The federal courts plan to backfill many of the staff and public defender positions lost during last year's steep budget cuts, top judiciary officials told House lawmakers today on Capitol Hill.
The state Supreme Court's dismissal of a case challenging the constitutionality of flat fees paid to defense counsel in capital cases has been described by several lawyers as a significant disappointment.
Attorneys further saw the ruling as a missed opportunity on behalf of the high court to address serious funding deficiencies in both the Philadelphia and state indigent defense systems.
In a two-page order to dismiss, the divided court said March 21 its continued oversight in the matter was no longer necessary. The order was accompanied by two strongly-worded dissents written by Justices Seamus P. McCaffery and Thomas G. Saylor. Justice Debra Todd joined in both dissents.
An Illinois lawyer will be suspended for five months for posting a discovery video of an undercover drug buy in the initial but apparently mistaken belief that it exonerated his client.
Lawyer Jesse Raymond Gilsdorf was suspended in an Illinois Supreme Court order issued on March 14. The court agreed with the five-month-suspension recommendation by the Review Board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
The New Jersey Supreme Court hears arguments on whether criminal defense lawyers can be made to turn over records detailing the origin of their fee payments while the criminal cases are pending.
Federal defender offices, which lost approximately 400 employees because of last year's mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration, have enough money in this year's budget to begin backfilling most of those positions, court officials said on March 11.
How did a 29-year-old with an impeccable record, someone who had never even taken an accounting course, end up as an accused mastermind of what the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., called 'a massive effort to cook the books' of the once-giant law firm? And how did he get there without realizing he should hire a lawyer? According to several criminal defense lawyers I spoke to this week, Mr. Warren became caught up in an increasingly common prosecutorial tactic. Mr. Warren may have been naive, but he thought he was being questioned as part of a civil Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. He thought he might be a witness, and thus did not need a lawyer. Only too late did it dawn on him that he might be a target of a criminal investigation. The defense lawyers said prosecutors were increasingly using so-called parallel investigations to insert criminal investigators into what their targets thought were civil proceedings.
The SEC will lie to you about what they have planned for you. They did to me.]]>
A man who admitted in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday to lying at his drunken driving trial said that his defense attorney told him to fabricate facts in order to beat the charges.
How do you protect against that? First, don't counsel the client to lie. Second, even if you didn't, devious clients often know that they can at least try to sell out their lawyer to cover their own ass after getting caught lying. Third, some prosecutors might actually believe it.]]>
(Reuters) - A Pittsburgh lawyer's online ad showing smiling robbers, drug dealers and prostitutes flashing thumbs up and thanking him for getting them off the hook has garnered tens of thousands of views and drawn fire from a local bar association.
One fictional criminal pauses while climbing out a window, carrying a laptop to say "Thanks Dan," to the camera, while a pair of men carrying handguns offer a similar message before pulling ski masks over their faces in the three-minute, 27-second ad posted on YouTube by criminal defense attorney Daniel Muessig.
Muessig, a 2012 University of Pittsburgh Law School graduate, then makes his own pitch: "Trust me, I may have a law degree, but I think like a criminal."
Comal County has been selected by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission to test a pilot program that will allow indigent defendants to choose their attorneys. The program has been funded for two years and includes money for mentoring and training lawyers seeking appointments.