Category: White Collar Law

October 25, 2023

Reading the Plea Leaves

Are guilty pleas in Fulton County confirming the righteousness of Fani Willis’ RICO prosecution or do they reflect an inherent frailty of the case, even in a venue where jurors largely can be expected to instinctively support a prosecution of high-profile Republicans? A close look at the recent plea agreements suggests that prosecutorial victory laps… Read More

July 27, 2023

When Acquitted Conduct Becomes Untouchable

Alphonse Gabriel Capone was never prosecuted for murder, so there was never a jury determining whether Al was responsible for the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in which seven gang rivals were executed by Capone’s underlings. Instead, “Scarface” Capone was prosecuted and convicted for felony tax evasion offenses, for which he received 11 years in… Read More

June 22, 2023

Robocop Finds His Man, But Man Gets Robocop’s Instruction Manual

Many years ago, a prosecutor I worked with at the time was in a fascinating murder trial, where the defense included a forensic psychiatrist opining that the defendant suffered from multiple personalities. According to this expert, one of the “inhabitants” of the defendant’s mind was a creature named Tofu the Demon Dog. On cross examination,… Read More

August 11, 2017

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Prosecutors Can Use Pleas to Skirt Constitution

While the endless portrayal of jury trials in media might indicate otherwise, trials are actually quite rare in the U.S. criminal justice system. With 97% of federal cases ending in pleas, the Atticus Finch conception of American justice has been largely confined to books. Ordinarily, when an accused enters into a plea agreement, he waives… Read More

July 21, 2017

Why Banning Criminals from the Web Doesn’t Work

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730 (U.S. 2017) invalidating a state law outlawing registered sex offenders from accessing websites which could facilitate offender-minor direct communication.  While the majority opinion and concurrence seems grounded in, and specific to, sex offender restrictions, the… Read More

July 19, 2017

You Can’t Run From Justice

Just last week, a Kentucky lawyer by the name of Eric Conn was sentenced to twelve years in prison by a federal judge for bribery and theft of government money.  Though similar sentences are doled out around the country on a daily basis, this was unique because the defendant was not even in the courtroom. … Read More