Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stolen from the Criminal Defense blog:

The below picture is the blog banner from the "Criminal Defense blog", and the below and some comments posted on that site were stolen and re-posted from this url:

Thursday, November 05, 2009

VIDEO: Judge Calls Cop Stealing From Defense Lawyer's File "Leeway"

Required watching for every defense lawyer, prosecutor, judge, bailiff, defendant, voter, garbage man, teacher, citizen of the world, is this video where an in-court deputy is seen stealing a document from the file of a criminal defense lawyer.

There's almost nothing that needs to be said about this video.

Well, almost.

As usual, Scott Greenfield covered all the bases in this embarrassment of a scene in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Scott calls it "blatant, outrageous and yes, illegal." He analyzes it this way: "First, this happened in full view of the judge, Lisa Flores, who appears not to have noticed. Later, when confronted with what happened, her first reaction is that her court officers are entitled to "leeway." Her second reaction is to seize upon a statement by Cuccia that this isn't the time to deal with the situation. Her third is that she's got a busy calender and this isn't worthy of her scarce time."

Scott faults everyone, including the defense lawyer:

"On Cuccia's side, she fails to notice, despite a few backward glances as the officer is touching her papers, that something is seriously awry. Once informed of the problem by her client, she asserts herself, but allows herself to be told to "calm down" by the judge, and follows instructions well. Rather than go nuts, inform the court that this is outrageous, far more significant than anything else she has to do that day, and demand that the court address it immediately, loudly and clearly, she demurely allows the matter to be put off to another day."

It's clear the defense lawyer was pushed around, and relented. Scott didn't like that:.

"Rather than go nuts, inform the court that this is outrageous, far more significant than anything else she has to do that day, and demand that the court address it immediately, loudly and clearly, she demurely allows the matter to be put off to another day."

I didn't like that either.

But Scott lives in another world. The world of big time New York criminal defense. Scott suffers from what many of us defense lawyers suffer from: "What I would have done-itis."

Here's the problem: we all live in our own world when it comes to the practice of criminal law. We know judges, prosecutors, cops, and we know what we can and cannot do in certain situations. Maybe this defense lawyer operates in a world of fear of the court, maybe they all do in Maricopa County. I don't know.

She appears to be aggressive in certain areas, and less aggressive in direct confrontation with the Court. She let the judge do the "whatever, I'm busy routine," without putting on the record the seriousness of the cause.

Maybe she has a history with this judge. She did mention "retaliation" in the video. Sometimes doing your job as a criminal defense lawyer results in just that.

What I would have done, is to demand the judge issue a rule to show cause why the officer should not be held in contempt, allow him to obtain counsel, and have a hearing. Then I would have filed a complaint with Internal Affairs, and the state attorney's office alleging theft, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct, with the video attached.

After reading that last paragraph, the sad thing is the some defense lawyers are laughing. "Do that? In my town?"


I often am taken to task by my brethren when they complain about situations and I wonder aloud why they don't do certain things. They tell me about the culture of the city, town, or village, and tell me I don't understand "how things are." Yes, there are many communities in this country where criminal defense lawyers "fall into line" because it's all about the business, and not about the system of justice.

Well, that's me, and what I would do here, in Miami, where I've been practicing criminal defense 15 years and feel comfortable asserting myself. There's been a lot of police corruption here, and a situation like this, here, in Miami, would be looked at differently than in Joe Arpaio's Maricopa County.

Some lawyers are just downright scared. And yes, that's shameful.

I'm not making excuses for this defense lawyer. I've just grown to learn that there are different types of communities with different types of attitudes.

Communities like Maricopa County, Arizona, where stealing a document out of a defense lawyer's file in court results in no contempt finding,

After all, these officers are there to insure courtroom safety. Safety from emotional courtroom observers, out of control defendants, and the file of a criminal defense lawyer.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com


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Ron Cooley said...

Yes, this is outrageous. The deputy stole a defense document. The deputy should be fired & prosecuted for theft. Anyone actively involved with him (apparently 2 others) should have similar punishment. Defendant's right to due process of law has clearly been violated & client's right to counsel has been interfered with. If our Constitutions mean ANYTHING our courts must take this extremely seriously. If the courts are to be respected our judges must rail against such injustices happening in open court.

I am curious what happened in the ensuing hearing. Hopefully the judge either found criminal contempt or referred the matter for prosecution. Seeing the judge's reaction to this video would tell us a lot about justice in that Court. Yes, I want to see the NEXT video.

Ron Cooley
Hillsborough, NC

SickOfCorruption said...

Notice that the second deputy still has paper in his hand when he supposedly handed it all back. He did not have any paper in his hand when he took the swath. He stands off to the left and signals to the first one that he has it. He was off camera for 5 minutes, enough time to duplicate whatever was taken. This time was eaten up by the judge, and they ushered the attorney to the bench instead of allowing her to focus on the papers. Even the defendant's attention is focused on the judge, not the accomplice. Nice slight of hand. Any crook can learn this on the streets of any major city. The old 3 card Monty. I wonder if the defense attorney has caught this?

Mike Foley said...

The hearing was held - and the judge wouldn't find the deputy in contempt without the defendant waiving privilege and letting the court see what the document said. Since the defendant wouldn't waive privilege, the judge said he couldn't find the deputy in contempt without a full opportunity to defend himself.


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Blogger's Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials Notice [found here]

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added Nov. 11, 2009, 11 AM EST:

Have I started a feud over copyrights? There is a response to my above post found on the source that I "stole" it from. That response, a post, is [found here] on the Simple Justice Blog.

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From the "Simple Justice" blog:

Save the Connecticut 5?

Carolyn Elefant is pissed. That doesn't happen too often, so it's certainly worthy of attention when it does. At My Shingle, Carolyn asks why the blawgosphere hasn't erupted in outrage at the persecution of the Connecticut 5. The first reason is that most people have never heard about the Connecticut 5. That's easily remedied.

Yet the Connecticut Disciplinary Counsel, in its Order of Probable Cause and Complaint (H/T to Ben Glass of Great Legal Marketing for publicizing the order) against five innocent lawyers who participated in the Total Bankruptcy.com cooperative advertising website (one lawyer for just a scant two months) thinks otherwise - that John and Jane Consumers are really John and Jane Morons. To the Connecticut Disciplinary Counsel, systems like TotalAttorneys subject consumers to "corrupt" and "abusive" practices (Order at 13), "capitalizes on the financially insecure consumer's fear of debt, poor credit rating and shame" and "intrude on the "sacred territory between lawyers and their clients." (Order at 14).
Since I'm not a regular aficionado of marketing blogs, and most of them try to shut the door when they see me coming since I rarely have nice things to say about them, it's no surprise that I hadn't heard of the plight of these "five innocent lawyers." I had, however, been aware of the Connecticut Disciplinary Counsel's investigation of Total Attorneys.

[more from the source, the Simple Justice blog]

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Steven G. Erickson is solely responsible for all content posted on this blog. Not all of it is my content. I don't think law enforcement should be able to steal a lawyer's paperwork in court and have it called "leeway". My email is stevengerickson@yahoo.com and the below video contains all the points for my core argument for my case of judicial abuse and witnessing misconduct:

I wish there were cameras in the courtroom where my rigged trial where Rockville Connecticut Superior Court Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan and Stafford Springs, Ellington Connecticut area Attorney Michael H. Agranoff pretended to defend me.

If cameras were allowed in court, I could show the diagram at the front of the courtroom where the only witness against me, a tenant who vowed revenge for my having started on eviction on her, said that she saw where I was attacked at night from her apartment. The diagram of my rental properties, 3 and 5 Church St., Stafford Springs, Connecticut contained two houses.

Cheryl Gauthier could not have seen through a house to see me being attacked, therefore committed perjury as did the State Police Officers saying that I never asked to make a complaint against my attacker. If there were cameras in my courtroom, Agranoff would not have dared to purposely throw the case he charge me over $17,000 for and Judge Jonathan Kaplan would have had to allow me to speak in my defense. The jury headed by a worker for the police, who I had lodged complaints against, tainted the jury who watched a VHS tape on how to find me guilty, but were shown nothing about finding me innocent and about reasonable doubt!

I used to own $500,000 in real estate, had built up a small business built over 2 decades, had credit, health insurance, a relationship with my daughter, and extended family. All that is gone due to judicial misconduct. I have received no remedy and at this point have no faith in any government in the US and think the US legal system is a total sham.

I had been going to Stafford Springs, Connecticut, State Senator Anthony "Tony" Guglielmo, proposing Civilian Oversight of Police, requesting that Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan be removed for bad behavior, judicial misconduct, and for bias against the self-employed. I had told Tony about Prosecutor Keith Courier threatening me with arrest and prison if I evicted prostitute Lana Thompson who would go to Keith in a short dress, big breasts prominently displayed, wearing high heals. I got a year in prison for resisting being beaten up on my own property. I had been stalked by the individual for weeks and he was openly threatening my life. For this I was sentenced to a year in prison! Keith Courier refused to make a plea deal for my having had to defend myself on my own property!

A man already in trouble for serious offenses, sexually assaults a 13 year old and gets probation! [that story]

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Ritt Goldstein proposed Civilian Oversight of police to Connecticut Judiciary Committee Legislators at a special hearing at the Capitol. He was then so terrorized by police that he fled the US to seek political asylum in Sweden. The Mayor of Norwalk, CT, Bill Collins, talks about police wearing ski masks to beat them at abandoned waterfront warehouses. Video and story [found here] on OpEdNews.com

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If you're getting divorced and have 20 million dollars, lawyers involved in the divorce case would want to put a freeze on the 20 million dollars thinking they can collect 20 million dollars for legal fees! [that story]


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