Categories
Criminal Law

“Advice of Counsel” Defense is Perilous

President Donald Trump offered a defense Thursday to accusations he broke campaign finance law by directing his longtime attorney/fixer Michael Cohen to orchestrate hush-money payments to conceal at least two of Trump’s alleged affairs: He was just following his lawyer’s advice. His exact statement was put out on Twitter: “I never directed Michael Cohen to […]

Categories
Constitutional Law

What Young Lawyers Can Learn From Watching “Making A Murderer 2”

As my law school semester winds down, I usually like to send a message to my outgoing students who are all 3Ls who will be graduating this May. This semester, there has been a lot of buzz about Netflix’s true crime documentary “Making a Murderer 2” and I can see that it has inspired many […]

Categories
Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Coziness Between Bench and Prosecutor’s Office a Continuing Problem

It is often an illusion that all lawyers and clients get the same treatment when standing before the bench in a court of law. The fact is that for a variety of reasons in criminal cases, there is a cozy relationship between the bench and the prosecutors appearing before them. Now before I go any […]

Categories
Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Bad Forensics: A Main Cause of Wrongful Convictions

TV viewers are addicted to forensic cop shows – CSI, NCIS, etc etc. The shows make it look like every crime can be solved by forensics and that forensic science is unassailable. In fact, bad forensics is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions across the country. When I talk about “bad forensics” I […]

Categories
Constitutional Law Intellectual Property

Will Roy Moore Win His $95 Million Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen? Hint: No, He Will Lose.

Former Alabama Senate candidate and State Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore has filed a $95 million defamation lawsuit against comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, Showtime and CBS after he appeared on Cohen’s series, “Who Is America?” In July, Moore appeared on the third episode of Who is America?, a Showtime series where the comedian disguises himself […]

Categories
Criminal Law

Is It Legal For an Attorney to Record A Client’s Conversation?

The news that Michael Cohen recorded conversations between him and Donald Trump has led to the usual and predictable firestorm. And in this day and age the usual and predictable firestorm includes “legal experts” on the many cable news channel opining on the legality of a lawyer taping a conversation. Some that I have seen […]

Categories
Wrongful Convictions

NY Ct.: We Have Broad Powers to Correct Systemic Wrongs

In powerful language that will likely find its way into many future briefs to overturn wrongful convictions, a NY appeals court has reminded everyone that, when it comes to the criminal justice system, courts should not place form over substance. The case is People v. Hargrove 2018 WL 1833080, and it was handed down on […]

Categories
Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Secret Proceedings in Holtzclaw Case Raise Serious Issues

I was recently made aware of the case of Daniel Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma City police officer currently serving a 263-year sentence for 18 sex-related felonies, arising out of alleged crimes committed during traffic stops. Journalist Michelle Malkin invited me to join a panel discussion on wrongful convictions after the screening of her documentary Railroaded at […]

Categories
Criminal Law Litigation

Cohen Search Warrant is Nothing New

The President is screaming that the search warrant executed on the offices Michael Cohen, his longtime attorney, is an attack on our country and a violation of the attorney-client privilege. First of all, 9-11 was an attack on our country; this search is just one step in a long criminal investigation. But Presidential histrionics aside, […]