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

Move Along, No Preferential Treatment Here

Last Thursday, we faxed a motion to continue trial to Mesa Municipal Court at 10:02 a.m. We sent the state a copy too, of course, though we’d also told the assigned prosecutor what we were going to do the day before. The court called us at 2:25 p.m. and left a message about getting our position on the state’s motion to continue trial. That’s right, the state’s motion. Not ours. The motion the state didn’t bother faxing us until 3:45 p.m. I called the court back sometime shortly before 5:00 p.m. and spoke with a very pleasant lady. She wanted to know my position on the state’s motion. I told her we didn’t oppose it and had in fact filed our own motion. She asked … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts

Crappy Outcome For Doody

I was quite proud of myself for writing a whole post about Jonathan Doody’s case a couple of months ago without making a single poop joke. Trying to write two was tempting fate, so please forgive the title. Anyway, the combined tireless efforts of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and its lying admitted-serial-killer pal and star-witness Alessandro Garcia finally paid off when they were able to convict Doody, who may be innocent, after a Ninth Circuit reversal, a mistrial, and five days of jury deliberations well over two decades later. They must be proud. We can now all rest assured that this punk kid won’t ever be at large: He may look like a sad, middle-aged man who has spent every moment of his adult life in prison because … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases

Except For That, Of Course

The silliest part of any guilty plea is the part when the court asks if anyone has threatened or coerced the defendant into pleading guilty. People are inclined to say no when it’s obviously the answer the judge wants to hear no matter what the circumstances happen to be. The desire to please is intense enough when the person asking the incriminating question has a badge and gun, but it’s even more powerful when the person asking sits high above the fray wearing a robe and keeps getting called “your honor” by everyone in the room. Several of my clients have given an admirable hell yes and briefly tried to elaborate before being cut off by others suddenly made aware of the absurdity of the question. I respect the clients … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Courts

Defining a Win

There’s a mostly-written motion still up on my office computer screen. When I finally close the file, I’m going to try not to read it. It will just make me angry. My client’s case was dismissed on Friday, but there were strings attached. He agreed to a $200.00 forfeited collateral on a new citation in exchange for a complete dismissal of his federal criminal case. Compared to a lot of defendants, the result was great. In most cases, I’d be happy. This case is a little different. It shouldn’t have been charged in the first place. The statute containing his supposed violation is so broad it could mean almost anything. I might be violating it by writing this post, and you could be violating … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients

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

Creativity

I’ve had creativity on the brain lately. Always looking for ways to improve the way I represent my clients, I’ve been tying to address my faults as a lawyer by emulating in my problem areas the way I approach those aspects of my job that I believe to be my strengths. Strangely, hiding behind every single thing I ever even arguably thought I did somewhat well was creativity. It turns out that most of the supposed talents I occasionally think I have are just symptoms of the underlying disease of an occasional abundance of imagination. I sucked at cross-examination five years ago. I was terrible. Prior to that, however, I vaguely recall performing what I thought was a great cross of a cop while I was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General, Trial

Doing It All

I had a long weekend of work, but I’m ready for trial. The work I completed over the weekend wasn’t trial prep, though, because that was done long ago. I spent the weekend tying up loose ends. Trial is like a really shitty vacation. You have to make sure all your ducks are in a row so you can take some time off. Instead of dipping your toes in the water and watching a sunset with your adult beverage of choice in hand, however, you get to endure grueling combat all day every day for days on end. It’s a break from your daily stress during which you forget about your normal troubles in favor of some more pressing troubles. Did I mention that … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Trial

When Stupid Wins

Imagine two experts. Expert one is young and arrogant. He has no practical experience. He testifies to scientific “facts” that seal a person’s fate. He grudgingly acknowledges that science is not absolute, yet he speaks in nothing but certainties when it comes to each and every fact weighing in favor of guilt. He insists that his “science” is infallible and that things must be a certain way. He uses big words to build even bigger claims. Expert two has a half-century of practical experience, and he more or less founded his field of study. He’s conducted over fifty clinical trials involving the type of thing to which he’s testifying. He has academic and professional credentials that can’t be beat. He testifies that things are … Read entire article »

Filed under: Science

It Goes Both Ways

I was in trial this past week, so I didn’t have a lot of free time. I found myself working into the night to deal with things I couldn’t address during the day. I only had enough time during breaks to respond to the things that seemed the most urgent. One of those things was a frantic message from a prosecutor. She wanted me to call her back as soon as possible. I recently tried a case with her because the state wouldn’t budge one bit on the plea. My client faces the exact same thing right now having lost at trial that he would’ve gotten had he accepted the state’s offer. After three motions, a long evidentiary hearing, various oral arguments, a bunch of … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Trial

Justice v. Efficiency

The criminal justice system is broken. Many judges are little more than prosecutors in robes. The courts fuss and fume when you need an extra week or two to make a decision. They push you into whatever plea comes your way. In Phoenix City Court, you usually spend the pretrial stages in front of a single judge. After you decide to fight it, though, they shuffle you elsewhere. The order says you’ll be going to trial in thirty days, but the court struggles to get you in front of a judge in sixty. You won’t know which judge you’ll get for fifty-nine. When everyone assumed you’d plead, they rushed you to a decision. After they realized you were going to fight, they stretched it out as long … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, DUI, Trial

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