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Category: The Courts

SCOTUS Rejects Interstate Marijuana Case

Posted in Drug Crimes,Firm News,The Courts on March 22, 2016

The Constitution gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction in all cases in which a state is a party. Art. III, §2, cl. 2. Federal statutory law follows suit. 28 U.S.C. §1251(a). Nevertheless, earlier today, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case in which Nebraska and Oklahoma wanted to sue Colorado. I know, I know…. read more

How Unappealing: Managing Expectations on Appeal

Posted in Firm News,The Courts on September 21, 2015

Whenever someone is in the unfortunate position to have taken a case to trial and lost, his or her focus might immediately shift to filing a direct appeal. Of course, just about any trial lawyer will tell you that few trials are ever conducted without error, and appealing a case to ensure that those errors… read more

“Not Guilty, Demand Discovery, and Trial by Combat”

Posted in Civil Rights,Firm News,The Courts on August 6, 2015

Pop into any courtroom in the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building (the state criminal courthouse here in Miami) while an arraignment is taking place and you will undoubtedly hear defense attorneys reciting: “We enter a plea of not guilty, your honor, demand discovery, and set the case for trial by jury.”

Obama’s Prison Visit Highlights Apathy of Prior Presidents

Posted in Civil Rights,Criminal Defense,Firm News,The Courts,Violent Crimes on July 18, 2015

President Obama will forever be remembered as the “first” to do many things.  And with his recent visit to a federal prison in Oklahoma, he added to that list by becoming the first sitting president to make such a trip-no, not to El Reno Correctional Institution specifically (although that’s true too), but rather, to any federal prison in general.

The “Cannibal Cop” Appeal Explored

Posted in Criminal Defense,Firm News,The Courts,Violent Crimes on May 26, 2015

I fancy myself a documentary-film aficionado.  When the subject matter is criminal law, it’s a true win-win.  Last week, I had occasion to see a newly-released HBO documentary titled, “Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop.”  It was fascinating.  For those of you who didn’t see it, I suggest you watch it.

Bath Salts, Ignorance of the Law, and the “Knowingly a Bad Guy” Theory

Posted in Drug Crimes,Firm News,The Courts,Violent Crimes on May 23, 2015

We’ve all heard the expression that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”  It means that a person cannot escape punishment for violating criminal laws regardless of whether he or she knew of their existence.  Being well versed in the laws doesn’t provide an avenue for relieve for criminals either.

Florida Judges Must Wear Black Robes

Posted in Firm News,The Courts on May 21, 2015

As recently recounted by the Miami Herald, all Florida judges are now obligated to wear black robes without “embellishments.”  This order is directly from the top judge himself: Chief Justice Jorge Labarga of the Florida Supreme Court.

FL’s Criminal Justice System: The Courts (Part 1)

Posted in Firm News,The Courts on May 19, 2015

In my practice, I find that an extraordinarily high number of clients are simply unaware of how our state’s court system is structured, let alone works.  If you are count yourself among the unfamiliar, worry not.  In a series of blog posts that I’ll caption “FL’s Criminal Justice System,” I will endeavor to breakdown this vital information into easy-to-understand, digestible pieces.  Part 1 is titled, “The Courts,” b

Speedy Trial or Fair Trial – Not a “Hobson’s Choice”

Posted in Criminal Defense,Firm News,The Courts on May 13, 2015

As a criminal defense lawyer, I am often faced with a series of inquiries from friends and family like, “How can you represent those people?”  (Roy Black has a very interesting blog post (and twist) on this precise question).

Is Florida’s application of the Circumstantial Evidence Rule at risk?

Posted in Criminal Defense,Firm News,The Courts on April 29, 2015

It would appear that the Florida circumstantial evidence rule is at risk of being, if not outright removed, substantially modified (or, stated another way, clarified). Earlier this month, the Florida Supreme Court heard oral argument in Knight v. State, a constructive possession of cannabis case, to address the issue. The advocate for the State of… read more