Category Archives: Judiciary

NYCOA: Criminal Appeals (Part 3)–Voting & Decisional Patterns

In the last two posts, we looked at the sharp drop in criminal appeals (Criminal Leave Applications [CLA's]) granted at the Court of Appeals in the past few years and at the frequency–and rarity–of grants by each of the Judges. Now let's see how the Court has been deciding those appeals and how each Judge has been voting: pro-prosecution versus pro-accused. We saw that the Judges collectively.. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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In Re M.S. (Cal. Ct. App. – March 11, 2019)

The quotes are from today's opinion by Justice Gilbert.  The text not in quotes is mine:"Is M.S. eligible to be considered for referral to a mental health diversion program pursuant to the newly enacted sections 1001.35 and 1001.36?"Well, I honestly don't know what those statutes say.  But just to get things started, I'd want to know how serious the crime was.  More serious crimes probably aren't likely to get diversion."This appeal concerns the tragic death of Baby Boy A. . . ."Oh no.  Not one of these.  So depressing.". . . . following his home birth to then 15-year-old M.S."Oh my goodness.  Gave birth at home and then neglected the child, resulting in its death?!  That's so incredibly sad."Frightened that her parents would learn that she had been pregnant and given birth, M.S. inflicted fatal cuts on A.’s throat, severing his carotid artery and trachea. M.S. thereafter placed….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Review of “The Great Comeback: How Abraham Lincoln Beat the Odds to Win the 1860 Republican Nomination” by Gary Ecelbarger

In 1860, William Seward of New York was considered a shoo-in for the nomination of the Republican Party in Chicago. His campaign manager, Thurlow Weed, was “arguably the ablest political tactician in the country.” The team he assembled was overflowing with money and supporters. The Lincoln team, by contrast, had perhaps 35 total operatives to Seward’s thousands. So how did Lincoln do it? How did he win the nomination? This book tries to answer that question by delving into the nitty-gritty of local and national Republican politics in the year before the nominating convention. The author details the strategies and tactics employed not only by Lincoln but also by his two campaign managers, Norman Judd and Judge David Davis. A large part of the story concerns the Illinois rivalry between the gubernatorial aspirant Norman Judd and Chicago Mayor “Long” John Wentworth. Unfortunately, both tried to use Lincoln as a foil against the other so their….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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District Court’s sua sponte continuance did not validly exclude time under STA

Following his conviction for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, Reese appealed his conviction, in part based on a claim that his trial took place beyond the 70-day Speedy Trial Act time limit.  The Circuit here agreed and vacated the -conviction.  United States v. Reese, No. 17-2484 (March 5, 2019).Prior to trial in Reese’s case, after a period of 50 non-excludable days had elapsed, the district court held a pretrial conference.  At this November 10, 2016, hearing the district court opened by stating that, in order accommodate the court’s calendar, trial was to be moved to February 22nd.  Reese’s counsel responded “February 22nd will work for me. I'm just really bad in December and January myself. February opens up.” There was no further discussion of postponing trial or the need to exclude time under the Speedy Trial Act.  A subsequent order stated that Reese's trial was rescheduled for February 22,….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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1st District Considers Issuing Tentative Rulings

That's the exciting headline in today's DJ.APJ HumesThey're tucked inconspicuously near the end of a lengthy issuance out Wednesday from the 1st District Court of Appeal that proposes, mostly, minor changes to the court's local rules. But the three concise paragraphs comprising proposed new Rule 15(b) — titled "Tentative Opinions" — constitute what Division Two Presiding Justice Anthony Kline describes as a "major transformation," and culminate decades of debate on an uncommon appellate procedure: the issuance of draft opinions in advance of oral argument.The proposed rule would allow appellate panels, "on occasion and in their sole discretion, to issue tentative opinions in cases scheduled for oral argument." Were the rule to be formally adopted, it would mark the first time an entire California appellate district was officially amenable to the practice... To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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