California Lawyers Association

Criminal Law eNews

Articles and updates from the Criminal Law Section eNews

We have included links to SCOTUSblog in case you want to learn more about these cases. Read more
Ciminelli v. United States, No. 21-1170 Issue: Whether the Second Circuit’s “right to control” theory of fraud—which treats the deprivation of complete and accurate information bearing on a person’s economic decision as a species of property fraud—states a valid basis for liability under the federal wire fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1343. Read more
The United States Sentencing Commission has recently introduced a significant adjustment for zero-point offenders through a newly created Section 4C1.1 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines that would go into effect on November 1, 2023. This adjustment acknowledges that defendants with no criminal history points (zero-point offenders) should be treated differently during sentencing. Read more
Issue: Whether the Arizona Supreme Court’s holding that Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.1(g) precluded post-conviction relief is an adequate and independent state-law ground for the judgment.Holding: The Arizona Supreme Court’s holding below — that Lynch v. Arizona did not represent a “significant change in the law” for purposes of permitting John Montenegro Cruz to file a successive petition for state postconviction relief under Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.1(g) Read more
We’ve just read the opposition brief in our big case. Now we are considering drafting our reply brief without including the four-letter words that recently echoed from our office walls. Read more
 The U.S. Supreme Court's current ideological divide may be the sharpest we've seen in a long time. Yet the justices do unite in one key respect: The current court boasts some of the best opinion writers in American legal history.  Read more
Todd Bequette has been a criminal defense attorney in Alameda County for over 25 years. He was born and raised in Gridley, a small town in Northern California. He attended Georgetown Law and received his undergraduate degree from the University of the Pacific. He’s also serves annually on the faculty of the Stanford Law School Trial Skills Workshop. He represents clients in some of the most serious criminal cases in Alameda County, and is frequently in trial on homicides. Read more
Brown v. Davenport, No. 20-826 Issue: Whether a federal habeas court may grant relief based solely on its conclusion that the test from Brecht v. Abrahamson is satisfied, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit held, or whether the court must also find that the state court’s application of Chapman v. California was unreasonable under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1), as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits have held. Read more
The Criminal Law Section would like to acknowledge the contributions of Donald H. Heller, who recently passed away. Don was a member of the Criminal Law Section Executive Committee. Even as he battled cancer, Don was an active participant in our ExCom. His many comments and ideas were always powerful and thought provoking. He was truly dedicated to the improvement of the criminal justice system. Read more
This legislative year there are several bills working their way through the legislature that can have significant impact on the work of criminal attorneys. Many may evolve as they work their way through the legislative committee process. CLA has a bill tracker website that gets updated and is good source for getting information about proposed legislation. One significant piece of legislation that touches upon the work of criminal attorneys is the CARES court proposal by Governor Gavin Newsom. It is a proposal to introduce a new civil court that according to a fact sheet on the California Health and Human Services website Read more

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