal notice of the time of the proceeding, the right to be present at it, and a warning that the proceeding would go forward in his or her absence should he or she fail to appear. Reading it like a reasonable person capable of understanding the English language and with even the slightest faculty when it comes to basic logic, the rule pretty obviously allows a court to infer … 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

Getting in Their Heads

Eric Turkewitz at the New York Personal Injury Law Blog published a guest post about whether jurors should be allowed to ask questions at trial. Apparently that doesn’t happen in New York. It sure does here in Arizona, as we’ve heard about ad nauseam because of the Jodi Arias trial. The guest-poster, Peter DeFilippis, concluded that increased juror participation would aid their judicial system in achieving the goal of providing justice for all. I can’t say that I disagree. I am a pretty big fan of jury questions because they’re wonderful little spoilers that help you know where to focus. I can also see how they help to connect jurors to what’s happening. The insight into the jurors’ thoughts that a system like ours … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Juries, Trial

They Love Me, They Really Do!

Previously, Avvo was content to link other people’s profiles to me and ask me to claim other people’s profiles, but now it seems they’ve stepped up their game. This morning I received an email saying I’ve been ranked a 7 out of 10. I’d say it’s pretty much the feeling an actor gets being nominated for an Oscar, but I’m trying not to let it go to my head. Curious to see how my big 7 stacks up, I went and found the profile for Tom Horne, Attorney General for the State of Arizona and a lawyer who Avvo once thought worked for me. Embarrassingly for me, he’s apparently moved on to bigger and better things. He’s a 7.3 now. Well aren’t we fancy, Mr. … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Marketing

Need An Office?

If you are an Arizona lawyer in need of an office, give me a call or send me an email. Beginning on February 1, 2013, we will have space available in our suite. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

A Waste

From this article at the Arizona Republic: I do wish I could die doing something meaningful. You know, this seems such a waste. Those were a man’s last words. He died soon after without uttering any “official” last words. He liked porterhouse steak, french fries, okra, cauliflower, salad, fruit and ice cream. He liked those things so much they were the last things he ate before we murdered him. The good folks at the prison complex where we killed him, our crackerjack “execution team,” didn’t have an easy job. The doomed man was nice enough, joking with them as they prepared to end his life, but they had a real tough time setting the two intravenous lines intended to deliver fatal toxins. They had to cut into the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Death Penalty

Andrew Thomas’s Disbarment

I watched former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his hench-person Lisa Aubuchon get disbarred yesterday. Underling Rachel Alexander received a suspension of six months and one day. You can watch Arizona’s Presiding Disciplinary Judge William O’Neil read the panel’s findings here. The ruling is extensive, but these concluding words seemed particularly important to me: We, like the public, began uninformed. We are now fully informed. We are fully decided in our opinion. The evidence is overwhelming against Respondents. We hope the openness in which these proceedings were held will help restore the public’s faith in our legal institutions and deter attorneys from similar misbehavior. The purpose of attorney discipline is to maintain the integrity of the profession in the eyes of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ethics

The Inner Workings of Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division

Considering how Arizona is pretty much designed and built around the automobile and how the MVD has a remarkable amount of power to alter and even strip residents of their so-called “privilege” to drive, you’d think that its policies and procedures would be transparent, consistent, and easy to understand. Surprise, surprise, you’d be wrong. The MVD works in truly mysterious ways. Let’s say, for example, that you’re a criminal defense lawyer and you want to know the effect of a certain type of conviction on a client’s driver’s license. Specifically, you’re trying to figure out the MVD consequences of a conviction for driving in violation of a license restriction, A.R.S. 28-3480. I am personally quite familiar with the charge, though I didn’t have to worry about the … Read entire article »

Filed under: MVD Hearings

Picking Issues

I saw this post on FourthAmendment.com over the weekend. The synopsis, for people who don’t like clicking on links, is that a federal court in Nebraska discussed how a defense lawyer doesn’t have a constitutional duty to raise every non-frivolous issue on appeal. The court quoted the Supreme Court of the United States about how experienced advocates trim weaker arguments on appeal and focus on the best issue instead. As far as the art of persuasion goes, it’s not bad advice. A shotgun-style approach is rarely the best way to approach trial advocacy. It dilutes the best points. It’s hiding a needle in a haystack for seekers who aren’t terribly inclined to search very hard and who don’t know they’re looking for a needle in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts

Unauthorized Practice

So there’s this lawyer named Rachel Rodgers. In June, Scott Greenfield called her out on a few things here. Earlier this week, she wrote something entitled “Ethics Should Not Be Used as a Weapon Against Young Lawyers.” Brian Tannebaum quickly took her to task. I normally stay out of these things, but this is close to home. You see, Ms. Rodgers lists a Phoenix, Arizona address on her website. She offers services that look like legal services. Ms. Rodgers is not a licensed Arizona attorney. I checked. She never explicitly claims to be licensed in Arizona, but she also never offers any kind of disclaimer clearly explaining that she isn’t licensed here. That wouldn’t matter anyway, as I’ll explain in a second. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ethics

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