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Litigation

Supremes Cause Trouble for DWI Trials

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court today ruled that the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause requires prosecutors to call the actual lab technician who did a DWI lab test on a defendant’s blood rather than just use another qualified technician to read the report prepared by the lab tech. In Bullcoming v. New Mexico the […]

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Litigation

Justice Takes a Punch to the Nose in Illinois Case

ABC-TV reports that a woman in Joliet Illinois is being charged with battery and reckless conduct for causing the death of one John “Fatboy” Powell by punching him in the face. So why is this noteworthy? Because Fatboy, who was performing at a party with his band the Krazy Killaz, was challenged that he would […]

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General Litigation

NY Court Finds Loose Affilitiation of CyberCriminals to be “Enterprise” Under Organized Crime Act

When you think of the phrase “criminal enterprise,”  certain images immediately pop in your head. Vito Corleone, Scarface, Joe Pesci.  But NY courts have long expanded the term “criminal enterprise” to include any band of criminals working within “an ascertainable  structure.” NY Penal Law §460.10(3) defines criminal enterprise as “a group of persons sharing a […]

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General Litigation

Supremes Disappoint With Latest Case on Confrontation

Yesterday the US Supreme Court  issued a ruling that severely weakened an important right contained in the Constitution.  The Sixth Amendment contains The Confrontation Clause: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right…to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”  While much of the Constitution is derived from English law this basic right […]

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Litigation

Improving Nassau County’s Arraignment Practices

Awhile ago I wrote an article for “The Attorney” Magazine about the inequities of the arraignment process in Nassau County.  The article resulted in the re-construction and re-alignment of the courtroom where arraignments are held with the moving of the District Attorney’s desk from the front of the courtroom at the right hand of the […]

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General Litigation

Anonymous Juries Not Good For System

Recently, a former law student of mine called me to ask my opinion for an article he was writing about anonymous juries. I told him that I was against them in general and that I thought in the long run, anonymous juries did more harm than good.  He boiled down our half hour conversation to […]

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General Litigation

Edmond Oklahoma – Home of the World’s Stupidest Prosecution!

Edmond Oklahoma, a city of about 68,000, is known for being the site of the first post office massacre (1986); the home of the most-decorated American gymnast, Shannon Miller (1992 and 1996); and the site of Yankee legend Bobby Murcer’s burial place (2008). But from this date forward, it should be known as “Home of […]

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General

Why Prosecutors Rarely Lose

Here’s a dirty little secret from the courtroom that will probably upset my friends in the criminal defense bar  – prosecutors rarely lose.  Area DA’s offices all boast conviction rates well above 90%. So why is it? It can’t be that they employ better lawyers, after all most of the assistant district attorneys are barely […]