Monday, July 25, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer Illustrates An Unfair Perception Of Defense Lawyers ~by Legal Eagle 7

Last night while watching the movie The Lincoln Lawyer, I began reflecting upon a statement of a detective to a defense lawyer, "How do you sleep at night?" Ironically, Matthew McConaughey gets off the elevator and replies with a comment about how the district attorney's office could not be trusted. Later in the movie we learn that the Lincoln Lawyer's worst fear came true, an innocent man had gone to jail for a crime that he did not commit. While winning the trial for the current client, the Lincoln Lawyer exonerates his past client and corrects the past wrong by implicating his current client in the previous murder. This prompts the detective to say, "Just who are you working for?"

This movie illustrates a very real point. Defense lawyers, especially in high profile cases, are despised by the public even though the search for justice should be the goal of both sides. (Johnny Cochran, Jose Baez, and Drew Peterson's lawyer, Joel Brodsky BRODSKY INTERVIEW LINK come to mind.) It is unfortunate that the movie portrays defense lawyers as slimy. All lawyers, including prosecutors, like in the Casey Anthony trial, should not have a win at all costs attitude. (Putting on testimony that there were 84 searches for chloroform when in reality there was just one. JOHN BRADLEY LINK.) Fairness and integrity must extend to both sides of the bar despite any public pressure to rush to judgment. ANTHONY CAUTION LINK.

The reality is that both prosecutors and defense attorneys are necessary for our system of justice to function. So while the Nancy Graces of the world or those following the Lauren Spierer investigation may be frustrated when persons of interest do not speak based on advice of counsel, keep in mind the Fifth Amendment should always be considered before one opens his mouth as it is one of the rights our founding fathers fought and died to obtain.

In sum, the movie is very entertaining. However, for lawyers battling in the trenches each day, it highlights and reenforces some preconceived public perceptions that need to be corrected.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Robert Ross v. Shaquille O'Neal In Heavy Weight Grudge Match?

Retirement can be boring. Perhaps even for NBA greats like Shaquille O'Neal who retired after the 2010-1011 season at the ripe old age of 39. However, I sincerely doubt any retiree wants to spend his time defending lawsuits. Especially a lawsuit filed by a so called "friend." Robert Ross, a former friend of Shaquille O'Neal, has filed a lawsuit accusing the recent retiree of asking him to kill several people. Ross is no angel. He himself is allegedly a former gang member. Among the allegations, the Ross is claiming that O'Neal was plotting to have him kidnapped by gang members. It is doubtful whether Ross will be taken seriously. He was apparently labelled by LAPD as a less then desirable informant. "undesirable informant".

O'Neal's lawyer apparently agrees with the LAPD assessment. "The outlandish claims by Robert Ross in his civil complaint are pure fiction," Michael J. Kump told TMZ.
Ross accuses O'Neal of telling him to murder a record producer, a gang member and a woman O'Neal had once impregnated. It is unclear whether the lawsuit will delay O'Neal joining the Turner Sports team. Turner Sports . For more legal talk by O'Neal's counsel you can follow this link: Lawyer-denies-claim.

Update 7-22-11: Robert Ross apparently was a record producer. He allegedly threatened Shaquille O'Neal that he would release a "sex tape" of the big guy. Fortunately, the tape apparently did not exist.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Felons On The Run Typically Don't Get Far...

Trent Archie, 29, was on the run. He and another inmate, Davis McLeskey, attacked four corrections officers in Huntsville, Texas on June 28. The pair escaped; however, Davis Mcleskey, 23, was recaptured almost right away. Archie, serving time for a murder conviction, was more nimble and able to scale the gate. Video Link.

What made recapture so easy is that the escape was caught on video tape and was immediately released to the public. (Contrast this with how the Spierer video tape has been kept from the public. LINK. ) How did the jail escape happen? On the video, it looks like Archie and McLeskey asked jail officers if they could use the phones near the booking office. The sympathetic jailers granted their request. After about twenty minutes, jailers went to open the door and check on another inmate. When the doors were opened, the two men attacked the jailers and then fled the building.

McLeskey didn't make it far. He was almost immediately apprehended. On the other hand, Archie jumped over a gate. Not to worry, this is Texas! Archie was hunted down like a rabbit on the run. Law enforcement located him in a house just southwest of Houston on July 1. He was arrested without any shots being fired. According to ABC News, escapes are not new to the Walker County Jail. However, Texas is all about justice and they know how to track down the bad guys. (Perhaps we should call in the Texas Rangers to get to the bottom of the Lauren Spierer matter?)

Update 7-13-11: It does not appear that the convicts had any inside help in planning their escape. However, one can be almost certain that none of the interrogation ploys suggested by this reader were used. INTERROGATION BY ELECTRICITY

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do Ex Players Know How To Terminate Negotiation?

Retired NFL players Carl Eller, Franco Harris, Marcus Allen and Paul Krause are named plaintiffs in a suit against the NFL and its current players. Plaintiffs have requested that U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson terminate the mediation and order that the current players cannot negotiate on behalf of retired players. The law suit alleges that current stars like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are "conspiring to depress the amounts of pension and disability benefits to be paid to former NFL players in order to maximize the salaries and benefits to current NFL players." Mean while, current players representatives and the owners have met five times over the last few weeks. Mediation is scheduled to resume today in New York.

Retired players have felt unrepresented in the issue of how to divide more than $9 billion in NFL revenue.The retired players want more of the profits being dedicated to medical insurance and better pensions for former players. There is a strong argument that the players' decision to decertify their union makes it an antitrust violation for the owners and current players to negotiate for retired players.

If Judge Nelson rejects the motion for an injunction stopping the mediation, then the retired players seek treble damages as punishment.

The preseason opener between the Bears and Rams is only a month away. Will an agreement be in place before the season is jeopardized? Who can forget the strike season in the 80's? The players were different, but the uniforms were the same. If it meant ticket prices being cut in half, would it be worth it to see Nancy Peterson run the ball instead of Adrian Peterson? Perhaps it is worth finding out.

Kelly Rothwell

Apparently football players are not the only "ex" that knows how to terminate any further discussion. Florida Police cadet Kelly Rothwell disappeared in March of 2011. She apparently had an argument with her boyfriend which resulted in a breakup. Kelly apparently disappeared on the day she broke up with her boyfriend. David Perry is a suspect in her disappearance. Shortly after she disappeared, her ex boyfriend returned to New York. Perry allegedly has declined detectives invitation to submit to an interogation. LINK. As always, any suspect is to be presumed innocent unless otherwise proven in a court of law.