The 6th Amendment to the US Constitution Requires It

If you are criminal defense attorney representing documented and undocumented non-us citizens in the criminal justice system, you should absolutely-100% be advising them to discuss their circumstances with immigration attorneys. Criminal defense attorneys should also be conferring with immigration attorneys. [Read more…]

“Cite” No Longer a 4-Letter RE Unpublished Opinions (Washington)

Last week in Washington State GR 14.1 went effect.  I am not sure its the type of change in the law that will garner much press, but for attorneys (especially criminal defense attorneys) its a pretty big deal.  Why?  Let me explain.  Dating all the way back to my first year of law school, we were all taught it was a major no-no to cite an unpublished opinion.  Citing an unpublished opinion was unprofessional, unethical and a sanctionable act. [Read more…]

Are Jury Trials Headed Toward Extinction? Not Really. But the Numbers Aren’t Good.

Interesting recent article in the New York Times on the declining number of jury trials both criminal and civil in our judicial system. The article begins with a trial judge in the Federal District Court in Manhattan recalling only one criminal trial in the four-plus years he’s been on the bench. That’s a sobering number when you consider the size of the district in which Judge Jesse M. Furman sits. [Read more…]

State v. Wisdom, 187 Wash.App. 652 (Division 3) w/ Comments

In 2015, the Washington State Court of Appeals Division 3 decided State v. Wisdom, 187 Wash.App. 652.

The defendant in the case was arrested because the truck he was driving in was stolen.  Subsequent to his arrest, a toiletry bag on a seat in the truck was searched by law enforcement.  The search led to the recovery of illegal drugs. Wisdom told the officer there was methamphetamine on the seat of the truck.  But never consented to the police officer’s search of the toiletry bag.   [Read more…]

Pot Shop Sting Op

Yesterday, it was reported in The Columbia via the Associated Press a sting operation focusing on pot shop sales of marijuana to minors allegedly resulted in 4 of 22 pot shops being non-compliant.  The brief article mentioned 10-day suspensions or fines up to $2,500.00 could occur.  Apparently, notice was given on May 12, 2015 by the liquor board to the various shops regarding the crackdown.  Additionally, the store employees accused of the sales are having their cases referred to the prosecutors office for potential criminal prosecution. [Read more…]

Passage of New Law in 2012 May Help Expedite Evaluation of Mentally Ill Criminal Defendants in Clark County

News was reported in The Columbian on October 29, 2014 by Journalist Paris Achen, “Clark County may become the second county in the state to use a panel of local experts to evaluate mentally ill defendants, rather than ask the state hospital to perform competency evaluations, local officials said.” [Read more…]

Defendant Once Accused of Controlled Substance Homicide Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charges in Clark County Superior Court

Yesterday, it was reported in The Columbian by Paris Achen that a Vancouver woman once accused of homicide by delivery pleaded guilty to lesser charges including attempted delivery of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence.

According to the article, the State encountered defects in the case with a witness who allegedly saw the defendant, Thomas, deliver the methamphetamine to John Cantwell, the decedent. Apparently, her credibility and possible mental health issues factored into the State’s decision to resolve the case pre-trial. [Read more…]

Child Abuse? Or Child Discipline? The case of Adrian Peterson Revitalized the Debate. But what is the law in Washington State?

Last week NFL football player, Adrian Peterson was indicted by a grand jury in Texas on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child from an alleged incident occurring in June 2013.

Since the story broke, there has been a great deal of debate in the news regarding child abuse and/or child discipline with opinions running the full gamut  between support and condemnation. [Read more…]

Op Piece on Criminal Justice Act of 1964 by George Will in the Washington Post

Interesting opinion piece on the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 by George Will in the Washington Post. Must read for criminal defense attorneys in the public sector and private sectors.  The opinion article asks who is better off the pre or post act defendant?  One response might surprise some. [Read more…]

Supreme Court Lays Down the Law on Post-Arrest Cellphone Searches

In the shadow of the highly controversial “Hobby Lobby” case in which the US Supreme Court held corporations can state religious objections to employee health care benefits that are incongruent with their own religious beliefs — the US Supreme Court also imposed substantial limitations on post-arrest cell phone searches. [Read more…]