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Criminal Defense News 02/2009



Defense Attorneys In Lawless Juarez Besieged on All Sides (Washington Post)
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- It is common for lawyers everywhere to cover their office walls with diplomas. The Mexican criminal defense attorney Salvador Urbina is making a different statement. His walls are hung with swords -- a hundred sabers, daggers, cutlasses and Japanese katanas, the blades ke...

Defense: Cop accused of murder used wrong weapon (Tahoe Daily Tribune)
OAKLAND, Calif.

Grant County man gets millions for poor defense (Seattle Times)
A Grant County man has been awarded $3 million for spending months in jail because of poor work by his public defender. Felipe G. Vargas — who spent...

Buck mortgages properties to pay fees (The Westerly Sun)
STONINGTON — Charles F. Buck, arrested last week for the 2002 murder of his wife, Leslie, has mortgaged four properties he owns in town, including the home of his deceased wife’s mother. The mortgages are held by criminal defense lawyers as a way to fund his legal defense. 

Defense: We're ready (Palladium-Item)
The fate of a Cambridge City man accused in the slaying of his girlfriend could be decided in the next two weeks. James McFarland is accused of strangling his girlfriend to death at her home in Centerville in 2007. His trial begins Monday.

Ousted Illinois governor's next fight is in court (AP via Yahoo! News)
Now that he's been ousted from the governor's office, Rod Blagojevich is pinning his hopes of staying out of prison on a father-and-son duo of defense attorneys, one of whom grabbed the limelight at R&B superstar R. Kelly's sex tape trial.

Could the I.C.C. Try Israel? (New York Times)
The International Criminal Court is looking into a request by the Palestinian Authority to investigate whether Israel committed war crimes during its recent operation in the Gaza Strip, a senior court official told Davos Diary.

AP IMPACT: SWAT teams deployed in 911 fraud (AP via Yahoo! News)
Doug Bates and his wife, Stacey, were in bed around 10 p.m., their 2-year-old daughters asleep in a nearby room. Suddenly they were shaken awake by the wail of police sirens and the rumble of a helicopter above their suburban Southern California home. A criminal must be on the loose, they thought.

Due process for judges, free speech for students (Journal Inquirer)
Ordinarily criminal defense lawyers stand up for due process of law, and, in doing so on behalf of their clients, help ensure due process for everyone.

Inside Story: Joseph Tacopina (New York Post)
Someone on a blog once vowed to drink my bathwater," says New York's-and it could be argued, America's-most high-profile criminal defense lawyer, Joseph Tacopina. It's Friday, January 9, mere hours after the sentencing of his client, accused cop killer Lillo Brancato, and the attorney is relaxing in his corner office high atop Madison Avenue. Well-groomed and clad in a crisp navy suit, he ...

Buck mortgages properties to pay fees (The Westerly Sun)
STONINGTON — Charles F. Buck, arrested last week for the 2002 murder of his wife, Leslie, has mortgaged four properties he owns in town, including the home of his deceased wife’s mother. The mortgages are held by criminal defense lawyers as a way to fund his legal defense. 

Watchdogs: 154 open criminal probes into Iraq war contracts (Newsday)
A new commission examining waste and corruption in wartime contracts is getting a grim report from government watchdogs who say poor planning, weak oversight and greed combined to soak U.S. taxpayers and undermine American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Police applaud ruling allowing pat-downs (The Record)
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that affirmed a police officer's right to pat someone down during a traffic stop in the absence of criminal activity won praise from law enforcement officials and cautions from some defense attorneys.

AP IMPACT: SWAT teams deployed in 911 fraud (AP via Yahoo! News)
Doug Bates and his wife, Stacey, were in bed around 10 p.m., their 2-year-old daughters asleep in a nearby room. Suddenly they were shaken awake by the wail of police sirens and the rumble of a helicopter above their suburban Southern California home. A criminal must be on the loose, they thought.

New: Attorney pleads guilty for failure to pay taxes (The Scranton Times-Tribune)
A local criminal defense attorney who once worked as a part-time public defender pleaded guilty this morning to failing to file federal taxes from 2000 to 2004 and may be made to pay up to $136,000 in back taxes.

Rendell subpoenaed to testify at Fumo trial (The Patriot-News)
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is planning to testify next week at the federal criminal trial of a former state senator. Rendell's office said Monday that a few hours earlier he received a subpoena from defense attorneys for Vince Fumo, a fellow Philadelphian accused of corruption.

Pa. gov. to testify at ex-state senator's trial (AP via Yahoo! News)
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was subpoenaed Monday to testify at the federal criminal trial of a former state senator accused of misusing millions that belonged to the state, a maritime museum and a nonprofit community group.

Norm Kent Debuts 'Broward Law Blog' (Marketwire via Yahoo! Finance)
Renowned Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Norm Kent released today the debut of 'The Broward Law Blog,' easily accessible on the Internet at www.browardlawblog.com.

Pentagon letter undercuts DOJ in Blackwater case (AP via Yahoo! News)
The Pentagon wrote in 2007 that Blackwater Worldwide contractors in Iraq are not subject to U.S. civilian criminal laws. That position undercuts the Justice Department's effort to prosecute five Blackwater security guards for manslaughter.

AP NewsBreak: Sailor electrocuted (AP via Yahoo! News)
A third U.S. service member has been determined to have been electrocuted in a shower in Iraq, and Navy criminal investigators are investigating, The Associated Press has learned.

Due process for judges, free speech for students (Journal Inquirer)
Ordinarily criminal defense lawyers stand up for due process of law, and, in doing so on behalf of their clients, help ensure due process for everyone.

Buck mortgages properties to pay fees (The Westerly Sun)
STONINGTON — Charles F. Buck, arrested last week for the 2002 murder of his wife, Leslie, has mortgaged four properties he owns in town, including the home of his deceased wife’s mother. The mortgages are held by criminal defense lawyers as a way to fund his legal defense. 

Lawyer enters guilty plea to not filing tax returns (The Scranton Times-Tribune)
A local criminal defense attorney admitted Monday he failed to file federal tax returns from 2000 to 2004 and may be made to pay up to $136,000 in back taxes.

Pentagon letter undercuts DOJ in Blackwater case (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
The Pentagon wrote in 2007 that Blackwater Worldwide contractors in Iraq are not subject to U.S. civilian criminal laws. That position undercuts the Justice Department's effort to prosecute five Blackwater security guards for manslaughter.

AP NewsBreak: Sailor electrocuted (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
A third U.S. service member has been determined to have been electrocuted in a shower in Iraq, and Navy criminal investigators are investigating, The Associated Press has learned.

Court closes all criminal cases against Ukrainian interior minister (KYIV Post)
The Supreme Court of Ukraine has considered a cassation appeal lodged by the Prosecutor General's Office against a decision by Kyiv's Podilsky district court closing all of the cases opened against Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko.

War crimes accusations rattle Israel (The Christian Science Monitor)
In the wake of the Gaza war, Israel is preparing to defend itself and its soldiers against possible criminal charges in European courts that claim 'universal jurisdiction.'

Christopher 2X to co-host radio Q&A radio show about criminal justice (WAVE 3 Louisville)
Local R&B and Classic Soul Station Magic 101.3 is debuting a new local radio show answering your questions regarding the criminal justice system. "From the corner to the courthouse, both sides of justice,"

Navy Investigators Probing Sailor's Electrocution (Fox News)
A third U.S. service member has been determined to have been electrocuted in a shower in Iraq, and Navy criminal investigators are investigating, The Associated Press has learned.

Activists sue over criminal complaint (Edison-Metuchen Sentinel)
Anthony Russomanno and Bill Stephens, local Edison Township activists and, until recently, the subject of a criminal complaint from the township government, announced on Jan. 27 that they intend to sue the municipality.

Due process for judges, free speech for students (Journal Inquirer)
Ordinarily criminal defense lawyers stand up for due process of law, and, in doing so on behalf of their clients, help ensure due process for everyone.

Swimmer Phelps could face criminal charges in pot dustup (Sun-Sentinel)
Marijuana-pipe photo leads to investigation in South Carolina Olympic superstar Michael Phelps could face criminal charges as part of the fallout from a photo that surfaced showing the swimmer smoking from a marijuana pipe at a University of South Carolina house party.

Fumo defense wants son to testify; state objects (The Morning Call)
Prosecutors say son wasn't sequestered for other testimony. Indicted former state Sen. Vincent Fumo hopes to call his son as a defense witness in his ongoing corruption trial to counter earlier testimony from his estranged son-in-law.

Buck mortgages properties to pay fees (The Westerly Sun)
STONINGTON — Charles F. Buck, arrested last week for the 2002 murder of his wife, Leslie, has mortgaged four properties he owns in town, including the home of his deceased wife’s mother. The mortgages are held by criminal defense lawyers as a way to fund his legal defense. 

Lawyer enters guilty plea to not filing tax returns (The Scranton Times-Tribune)
A local criminal defense attorney admitted Monday he failed to file federal tax returns from 2000 to 2004 and may be made to pay up to $136,000 in back taxes.

Prosecutor Bill Mason to offer open discovery through Web-based system (The Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Plain Dealer FileCuyahoga County Proscecutor Bill Mason will unveil a new case managament system to comply with an amendment on criminal prosecution. After years of resisting pressure from the media, the defense bar and judges, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason...

Amazon Defense Coalition: New Evidence Shows Chevron Manipulated Lab Results in Landmark Environmental Trial (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)
QUITO, Ecuador----Scientists in the $27 billion class action lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuador's Amazon have discovered that the company manipulated laboratory results to evade a judgment at trial, lawyers for indigenous tribes announced today.

Records: Conyers paid son, lawyer from campaign donations (Detroit News)
DETROIT -- City Council President Monica Conyers used campaign money to pay for a criminal defense attorney, travel and hire one of her sons for campaign work, according to campaign expense reports filed this week.

Jury begins deliberations in trial of Ware man accused of beating 83-year-old woman to death (The Republican)
NORTHAMPTON - The prosecution painted Nathan J. Ruell as a would-be professional criminal who got a high out of killing. His defense lawyer insisted there is no solid evidence to tie the defendant to the murder of Rose Martowski.

Lubanga trial unfair, defense says (Foreign Policy Blogs)
The defense team for Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Tuesday said secrecy clauses made the trial inherently unfair, adding it struck a blow to the notion of transparent international justice. All but two of the 93 alleged victims of Lubanga taking part in the trial were allowed to do so under the cloak of [...]

Former Assistant United States Attorney David Siegal Joins New York Office of Haynes and Boone (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)
Senior white collar federal prosecutor David Siegal has joined the New York office of Haynes and Boone, LLP as a partner in the White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group, where his practice will focus on white collar defense and securities fraud litigation.

International Criminal Court to consider Gaza investigation (Los Angeles Times)
The Palestinian Authority and others want the court to investigate alleged war crimes committed during the recent battle with Israel. In a move that could inject a new international actor into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the International Criminal Court will examine requests to investigate alleged war crimes during the recent combat in the Gaza Strip, its chief prosecutor said ...

Cross-dressing defendant argues his case, and wins (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Andre R. Simpson, a man with a fat criminal history and a thin grasp of the law, got off to a shaky start arguing his own defense. “Now, Mr. Simpson,“ Judge L.A. Harris Jr. warned him at the beginning of his trial yesterday in Henrico County Circuit Court. “When you make your opening statement, it’s supposed to be an opening statement, not an argument.“

Robbery suspect wins own acquittal (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Andre R. Simpson, a man with a fat criminal history and a thin grasp of the law, got off to a shaky start arguing his own defense. “Now, Mr. Simpson,“ Judge L.A. Harris Jr. warned him at the beginning of his trial Tuesday in Henrico County Circuit Court. “When you make your opening statement, it’s supposed to be an opening statement, not an argument.“

Self-defense law faces hurdle (The Farmington Daily Times)
FARMINGTON — A bill that would make people who kill or hurt a criminal while defending their property immune from lawsuits faces a hurdle, the bill's sponsor says.

Due process for judges, free speech for students (Journal Inquirer)
Ordinarily criminal defense lawyers stand up for due process of law, and, in doing so on behalf of their clients, help ensure due process for everyone.

D.A. wants to keep DeVaul defense on the downlow (New Times San Luis Obispo)
The District Attorney’s office is seeking to “seal,” or keep secret, declarations that could help with Dan DeVaul’s defense. DeVaul, the ranch owner and founder of Sunny Acres sober living home, has been charged with criminal violations of county codes.

Jurors weigh suspect's fate (The Republican)
NORTHAMPTON - The prosecution painted Nathan J. Ruell as a would-be professional criminal who got a high out of killing. His defense lawyer insisted that there is no solid evidence to tie the defendant to the murder of Rose Martowski.

Riggins to take stand in defense (Arizona Daily Sun)
Jessica Riggins, the woman accused of murder in connection with the shooting death of her husband Rusty, will take the stand to tell a jury that she acted in self defense.

Hatch case could hinge on specifics prosecutors may not have, attorney says (Vero Press Journal)
Defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger called on the case’s new criminal judge, Circuit Judge Robert Hawley, to compel the state to comply with Vaughn’s order: that prosecutors specify the allegedly illegal withdrawals within 48 hours of their taking place. Assistant State Attorney Lev Evans said he can’t yet do that.




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