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» Entries tagged with "interview"

Bad Facts + Time = Bad Law

There is an old saying about bad facts making bad law. It is probably true, but luckily, that does not have to be the case. Look no further than the recent Court of Appeals of Arizona case of State v. Lucas and its predecessor for proof. They also show that nearly-identical bad facts will eventually, even before the same court, create bad law sooner or later. The facts of both cases were simple. Victims have a right to refuse interviews in Arizona, and courts can designate a victim’s representative by law when the victim is a minor. In State v. Lucas, the grandmother was the victim’s representative, and the victim reached the age of majority. The defense wanted to interview her. The law provides the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Victim's Rights

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

A Victim In The Way

From afar, I’ve been watching a colleague represent the minor victim in an assault case. The “victim” was actually the aggressor, so it behooved him to hire counsel. He and his lawyer have had quite the ride as the case has progressed. I’m sure the prosecutor told the defense attorney that the victim would not consent to an interview because almost every prosecutor does that in almost every case. They almost never ask, however, and this time I knew for a fact that was what happened. The prosecutor never once bothered to consult with the victim about anything. At most, the prosecutor just read what the cops said the victim said, probably not even listening to the actual recorded interview, then acted like an expert on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Government Rants, Prosecutors, Victim's Rights

Not Your Normal Request

I recently came across this passage reviewing a client’s police reports: “I started speaking with [client] at about 1453 hours. [Client] had asked for a burrito.” The report goes on to discuss my client’s burrito request in detail. The officer even seemed to go to great lengths to obtain said burrito for my client. Nice guy. I’ve seen people ask for water or a cigarette, but even here in Arizona, for me, this is a first. It actually makes me a little hungry for a burrito. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients

No Life Experience Needed

I sat in the hallway outside a jail visitation room trying not to listen to the conversation going on inside the room. I really didn’t want to eavesdrop. I just wanted to get in and get out. I had three more visits before the day was over and couldn’t do my visit while the room was occupied. Inside, a probation officer was interviewing a defendant for a presentence report. He pled guilty, and she was getting information for the judge who was going to sentence him. She wasn’t very good at keeping the volume of her voice at a reasonable level and kept saying “okidokie” to the guy’s responses. She was probably in her late twenties, and she was overweight. She had a social … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Government Rants, Practice in General

More on Victim Interviews

I started responding to some comments on this post, but I ended up writing way too much for one little comment. No harm in putting up another post, right? Anyway, to give you some background (for those of you who don’t like reading blog comments), I brought up in a comment that A.R.S. § 13-4433(B) says “the defendant, the defendant’s attorney or an agent of the defendant shall only initiate contact with the victim through the prosecutor’s office.” Andrew Becke asked: “is there a way to initiate contact with the victim through a motion to the court, thus requiring the prosecutor to respond in a pleading that the victim doesn’t want to talk? That might enhance their desire to be honest.” My answer would be that there are a few … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Victim's Rights

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