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Challenging the assumption that an innocent person would not plead guilty

Posted by on August 8, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

I recently challenged on appeal the validity of my client’s guilty plea based on my client’s questionable mental capacity and ability to understand the plea bargaining process. Ignoring the import of my client’s diminished capacity, the prosecutor on appeal (in typical fashion) argued that “one could assume” my client would not have “readily” admitted to the offense in open court if he had not committed it. It is remarkable that this argument is still...

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People v Catu does not apply retroactively

Posted by on November 11, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Early last week the Court of Appeals reversed a decision of the First Department which held that the rule of law announced in People v Catu applies retroactively to pre-Catu convictions (People v Smith, 132 AD3d 511 [1st Dept 2015]) — a decision I had labeled a “huge success for the criminal defense bar” in an October blog post. In People v Catu, the New York Court of Appeals held that the court must advise a defendant...

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People v Smith, from the Court of Appeals yesterday

Posted by on June 29, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

by Jill Paperno, First Assistant Public Defender and author of  Representing the Accused: A Practical Guide to Criminal Defense Among some of yesterday’s disappointing Court of Appeals decisions there is one that can be useful to us – People v. Smith, et. al.  The Court recognized that police officers may be cross-examined about their tortious conduct in other situations, as described below.  Sadly, although the Court recognized error on the part of the trial...

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Trial Objections Checklist

Posted by on June 29, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Attached below is a checklist of trial objections prepared by Jill Paperno, First Assistant Public Defender and author of Representing the Accused: A Practical Guide to Criminal Defense   Trial Objections...

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Door Opening

Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

by Jill Paperno, author of Representing the Accused: A Practical Guide to Criminal Defense “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” As defense attorneys we often face (and dread) the claim that we have somehow “opened the door” to previously excluded evidence during a hearing or trial. Sometimes we recognize we did it inadvertently as testimony begins in response to a question.  Sometimes the hungry grin of opposing counsel tips us off.  Sometimes we are blindsided by...

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