Appellate Procedure

Lawyers Fired for Fussing

September 16, 2011

As a criminal appeals and habeas corpus lawyer, I am always interested in unusual courtroom occurrences.  One such situation recently occurred in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  In an extremely rare judicial move, a Virginia Circuit judge removed both the prosecutor and defense attorney from a child abuse case in which the accused is a former sheriff’s deputy.  [...]

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Would Have Been Flipped on Appeal

July 22, 2011

Even though I am a Texas criminal appeals lawyer, I have more than a passing interest in the Casey Anthony trial in Florida. Now that she has been acquitted on the most serious charges against her, it has been revealed the State of Florida relied on false evidence in an effort to secure her conviction [...]

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Bank Robber Motivated by Prison Benefits

June 24, 2011

In my years of practice as a criminal appeals lawyer, I have never had a client who wanted to get caught for a crime and go to prison.  Nevertheless, the ABA Journal recently reported on such an individual.  A North Carolina bank robber committed his crime for an unexpected reason.  James Verone passed a note [...]

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He did what?

April 20, 2011

I am always on the lookout for errors in my client’s conviction which could lead to relief.  A criminal appeals lawyer or habeas corpus lawyer will tell you a common claim presented in criminal appeals is that of ineffective assistance of counsel.   Unlike the United States, lawyers in Canada are required to carry malpractice insurance.  [...]

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How About a Week in Cabo for a Death Penalty?

April 1, 2011

As a criminal appeals lawyer, I have noticed a disturbing trend developing in a number of prosecutor offices around the country.  Supervisors and elected prosecutors are offering prosecutors in their offices bonuses based on their conviction rates or number of cases tried in a given year resulting in criminal convictions.  The bonuses have taken the [...]

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A Criminal Appeals Lawyer’s Foolish Client

March 4, 2011

An article in the American Bar Journal caught my attention this week.  It was about a law student who foolishly decided to be her own criminal appeals lawyer. A fool for a client The law student was ticketed for a traffic offense.  She represented herself at trial.  She then served as her own criminal appeals lawyer [...]

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A Criminal in General

February 18, 2011

This morning on the radio I heard a commentator refer to a suspect as “a criminal in general.”  It is true that criminal conduct frequently does not occur in isolation.  Conduct is sometimes part of or connected to a series of crimes.  It is important to remember defendants at trial are not charged and convicted [...]

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Could I See Your Bar Card?

January 17, 2011

I recently read an article about a convicted felon in Illinois pretending to be a lawyer for over five years.  He represented dozens of individuals in court before he was caught.  Authorities speculated he honed his legal skills from his own experiences of being prosecuted as a defendant.  He further refined his courtroom prowess by [...]

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Challenging a Guilty Plea

January 6, 2011

What can a criminal appeals lawyer do to help you if you pled guilty to the accusation against you?  As with most questions of law, the answer depends on the facts.  A Texas criminal appeals lawyer can help you determine if you have legitimate grounds to challenge your guilty plea. Constitutional Requirements In order to [...]

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Dismissal of Criminal Appeals

December 17, 2010

I frequently hear from prospective clients telling me they were improperly denied an appeal from their criminal conviction.  Many complain that although they were told by their trial lawyer or the judge that they could appeal, their appeal was never considered because it was dismissed by the appellate court.   30% Dismissal Rate  Over 11,000 new appeals were [...]

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