July 7, 2014

CELL PHONES SEIZED DURING AN ARREST CAN'T BE SEARCHED WITHOUT A WARRANT.

CELL PHONES SEIZED DURING AN ARREST CAN'T BE SEARCHED WITHOUT A WARRANT

Big 9-0 win for the defense! The US Supremes rule that when police seize cell phones during an arrest, they can't search them without a warrant. "Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple - get a warrant."

There are narrow exceptions where there's evidence a defendant's phone will be imminently remotely wiped, or there's information on the phone about a bomb or a child abduction.

This is certainly fully retroactive. But can the police claim good faith based on Diaz (51 C4th 84), where the Cal. Supremes held that police can search cell phones seized during an arrest? I think we're going to have to argue that this was always the law; that Diaz was
never good law.

Riley v. Cal.; 2014 DJ DAR 8220; DJ, 6/26/14; US Supremes

March 26, 2014

PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT IN #SAN JOSE: AUSA KALEBA AND PARRELLA INDICT, ARREST AND WRONGFULLY PROSECUTE AN INNOCENT CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER

San Jose Federal Prosecutors Daniel Kaleba and Matthew Parrella are either the most abundantly stupid prosecutors on the planet, or just plain evil. They indicted a criminal defense attorney, alleging that he revealed confidential information to Hells Angels gang members. He didn't. He merely REPEATED info that was revealed by prosecutors in state court.

But these two remarkably stupid and/or power hungry San Jose Deputy United States Attorneys indicted him, made him put up $100,000 bail, and emotionally and financially tortured him for months before DISMISSING the case with a giant OOPS.

HERE'S THE STORY

February 13, 2014

CALIFORNIA DUI DEFENSE: A DIET COCKTAIL MIGHT LAND THE LADIES IN JAIL FOR A #DUI

CALIFORNIA WOMEN'S DUI DEFENSE NEWS:

Having A “Diet Cocktail” on your girls’ night out may be a good way to cut calories, but the unknown consequences can be earth shattering if you’re driving later on.

Women who consumer an alcoholic drink with a sugar free artificial sweetened mixer may cut calories, but it will also cause blood alcohol levels to spike unusually high, according to a recent study.

The problem, Australian researchers found, is that drinks made with "diet" mixers pass through the stomach more rapidly and, therefore, make blood alcohol levels spike particularly high.

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The findings, published in the American Journal of Medicine, are based on an experiment with eight healthy young men. The volunteers had their blood alcohol levels measured repeatedly in each of two conditions: once after having a vodka beverage made with a sugary mixer, and once after drinking the same amount of vodka with an artificially sweetened mixer. The researchers also used ultrasound tests to measure each volunteer’s rate of stomach emptying after having the drink.

They found that with the diet mixer, the men’s stomachs emptied about 15 minutes sooner than when they drank the regular mixer, and that blood alcohol levels peaked at around the same time - 30 minutes after having the drink - regardless of which mixer was used. The difference, however, was that alcohol levels surged higher with the low-calorie mixer (to 0.05 percent, on average, versus 0.03 percent with the naturally sweetened mixer).

In some jurisdictions, this would mean the difference between driving legally and driving drunk, according to the study authors, led by Dr. Christopher K. Rayner of Royal Adelaide Hospital.

The difference in peak blood alcohol levels was "striking," the researchers write, and it shows that a drink's alcohol content isn't the only factor people should consider.

In general, women's blood alcohol levels soar higher than men's after drinking the same amount alcohol. And women may be particularly drawn to diet mixers in order to cut calories, the researchers note.

Continue reading "CALIFORNIA DUI DEFENSE: A DIET COCKTAIL MIGHT LAND THE LADIES IN JAIL FOR A #DUI" »

December 22, 2013

California Appeal Court Strikes Down Criminal Statutes for Vagueness

The 5th District Court of Appeal issued an opinion in Parker v. State of California last month upholding the trial court’s finding that three criminal state statutes were unconstitutional vague in violation of due process. (Fifth Appellate District, Case Nos. F062490, F062709 Fresno County Superior Court, Case No. 10CECG02116).

The statutes that would have restricted the sale of ammunition, but have been enjoined to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. The panel’s 41-page published opinion clarifies California’s vagueness doctrine and confirms that criminal laws impacting fundamental rights must provide higher levels of clarity. Thus, they will be found to violate due process protections if they are vague in the “generality” or “majority” of cases – as opposed to every conceivable application. The opinion is an important for potential criminal defendants to prevent against unfair prosecution by ensuring statutes provide fair notice that their actions may result in criminal liability.

This is helpful and timely for my case. I soon will be filing an injunction/request for declaratory relief against the City of San Diego for to strike down its equivilent of the NFL Fan Code of Conduct on Due process ground.

The State of California filed a Petitioned for Review with the California Supreme Court on December 16. Anyone who is interested in seeing the Parker decision upheld may wish to weigh in with an amicus letter asking the Court to decline review. Amicus letters should be submitted as soon as possible. The 5th District’s opinion is extremely comprehensive and well written, and it should be permitted to stand. If the California Supreme Court wishes to weigh in on California’s vagueness doctrine again, it should do so after the Parker decision has percolated in the appellate districts to allow the Court to consider a more comprehensive evaluation of the issues by these courts.

The opinion and State’s Petition for Review are available here: http://michellawyers.com/guncasetracker/parkervcalifornia

November 27, 2013

MARY PREVOST'S DUI BLOG: HOW TO AVOID A DUI THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

I write and re-write this article every season and every year. But time and time again I see friends and people I know who have read it coming to me because they got arrested in San Diego, Orange County, Imperial County, Riverside, San Bernardino or Los Angeles for a DUI.

Okay, think about it... How smart is it to drive a two-ton killing machine through the streets with, say, a .16 blood alcohol level? Not very. In fact, it is inherently dangerous for you and everyone in your vicinity. How about.... How smart is it to take a cab instead of driving? How about, since it's the holiday season and we all know we are going to imbibe, just plan to take a cab from the start? Yes, now we are getting smarter.

Yes, think about it. A GOOD DUI attorney will charge you about $5,000 or upwards pre-trial to work up your DUI case. Yes, people, there are defenses to high blood alcohol DUI's. I just got an offer of a wet reckless misdemeanor on a high blood alcohol DUI with a prior conviction, and prior to that, for a misdemeanor on a DUI with injury case that was originally charged as a felony. But those took a lot of time, a lot of work, and aren't the norm. I recently sued San Diego's top DUI cop in federal court and won a settlement from the City because the cop falsified the basis for his stop. Yes, there are cheap attorneys out there and they will always claim to do cheaply what the best of us do for the cost of our experience. But you get what you pay for. I personally don't hire doctors that hawk themselves as "cheaper than the other guy." Nor would I ever hire an attorney that hawks himself for cheap.

Some California DUI cases can be won. Some California DUI cases cases can't be won. It depends on how competent your lawyer is, how the cop did the investigation, if the machines used were properly calibrated, and what you said at the time of the investigation, amongst other things.

Remember, anyone with a law license from the State of California can take your money and represent you on a DUI. That doesn't mean that they know what they are doing. Would you request advice from a novice if you had cancer? Of course not.

Now, if you haven't read it before, read it now. And if you have read it before, read it again. This article is chock full of info on what to do if you get stopped for a DUI and arrested.

It's starting now. Police agencies all over California are setting up roadblocks, and putting officers on overtime, to make as many DUI arrests as possible. Hopefully, the tips below will come in handy for you over this holiday weekend.

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1. If you drive in California during the holidays, and you plan on having a cocktail or two, make sure you know where your license, registration and proof of insurance are. DUI officers historically write in their California DUI reports (putting only facts that harm you in them) that the suspect "fumbled for his wallet" and couldn't find his registration. They use this to try to show you were impaired. Be prepared.

2. When you get signaled by the DUI officer to pull over for a DUI assessment, do so immediately and safely. Roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel.

3. If a DUI officer asks you if you know why you are being pulled over, remember you don't have to answer. What a dumb question! He knows why he is pulling you over. He is pulling you over to assess you for drunk driving, and he's using the fact that you might have committed some minor vehicle code violations as an excuse. Don't make any admissions to him. So, you can just ask him, "why?"

4. The next question the DUI officer is likely to ask is, "Have you had anything to drink tonight." Remember your rights? You are not required to speak to officers. I know, I know, you think, "But if I don't talk to the officer, he will be mad." Let him be. You are not at a social gathering; he is not invited to your next birthday party. So don't worry about how he feels. He is collecting evidence against you. Don't give him any. It is best to say, "Officer, I appreciate what you do for a living, but I don't wish to answer any of your questions." You do NOT have to answer. The less from you he gets, the better for you in the long run. He is gathering evidence. But, you say, maybe he will let me go if he knows I'm being honest with him. NO. Most people who are pulled over and have alcohol on their breath get arrested. It's just a fact of life. Don't give him anything to put in that report that he can use against you later.

5. He may then say, "I'd like you to complete a series of tests for me." Again, let him know that you do not wish to participate in any tests. You are not required to comply. DUI officers try to give a series of field tests to determine if you are impaired. I have NEVER known any officer to do these as per the standardized protocol. I hold a certification authorized by the United Stated Department of Transportation to administer these tests, and was required to pass a practical and written test to get that certification given by a nationally re-known sergeant with the Idaho State Police. Cops learn how to do these, and then promptly forget them, making up their own "tests." Do not do them. Do NOT let the officer collect more false "evidence" against you. Just reiterate that you do not wish to perform and tests. It's your right.

6. The DUI investigation officer may then tell you he wants you to take an in field breath, hand held, breath test. Do not take this "test." It is unreliable, and regularly exhibits blood alcohol numbers higher than what you really are. The cop really, really wants you to do this now, because you have made no statements, and you have refused his field "tests." He wants this badly. He NEEDS some evidence. Do not do it. You are NOT required to blow into the little hand held machine.

7. The officer will most likely arrest you, cuff and take you downtown. That's when you DO have to take a test. Don't refuse. Your license in California will be suspended for a year.

A few pointers: If you are still absorbing alcohol, the breath test will read high. It is also an INDIRECT measurement of blood alcohol level. If you take blood, you won't get a result for at least a week. Also, law enforcement labs don't use the proper amount of sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate in the blood tubes, so you can attack those results later. Personally, I wouldn't let anyone hired by the city or county to draw my blood, after learning all I know about the incompetence of the people drawing the blood, and the lack of sanitation protocol in place. Why risk infection? (See, article on frightening practices in the San Diego crime lab).

If you are arrested in San Diego, you will be released within 12 hours on your promise to appear. You will received a pink piece of paper called a "DS-367." This document tells you that you, or your lawyer, must call the Department of Motor Vehicle within ten days of the arrest to secure a hearing to determine whether or not the DMV will take your license. Do not miss this deadline or you will be suspended automatically.

So, be careful. Don't drink and drive if you can help it. Drive safely. Don't talk to cops. Be polite, but do not let them gather damaging evidence against you. And when you get home call this Southern California DUI Defense lawyer. DUI Defense is hard. But it's not impossible.

November 24, 2013

MARY PREVOST'S BLOG: SEEKING WITNESSES OF FALSE ARREST/ABUSE BY SANTA MONICA POLICE OFFICER KOBY ARNOLD

If you have been falsely arrested or abused by Santa Monica Diego Police Officer Koby Arnold, please call Attorney Mary Prevost at (888) 384-1384.

Koby Arnold, pictured HERE, is the rogue officer who falsely arrested Sennett Devermont, also known as MrCheckPoint, for "Drunk Driving" even though he had not had a single drink. Koby Arnold then falsified his police reports to suggest Sennett was driving impaired by drugs. Again, not at all. Blood test? Clean for alcohol and clean for controlled substances. Oops. I mean, Koby Arnold KNEW Sennett Devermont wasn't drunk, but hauled him into court solely because he stood on his right not to talk to the cop, or do his field coordination tests. Arnold got animal control to come and take Sennett's terrified dogs to the pound, and threatened to have them adopted. What a gem.

And so Koby Arnold engaged in an attitude arrest, and he thought he could get away with it.

Now, had we been back in the 90's, Koby Arnold could walk free from the allegations Sennett has levied against him - specifically false arrest and excessive force. But, we are in the era of technology. Sennett recorded the transaction, and we have caught Officer Arnold admitting that he would falsely arrested Sennett because he had "nothing" when Sennett exercised his right not to talk to the bad copper. Want to hear the audio? Click on HERE.

And it's not the first time that Koby Arnold has gone rogue on the Santa Monica Police Department. Oh no. Click HERE for the LA article on the $99,000 settlement City of Santa Monica had to pay out to another man Arnold jumped from behind and beat up.

And, yet, the City Attorney of Santa Monica is again protecting the rogue cop.

November 21, 2013

Law Offices of Mary Prevost: CALIFORNIA COURT REVERSES VANGELDER....BUT THERE'S A SILVER LINING.

This morning People v. Vangelder came down. it was argued by Chuck Sevilla.

The Court reversed the Court of Appeal which had reversed a DUI conviction for excluding an expert who would have testified that the breath test machines used: 1) measure no alveolar air, and 2) had unreliable test result from variable in the breath sample due to factors like breathing
variations, temperature of the lung air, etc.

The Court ruled that 1) the Title 17 regulation requiring "essentially alveolar air" to be measured merely means to test the last expired breath. (See p. 45, et seq --you read that right). 2) The Court ruled that variables that alter breath alcohol out the mouth were close enough to
partition ratio rules (despite the expert's testimony that he was not comparing blood/breath ratios) to warrant exclusion also under that doctrine. (p. 49.)

They do all this because the state adopted the fed regulations for approvals of machines and since the machines are federally approved, this creates an irrebuttable presumption of accuracy. (See p. 46, you read that right). In other words, there can be no global attacks on approved breath machines because that would have the witness "nullifying the legislature." (You read
that right, see pp. 45-46).

AN AREA FOR LITGATION: The court finds that approved PAS machines are evidential breath tests. See p. 40, fn 23. This may give rise to the defense later that any subequent test must be suppressed (per Fiscalini) as being unnecessary and without justification.

November 6, 2013

Law Office of Mary Prevost: SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL REFUSES TO PUBLICLY APPROVE SETTLEMENT FOR VICTIM OF SDPD OFFICER AREVALOS--CANCELS PUBLIC SESSIONS AND GOES ON VACATION INSTEAD

Last month, and after two long years of harassment by the Office of the City Attorney who tried and tried and tried to protect imprisoned sexual predator cop Anthony Arevalos, the City finally settled the brutal sexual assault case for $795,000. See,http://www.10news.com/news/anthony-arevalos-victim-city-of-san-diego-reach-795k-settlement-092713

All that was left to do was put it on calendar for a public vote. But the City had already pre-approved the settlement. It would take about 30 seconds to close the case.

Now, the City Council is compounding the victim, Jane Roe's, pain and agony. It's bad enough City tried to paint her as a whore in an attempt to protect its imprisoned sexual predator cop. It's bad enough she had to endure probing questions in deposition from Arevalos' chubby misogynisitic attorney demanding to know at what age did she start drinking, as though that were a defense to the cop fisting her in the back seat of the car. It's bad enough she had to endure vile questions from Deputy City Attorney Keith Phillips, "Were you wearing booty panties or thongs the day you claim you were assaulted?"

Now that the victim can begin the long road to recovery, City has decided to cancel all public meetings thus dragging, dragging, dragging out the pain and suffering this young woman has had to endure.

This is what the City has put out:

“The City Council meetings of November 11-12, 2013, November 18-19, 2013, November 25-26, 2013, and December 2-3, 2013, have been adjourned, pursuant to the 2013 Legislative Calendar, adopted by Resolution R‑307832 on November 13, 2012.”

So what happens to the Court order requiring City to provide the victim her check on November 25? What happens to the house she has chosen to buy? Perhaps the City would like the victim to reject the settlement and proceed, and thereby put the City in jeopardy of a huge trial judgment?

it is remarkable how callous the City is with the rights of victims of police brutality. Shame on your City Council.

November 1, 2013

Law Offices of Mary Prevost: Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct Merge, But Justice is Done

Amado v. Gonzales, _F.3d_; No. 11-56420 (9th Cir. Oct. 30, 2013).

This was a state murder conviction for which the defendant got 27 years to life. It arose out of LA and involved a gang motivated killing involving the Bounty Hunter Bloods and the rival 118 East Coast Crips. One day, a group of Crips got on a bus and one of them opened up with a gun and shot up the bus full of Bloods. Result, one dead and one wounded. Amado was arrested as one of the Crips who took a gun to the scene. But only a witness named Hardy ID'd him as the guy with the gun.

The Brady violation: after trial the defense discovered Hardy: 1) had a prior conviction for robbery, 2) was currently on probation for that robbery when he testified; and 3) he was a former Blood gang banger himself with an arguable motive to testify against a Crip defendant.

John Lanahan did the appeal in State court and then filed the federal habeas on a pro bono basis in the Central District. The Superior Court had found at the motion for new trial that the DA should have turned over the evidence but found it was not material (!!!) and denied the motion
for new trial. The State Court of Appeal, Second District, Div. 1, found the evidence was material but then found the client's lawyer was not diligent in asking for it, so no Brady violation. (Huh?)

In federal court, the U.S. magistrate judge recommended IN THE SUMMER OF 2003, that the petition be granted. That recommendation sat before federal district court judge Percy Anderson in the Central District for eight and one-half years. Only after the LA Daily Journal and the LA
Times wrote about Anderson's proclivity not to adopt or reject the magistrate recommendations that recommended petitions be granted, did he finally get around to deny the petition and reject the Magistrate recommendation (in July, 2011.)

John appealed it and argued in January before Circuit Judges William Fletcher and Johnny Rawlinson and district court judge Hellerstein from SDNY. Hellerstein wrote the reversal (Rawlinson dissented). Fletcher was the deciding vote. The Opinion has some food for AEDPA mavens, but the bottom line is this travesty is corrected finally 15 years after the conviction, 8 of those years wasted when the federal district court let the proper Magistrate recommendation for relief languish in his chambers.

For his dedication, tenacity and brilliance (and delivering us a nice published Brady case), great job John!

October 9, 2013

MARY PREVOST'S BLOG: RIP WWII VET FRANK X. PREVOST: THE MOST BRILLIANT MAN DIED TODAY.

REPRINTED FROM THE SDCDBA:

FEBRUARY 13, 2013

First, thanks to many of you who were aware that man father has been ailing, and sent kind words and prayers.

I learned just an hour ago, as I was attempting to make plans to go see my father, who had been rushed to the hospital in Baltimore, that he passed away this morning. My father was, and will remain, the most brilliant man I've ever known.

Born in 1923 - he just turned 90 a few weeks ago - he was dropped in a Jesuit orphanage alone with his brother, Al (who died just two months ago), when his father took off during the great depression leaving my grandmother with 10 children she couldn't care for. All ended up in orphanages. He moved from Jesuit orphanage, to and from 14 different foster homes, and back to the orphanage repeatedly over those years. He graduated from Loyola H.S., fluent in Greek, Latin and French. He started Loyola college. When the war broke out, he enlisted in the United States Army Air corps where he worked on gliders in Europe.

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He saw combat in Europe. He served in the Army Air Corps with the 9th Air Force Troop Carrier Command, and took part in the airborne invasion of Holland in 1944, Operation Market Garden (Remagen Bridge), the ill fated Allied ground and air invasion of Arnhem in the Netherlands, and two months later re-supplied C-47 planes for the troops at Bastone. He was discharged, but remained in the inactive reserve as a 1st Lieutenant until 1947. As was customary of the men of the day, he never ever spoke of the horrors he witnessed. It was considered inappropriate.

After WWII, the French government gave him a scholarship to attend Le Sorbonne in Paris, and then finished at Loyola. He went to University of Maryland Law School, and then worked for the government for a while handling high security clearances - including one for Jimmy Carter long before he was to become president. He began his law career at The Martin Co., predecessor of Martin Marrieta. Then to ITT, where he became the Director of Avionics. Then elevated to Director of Commercial Claims and Litigation at ITT World Headquarters in NYC.

His work took him to Tokyo, Bangkok, Saigon, Vietnam, Manila, Brussels, London, Rome and France. A four year case took him to Germany where the ITT subsidiary, SEL Corp., won their case against NATO. The case was a disaster, and my father spent years turning it around. He was "the closer."

My father always started his day the same. He got up at O'Dark Thirty, got on the bust to NYC, attended Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and went to work until 5:30. He'd come home with a trial bag of contracts, break them out on the table and work after dinner, until I would require him to stop and play a rousing game - or ten - of "Go Fish."

I spent a great deal of time with him in Cocoa Beach, Florida where he would stay while working on NASA contracts ITT had with Cape Canaveral. We spent summers in Europe - where he lived about 1/3 of the year - traveling the week with my mom, and spending the weekends with him.

There was no one who could out argue my father. No one. My father taught me Aristotelian Syllogistic logic when I was a kid, although I didn't know it at the time. The Socratic method was not out of use at our house. He loved to use the Reductio ad absurdum to make his point. I remember sitting at the dinner table being awed and mesmerized by his ability to argue a point of philosophy or theology with friends and clergy who were just as educated as he, including tongue tying the Auxiliary Bishop of Newark and the Father provincial of the Augustinian Recollect order.

Notwithstanding his corporate persona, I was taught never to look down upon those who were different. He grew up in an orphanage, and in foster homes, and he never forgot where he came from or what he endured. To that end, when I escaped from Catholic HS, to the chagrin of my mother, and went to public school, my 3 best friends were Jewish, black and gay. My father adored them. He loved my friends because of who they were - good kids, not trouble makers. He knew I was safe with my crew. I didn't really know what prejudice was until I went to college. It didn't exist in my world because of my father. He never forgot what it was like to be discarded and kicked around. My uncle - my dad's brother-in-law - later became the chief trial lawyer for the Baltimore State's Attorneys office, and the police legal advisor for the Baltimore County police. When I was deciding whether or not to go to law school, and become a public defender, I called Uncle Charlie to gauge his reaction and to seek advice. He was ecstatic, and told me he thought the world needed checks and balances, and good public defenders. He told me something I'd never heard before: "It is the duty of the prosecutor to seek justice, not merely to convict." thought he made that up himself. I later learned from defense attorneys I would run into at seminars from Baltimore that my uncle was quite well respected as one of the good old boys who wasn't embarrassed to admit when he was wrong, and dismiss a case when it became clear it was warranted. He was a WWII fighter pilot. A man from a different world.

My favorite story is this: My father spent a great deal of time in Washington, D.C., where I and my sister attended college. But, alas, my mom was frugal and we lived on a shoe string. But Dad would always take me to the Safeway at the Watergate Hotel where there was a Safeway, and load me up with food. Now, Dad always work his "spook" uniform. Black suit, black shoes, black overcoat, and black fedora. While approaching the entrance of the Safeway, a very tall and very ramshackled looking homeless man asked him for money. He declined, because he didn't want his money going to booze. But he invited this man to come shop with us, at which time he would buy than man any sandwich he wanted, any side dishes and something to drink. The man was awed and followed us in. Almost immediately, the manager appeared, deriding the man for entering the premises. Mr. ITT World Headquarters whipped around and told him, "This is my guest. I intend to spend a great deal of money in your establishment. I intend to purchase food for him. DO YOU have a problem with ME?" The manager bowed and apologized. And the homeless man followed us around while we shopped and then we bought him his lunch. Dad never forgot what it was like to be down and out, to be unwanted.

When my father retired from ITT, he was courted by the likes of Dewey Ballentine, Covington & Burling, and McKenne & Cuneo for the business he could bring in from ITT. He chose to go with a small, boutique firm recently opened by my father's two favorite trial lawyers. Everyone in the firm was Jewish. And Conservative Jewish. Dad had half days on Friday because everyone had to leave early to make it home before sundown to keep Sabbath. These were his dear friends. And, yes, he still went to St. Patrick's Cathedral for Mass every morning in NYC before going to his conservative Jewish law firm.

Unfortunately, after my mother died, he remarried a woman who shattered our family. Without getting too intimate, he became the victim of elder abuse in his later years. We literally told me weren't allowed to see him in Baltimore over Christmas. We were screamed at by his wife and ordered to go home. We showed up on Christmas day, put my sister's triplets and 10 year old in front of us (for protection), and when the door opened, we entered. We are our father's girls. We had all converged together in Baltimore to say goodbye to my father, whom we were told had only days. I brought a suit for his funeral. But when he saw his 3 girls together for the first time in years, along with his grandchildren, something happened. He no longer wanted to die because his best friend - his last living brother - had died weeks before. Miraculously, his vitals went up. The nurse that came by in the mornings didn't know what was happening - why he was coming around rather than declining so rapidly.

I sit here thinking of this, and all that has transpired and all that I've seen over the years with my father, and compare it with the abject stupidity - and evil arrogance - of so many on our bench. And the ethics - or lack thereof - of DA's and prosecutors still astounds me. And the stress of the constant, never ending fights, the personal attacks meted out, for even the most miniscule of things, has taken it's toll on my personal health.

I am here today, against all odds, only because my father - the most brilliant man I've ever known. He believed in me no matter what. "Some men see things as they are and say, "why"? I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?"" But he always said I'd have to work harder and be better. There will always be people ready to hurt you, harm you and destroy you, he told me. I have tried.

Good luck to you all. Keep fighting. Please send positive energy my way, and prayers for my father. The most brilliant man died today. I am devastated beyond words.

October 2, 2013

MARY FRANCES PREVOST, ESQ.: WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT TRYING TO MAKE CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS WORK FOR FREE?

The federal government has not funded federal criminal defender programs or CJA (Criminal Justice Act) programs, leading to devastating cut backs, lay-offs, and furloughs at defenders offices. Additionally, the private appointed attorneys (CJA lawyers) have had their fees cut, payments delayed. Now with the shut down, there are no payments in sight.

Try working for six to eight weeks on a trial, knowing you won't get paid. How does this benefit the system of justice?

Adding to the insult, the Chief Judge of the 8th Circuit has suggested that CJA lawyers need to work “pro bono.” As one can imagine, the clients are the ones who will suffer the most.

Here is how the LA County Bar responded to this crisis:

LACBA is joining with most of the Chief Judges of the nation’s 94 Federal District Courts in writing to Congress to express our grave concerns over the impact that flat funding, along with sequestration, is having on the judiciary’s ability to carry out its constitutional and statutory responsibilities.

While this is a national issue, it has a direct impact locally, where the Central District serves more than 18 million people–more than half the residents of California and more than any federal district court in the nation.

“We share the Chief Judges’ concern over the debilitating impact of underfunding on court operations across the country,” wrote LACBA President Patricia Egan Daehnke. “Underfunding has resulted in delays in processing cases, threats to public safety, reduced courthouse security, and bruising cuts to Federal Public Defenders’ offices.”

LACBA’s letter has been sent to California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, House members who represent those areas of the state that make up the Central District, and other congressional leaders imploring them to act quickly to protect and restore the Federal Courts’ budget, which only accounts for 2 percent of the national budget.

Shame your local representatives into funding the federal judiciary, including the defenders and CJA programs. This abuse must stop.

July 28, 2013

SAN DIEGO SEXUAL POLITICS: IF FILNER GOES, SEND JAN GOLDSMITH AND THE CITY COUNCIL WITH HIM

It's utterly fascinating - and somewhat frightening - that most members of the City Council are calling for Bob Filner's resignation because of sexual harassment allegations. There's fire and brimstone coming from every corner. Every politician is jumping over the next trying to get a front row seat on the "Get Rid of Filner" train. You'd think they were REALLY upset by sexual harassment. But they're not. Each one of them is just as guilty of sexual harassment as Filner.

If Filner goes, so should the highly misogynistic Jan Goldsmith, AND the city council members who recently voted to hand Goldsmith $500,000 to hire two big law firms to defend lawsuits by victims of sexual predator, Anthony Arevalos. Let's be consistent folks. (Click HERE for an article on the first $250,000 authorization by the City Council.)

That's right. These very City Council members authorized $500,000 in retainers on two high profile law firms to DEFEND the city and the sexual predator cop against lawsuits brought by the sick cop's last 2 victims. Now the city attorneys and their high powered firms can further harass, bury, paper and destroy two women's lives who were already sexually assaulted by a cop the City knew was out there doing it. The cop is in state prison, his supervisors knew what was happening for years, the Chief gave the cop's supervisors promotions, and City Attorneys are taking depositions of victims, prying into their sex lives, trying to find old boyfriends, trying to scare them. Thanks San Diego City Council for protecting innocent women. All of you Filner haters who voted to continue the emotional harassment of two innocent victims of rogue cop Anthony Arevalos by handing misogynist Jan Goldsmith a blank check are simply two-faced.

So, if the defenders of women's virtue - the San Diego City Council - want Filner to go, I say "You go with them." And so should Jan Goldsmith, because he's complicit with ‎San Diego‬ City Council members who are allowing the continued sexual assault of two innocent victims.

Continue reading "SAN DIEGO SEXUAL POLITICS: IF FILNER GOES, SEND JAN GOLDSMITH AND THE CITY COUNCIL WITH HIM" »