California Lawyers Association

Criminal Law eNews

Articles and updates from the Criminal Law Section eNews

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
This is a summary of United States Supreme Court OT 2021 mid-term cases. Read more
In a criminal case, each side gets a certain number of peremptory challenges. A peremptory challenge is an objection to a juror that the court must follow, and for which no reason need be given. However, peremptory challenges may not be used to systematically exclude jurors based on their membership in a cognizable group distinguished by racial, religious, ethnic, or similar characteristics. This is colloquially known as the Batson-Wheeler rule. See Batson v. Kentucky (1986) 476 U.S. 79 (applying Fourteenth Amendment equal protection to jury service) and People v. Wheeler (1978) 22 Cal.3d 258 (California case requiring juries to be drawn from a representative cross-section of the community). See also Code of Civil Procedure section 231.5 (prohibiting use of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or similar grounds in jury selection). Read more
Basil is a Deputy Attorney General in the Appeals, Writs, and Trials section of the California Department of Justice and Lecturer at UC Berkeley School of Law. At the state DOJ, Basil briefs and argues felony criminal appeals and related writs in the California Courts of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. Read more
Eddie A. Jauregui is a litigation partner at Holland & Knight in Los Angeles, where he is a member of the firm’s white collar defense and investigations team. Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Eddie served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Central District of California from 2014-2020. Read more
For nearly two decades, Kevin served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, most recently as senior litigation counsel in the Major Frauds Section. During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, including five years as Chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Section, Kevin led several of the highest-profile and heaviest-litigated cases brought with the district, including five RICO cases that he successfully prosecuted. Kevin tried 15 cases, including four multi-month trials, and secured the conviction of every trial defendant on a broad array of charges that included numerous financial crimes, money laundering, false statements, perjury before the grand jury, trial perjury, and obstruction of justice. Read more
The E-Bulletin will be featuring short biographies of our new ExCom members. This month we are featuring Amyra Cobb Hampton and Bryant Estep. We are fortunate to have such qualified new ExCom members. If you are interested in joining us on the ExCom, feel free to submit an application. Read more
“Tell me something your client did when no one was keeping score,” responded then-U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota to a query when I interviewed him late last year. I had asked him what an attorney can do when faced with representing a client who has committed a reprehensible offense with a lengthy criminal record. “I think well of people who act out of the goodness of their hearts,” he added. Read more
Before rejoining the Zuckerman Spaeder LLP law firm in Washington, D.C., Judge Mehta worked for the highly acclaimed Public Defender Service in Washington, which was founded by Charles L. Ogletree, now a Harvard Law School professor. Asked what a lawyer can do at a sentencing hearing to make a difference if he’s already provided the court with a quality sentencing memorandum, Judge Mehta says, “Bring passion and candor to the case. Humanize your client. While I don’t know of any judge who takes the bench without an idea of what the sentence is going to be and the sentencing memorandum is vitally important, hearing the lawyer’s words at the hearing definitely can sway me. For example, show me that your client is not necessarily who he or she was at the time of the offense.” Read more
Due to the COVID-19 risk in our jails and prisons, every effort should be made to avoid incarceration and, for those in prison, get released. Here are some strategies that attorneys can use to help clients avoid, or at least delay, custody during the pandemic. Read more

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