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Posted: Dec 26, 2018, 2:15 PM
A criminal defendant’s failure to satisfy the plain-error test regarding a trial court’s alleged error does not, by itself, prohibit the defendant from bringing an ineffective assistance of counsel claim related to that same error, according to the Michigan Supreme Court.
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Posted: Jan 18, 2018, 11:00 AM
Kevin Clark and Erica Kosinski had a child together. Their tumultuous relationship ended in a child custody dispute. During that time, Clark found listening devices and GPS tracking devices concealed in the child’s clothing during his parenting time.
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Posted: Oct 30, 2017, 12:20 PM
Defendant Timothy Horton was charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit larceny as a fourth habitual offender. Horton agreed to plead no contest to the charge, in exchange for being charged as a second habitual offender. At the sentencing hearing, Horton moved to withdraw his plea, claiming that it was not freely, knowingly, and voluntarily made. His motion was denied and he was sentenced.
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Posted: Oct 19, 2017, 1:00 PM
Defendant Jeffrey Titus, convicted in 2002 by jury trial of the first-degree premeditated murders of Doug Estes and James Bennett, likes to spend time in litigation. We first wrote about him in Estes v Titus (July 2008) where the wife of Estes was trying to collect a wrongful death judgment from Titus who had transferred all his assets to his wife when they divorced. The Supreme Court ruled - with a caveat - that a property division in a divorce could be the subject of a Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act action. Speaker Law Firm wrote the amicus brief for the Family Law Section (the Supreme Court disagreed with our position, but the concurring opinion by Marilyn Kelly did agree with us).
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Posted: Oct 17, 2017, 3:35 PM
Ineffective assistance of counsel is an incredibly difficult burden for a criminal defendant to prove – “to establish a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, the defendant must show that ‘counsel’s representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness’ under prevailing professional norms and that there is a ‘reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different.’” People v Gioglio, 296 Mich App 12 (2012), quoting Strickland v Washington, 466 US 668, 688, 694; 104 St Ct 2052; 80 L Ed 2d 674 (1984). People v Carver, unpublished per curiam opinion of the Court of Appeals, issued August 29, 2017 (Docket No 328157), deals with the issue of the defense attorney who had knowledge of an essential expert witness, but failed to utilize this expert.
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Posted: Jun 2, 2017, 3:50 PM
In this case of consolidated appeals, People v Thomas, No. 329448 and People v Gordon, No. 329449, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirms the case against Clifford Thomas but vacates Jasmine Gordon’s conviction and remands for a new trial due to the ineffective assistance of Gordon’s counsel.
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Posted: Apr 19, 2017, 5:30 PM
Buck was convicted of capital murder for killing his ex-girlfriend and her friend in 1995. At the time, Texas law required a jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant was likely to commit future acts of violence that made him a continuing danger to society before imposing the death penalty.
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Posted: Feb 8, 2016, 12:05 PM
The Michigan Supreme Court’s decision in People v Ackley shows just how crucial it is for defense lawyers to adequately investigate their client’s case and make good use of expert witnesses.
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Posted: Oct 23, 2012, 9:45 AM
When I attended oral argument the other day in People v Trakhtenberg (SCt Docket 143386), it was interesting to listen to the court's questions.
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