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A Tale of Two Courts

A Tale of Two Courts

February 16, 2024

A Tale of Two Courts

By: James Trusty

Much has been made of the contemptuous and combustible combination of former President Trump and Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoran, the trial judge in the New York “fraud” case that imperils Trump’s ability to do business in New York. This week we got a glimpse into a different proceeding involving an extremely opinionated subject of an accusation—District Attorney Fanni Willis—presided over by Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee. The two judges’ profoundly different approaches to surprisingly similar challenges are a study in judiciousness, and a good reminder of how our criminal justice system’s participants can either promote or damage the respect that is so important in keeping faith in the legal institution. The similarity of the challenge for these…

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A Scandal’s Fine Print

January 19, 2024

A Scandal’s Fine Print

By: James Trusty

The recent filing of a motion for disqualification and for dismissal of the Georgia RICO case involving former President Trump is getting plenty of attention for its salacious details. And indeed, a District Attorney selecting an underqualified love-interest to serve as Special Prosecutor is newsworthy stuff, particularly with Mr. Wade filing for divorce just one day after his questionable appointment. But the real story—the precise…

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ABA Updates Guidance on Witness Prep

December 29, 2023

ABA Updates Guidance on Witness Prep

By: George Calhoun

Witness preparation is often a key part of preparing for trial. Counsel often engages in mock examinations and practice sessions to help a witness prepare for trial.  Such preparation, however, runs the risk of making the witness sound insincere and coached.  Sometimes, it may veer all the way into improper coaching of a witness.  This system of witness preparation is relatively unique to the United…

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Reading the Plea Leaves

October 25, 2023

Reading the Plea Leaves

By: James Trusty

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 are premature. While the indictment itself has joined the ranks…

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Not a Grande Victory for DOJ

September 13, 2023

Not a Grande Victory for DOJ

By: James Trusty

Frustrated with the massive influx of aliens into Texas, Texas Governor Greg Abbott came up with a plan that was physically simple, but legally complex: drop a 1000-foot-long buoy barrier into the middle of the Rio Grande. The four-foot spherical orange buoys were chained together and anchored to the riverbed near the town of Eagle Pass—a sector that reported 270,000 encounters with migrants during the…

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When Acquitted Conduct Becomes Untouchable

July 27, 2023

When Acquitted Conduct Becomes Untouchable

By: James Trusty

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 prison. Since that conviction in 1931, the concept of “getting…

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True Threats and True Agendas

July 6, 2023

True Threats and True Agendas

By: James Trusty

Last week’s Supreme Court opinion on the “true threats” doctrine seemingly settles a long- brewing issue in threat-based prosecutions but also reflects the anticipatory positioning of various Associate Justices on much hotter issues that may make their way to SCOTUS consideration in the near future. As such, the debate-behind-the-debate between the Court’s members is of great interest to those who like predicting the next big…

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

June 22, 2023

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

By: James Trusty

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, the doctor volunteered to the jury that these distinct personalities…

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Articles and Presentations by Our Firm Attorneys

A Tale of Two Courts

A Tale of Two Courts
By: James Trusty

A Scandal’s Fine Print

A Scandal’s Fine Print
By: James Trusty

Reading the Plea Leaves

Reading the Plea Leaves
By: James Trusty

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