DENIAL OF SUMMARY JUDGEMENT REVERSED DUE TO USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Wells pulled over Mark Anthony Young, an African-American probation officer, for failure to use his seat belt. He asked Young for his license, proof of insurance and registration. Young was not able to find his registration immediately so Wells asked him to continue looking while he went to his motor cycle to prepare the citation. When Young found the registration he got out of the truck and took the registration over to Wells. Wells […] Read more »

ILLINOIS LAWYER INDICTED IN MURDER FOR HIRE SCHEME

An Illinois lawyer has been indicted for attempting to hire a government agent to kill his girl friend’s ex husband. He has been charged in a seven count indictment including three counts of using his phone and two counts of using his car in an effort to hire a man to kill the ex husband. Certainly if the charges are true he is ethically deprived. But the ethical problems should have been apparent before he offered to pay several different […] Read more »

TAPED JAIL CONVERSATION WITH INMATE’S SISTER FOUND TO BE ADMISSIBLE

Joel Rodriguez was arrested on Federal narcotics charges. Shortly after he was arrested and prior to his indictment, while housed in New York City’s Metropolitan Detention Center, he called his sister and asked her to ask their brother to talk to his lawyer to negotiate a pre-indictment deal. The jail taped the conversation, as it does with all inmate calls and gave the tape to the prosecutor who introduced the tape at trial as evidence of his consciousness of guilt. […] Read more »

NINTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS TRANSPORTATION AND HARBORING CONVICTIONS DESPITE WRONGFUL ADMISSION OF DEPOSITIONS

Juan Leonardo Matus-Zayas was convicted on various counts of harboring and transporting undocumented immigrants. At his trial the government read into the record the depositions of three material witnesses which the court had previously released from custody. On appeal the defense raised a number of objections to the use of the depositions at trial. The most important objection was that it violated the Confrontation Clause. However, since the defense failed to raise the issue at trial it was necessary to […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT TO HERE EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION CASE

The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Perry v. New Hampshire. It is black letter law that a judge must review the circumstances surrounding an out of court identification of a suspect and the subsequent in court identification when the identification is made under suggestive circumstances orchestrated by the police to detrmine reliability. The question in Perry is whether the judge has a similar duty when the suggestive circumstances are cause by civilians. According to the New York Times it […] Read more »

NEW YORK GANG LEADER GETS FIFTY YEARS FOR HOBBS ACT VIOLATIONS

Din Celaj ran his own mob in New York City. They specialized in stealing late model automobiles and selling them for parts as well as robbing marijuana from dealers and selling it. The mob met its demise when Celaj sold the automobiles to a garage run by the New York City Police Department. Celaj was charged under the Hobbs Act. The Hobbs Act makes it a Federal crime to commit robbery or extortion in such a way as to obstruct, […] Read more »

CONTEMPT FINDING UPHELD DESPITE FIFTH AMENDMENT CLAIM

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a grand jury subpoena against a Fifth Amendment claim for M.H.’s personal records regarding an account in a Swiss bank. The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from being forced to make self incriminating statements. The grand jury subpoenaed from M.H. [a]ny and all records required to be maintained pur- suant to 31 C.F.R. § 103.32 [subsequently relocated to 31 C.F.R. § 1010.420] relating to foreign financial accounts that you had/have a financial interest in, […] Read more »

FOURTH CIRCUIT FINDS ENTRY INTO RESIDENCE ILLEGAL BUT QUESTIONS TAINT

There was an arrest warrant for Torrance Hill. His address was unknown but the authorities knew the address of his girl friend. However they felt that it was unlikely that he would be at her home, knowing that the police were looking for him and knowing that they would be looking for him at his girl friend’s townhouse. They went to the house, anyway, to question the girl friend. They knocked on the door. No one answered. They could here […] Read more »

DEFENDANT DENIED FARETTA MOTION AFTER SIX LAWYERS IN FOUR YEARS

Gregory Sitzmann was indicted in 2007 for the international distribution of cocaine. In the four years since 2007 he has been represented by six different attorneys and for a period of time he represented himself. Yesterday his current court appointed attorney, Thomas Abbenante, told Us. District Judge Paul Friedman of the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia that Sitzmann wanted to represent himself again. Friedman interrupted Abbenante, saying, “No, he’s not going to proceed pro se. We’re […] Read more »

SECOND CIRCUIT UPHOLDS CONVICTION OF ATTORNEY FOR ATTEMPTED OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE

New York attorney, Robert Simels was sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempted obstruction of justice, bribery, and importation of electronic surveillance devices. He represented Shaheed Khan in a drug case. Khan was a drug lord in Guyana involoved in transporting drugs to the United States. During the pendency of the case Khan with the help of others bribed, threatened, and cajoled government witnesses into not testifying against Khan at trial. Simels was convicted at trial and he appealed. […] Read more »