California Lawyers Association

Criminal Law eNews

Articles and updates from the Criminal Law Section eNews

“What is best for the victim?” asked U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill. “What is best for the community? What is best for the defendant?” Read more
What can you do if faced with the government argument that a lesser sentence for your client would depreciate the seriousness of the offense and promote disrespect for the law? As one judge once told me, “Tell me something that your client did when no one was keeping score.” Read more
More than one judge I’ve interviewed for this series has told me that they expect lawyers to be succinct; tell them what they don’t already know; be candid about the client’s crime and its impact; and bear in mind that your job in sentencing representation is to connect with the judge, not to impress your client and their friends and family. Read more
This article is republished with permission from Law360 By Alan Ellis Part 3 of this series included interviews with 12 U.S. district court judges on the topic of sentencing advocacy for the challenging client who has committed a heinous offense with a serious prior record as an aggravating factor. Judge James S. Gwin of the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland was one of those judges. My interview with Judge Gwin was conducted during the pendency of an appeal, United… Read more
This article is republished with permission from Law360 By Alan Ellis Alan Ellis Criminal defense lawyers consider Judges John R. Adams and Otis D. Wright II tough sentencers. Judges Justin L. Quackenbush and Walter H. Rice are viewed as being at the opposite end of the spectrum. With their reputations, it was interesting to learn how similar they were on what constitutes good defense sentencing advocacy. Judge Quackenbush sits in the Eastern District of Washington in Spokane and Judge Rice… Read more
Judge Cynthia A. Bashant of the Southern District of California in San Diego and Judge Jon D. Levy of the District of Maine in Portland were both appointed by President Obama in 2014 and confirmed at the same time. Read more
This article is republished with permission from Law360 Alan Ellis By Alan Ellis As this "Views From The Bench On Sentencing Representation" series of articles continues to develop, I have had the privilege of interviewing 12 federal judges to date. Each of the judges, of course, has his or her own style and philosophy. However, through conversations with each of them, I have recognized the value of sharing the thoughts of the judges on specific topics. For this article, I… Read more
This article is republished with permission from Law360 Alan Ellis By Alan Ellis In the first article published in this series on March 1, 2016, I shared some do's and don’ts for lawyers representing clients during sentencing. This information was gathered during interviews conducted with Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York and Senior Judge Mark Bennett of the Northern District of Iowa. For this second article in the series, I interviewed Judge Patrick J. Schiltz of… Read more
In an article published in the fall 2015 issue of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice magazine (“Advice from the Bench for White Collar Client Facing Sentencing”), I shared some of what I have learned from federal judges during my nearly 50 years of practice.[1] After that article published, I felt that an expanded, in-depth article that featured the experience, philosophy and viewpoints of those and other federal judges was needed. Law360 agreed, and a multipart series was born. Read more
All CLA members have complementary access to the Fastcase legal research system. To access Fastcase, login to your CLA account and click on Fastcase. On the next page, you have the option of clicking a hyperlink to directly view Sections publications, including the Criminal Law Journal. Editions of the Criminal law Journal are listed by date and volume. You can also download the editions as a PDF. Alternatively, you can locate and search Sections publications through the Fastcase system. Click… Read more

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