Monday, September 28, 2015

Unlicensed "attorney" represents clients in New York, and New Jersey

Operating from a New York City law office, Mikhail Perlov represented clients in court in criminal matters in Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan and Queens, as well as Belmar and Rahway, New Jersey.

But there was one big problem: He wasn’t licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey or any other state, according to the New York attorney general.

Article here (via abajournal). 

Man sues federal investigators after spending 17 years in prison falsely convicted

A mentally and cognitively disabled man who spent 17 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of rape and murder has filed a federal lawsuit against investigators who allegedly coerced him into confessing while clearing the actual killer.

Jamie Lee Peterson was cleared last year by DNA testing that was not available in 1996 when Geraldine Montgomery, 68, was raped and killed in her Kalkaska home.

Article here (via mlive). 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

But you knew this already, right? Study: you are wasting way too much time checking email

Smart phones, tablets, etc. etc. It never ends! Why don't we give up already? (But you can probably include blogging, voicemails, and texting in this survey as well).

We will never get out from under this email burden, however, if we don’t stop checking our email all the time, everywhere, all day (and all night) long. Adobe did a survey looking into our email habits, and surprise! we are all terrible.

Article here (via the lawyerist). 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cindy Gamrat shouldn't be on the ballot, say other legislators

The Michigan Secretary of State will not stop expelled Rep. Cindy Garmat from appearing on the ballot as she runs for re-election, but one of her opponents could still try.

Rep. Kurt Heise, an attorney who sat on the special committee that recommended expulsion for Gamrat and fellow Rep. Todd Courser, said Tuesday that the SOS determination is not binding and should be tested in court.

Article here (via mlive). 

Man allegedly stabs his wife, then robs a dollar store for getaway money

Police say Brandon Moore was in an argument with his wife in an apartment near Breton Road SE and 44th Street in Kentwood, when he pulled out a knife and repeatedly stabbed the woman before fleeing in a car.

As the stabbing occurred, Moore said, "I should have finished what I started," the victim allegedly told police.

Article here (via mlive). 

Police body cameras are important, says DOJ

The DOJ said it had expected to award only 50 grants and added another $2.5 million to meet the increased demand when requests soared. An additional $3.9 million has been allocated for training, technical assistance, and a study to analyze the effectiveness of the program.

Instead, the DOJ awarded  19.3 million dollars. Article here, (via aba journal).

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Agency to lose license for poor placement of Omarion Humphrey

 The state says the foster agency that placed 9-year-old Omarion Humphrey, the severely autistic boy who went missing and drowned in a Davison Township park, should lose its license.

The state said Alternatives for Children & Families Inc., the Burton-based agency, failed to ensure foster parents received adequate training on how to care for children with autism, committed multiple violations and should lose its license, partly because of the severity of the violations.

Article here (via mlive).

Follow up: Agency may appeal report

Practice tips: don't be afraid to look at a rule book, or read a few cases

Novel thoughts in the practice of law: Number 532 - Know the law.

So it might be a good idea, if you're a practicing lawyer, to know the law from time to time. Or know that, before beginning an argument, you might need to point the judge to the fact that you know it exists.

Here's another way to look at it - knowing the law is a way to win cases and make your clients happy. If you can show the judge "hey, here's the law" and then show the judge "but here's the facts of my case" you have a better chance of winning an argument. Which means more cases, and more clients, since happy clients will refer other people to you.

In other words, cases, laws, and rules are your friends. Here's the thing - cite the law, case, rule, statute, what have you. The judge needs to know that you know it. Besides, you went to law school for a while, then passed the Bar exam to practice, and you are probably proud of that fact. Then argue that -for certain reasons - your case is unique, so the law, case, rule etc. shouldn't apply, or that it applies in the way that you and your client want it to.

Make it easy for the judge to agree with you!

Also - if you have somehow become an attorney who doesn't do this, this small fact gets known. It's easy - and maybe a little lazy - to jump right into arguing, and repeat facts to the judge and ask the judge to rule your way - but if the law's not on your side, or you can't argue that it should be, that is the first thing that opposing counsel will point out to the judge, and the thing that they will point out to their client.

Here's a good place to start - Michigan Rules of Court (MCR). (via Michigan Courts).

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lack of minority representation in jury pool gets new trial for convicted murderer

A Hispanic man convicted of second-degree murder in 2001 deserves a new trial because a computer glitch left minorities underrepresented in his jury pool, a federal appeals panel said Friday, Sept. 4.

Antonio Garcia-Dorantes, 37, was convicted in the Oct. 22, 2000, stabbing death of Jose Delores Gomez and wounding of Manual Garcia.

Article here (via mlive). 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

12 year-old convicted of murder of 9 year old

A year after 12-year-old Jamarion Lawhorn executed a bizarre suicide scheme where he would kill another child so that he would be executed for the slaying, a jury has found him guilty of murder.

At 13, the boy will be the youngest convicted murderer in West Michigan.

After more than four hours of deliberation Friday, Sept. 4, the jury comprised of seven men and five women found Jamarion guilty of first-degree murder in the Aug. 4, 2014, stabbing death of 9-year-old Connor Verkerke as they played on a Kentwood playground.

Article here.