Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pocono Record Reader's Choice 2015

Consider nominating me for the Pocono Record Reader's Choice 2015 for attorney. Find it under "professional services" at http://www.poconorecord.com/choice

Thank you.

Monday, June 22, 2015

USA Preet Bharara and AUSA Niketh Velamoor should be disbarred. Judge Frank Mass should be removed from office and disbarred.

I have sent a letter to the Federal Bar for Southern New York as well as the New York Bar condemning their actions and asking for an investigation and potential disbarment. I don't expect anything to come of it but this simply cannot stand. I know several of you are also attorneys and I urge you to do the same. This is a blatant, unwarranted, unnecessary, unconstitutional action taken by individuals sworn to uphold the constitution. Also the gag order appears to have been sent in violation of New York's Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2.
In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate or cause another to communicate about the subject of the representation with a party the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the prior consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law.

This is unconscionable action. If we don't take a stand on this it will get swept under the rug and ignored. I know many of you are not libertarians and don't agree with Reason.com's positions, but that's not the point. If this happened to Mother Jones I'd be doing the same thing.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Reason.com subject to government persecution


For the past two weeks, Reason, a magazine dedicated to "Free Minds and Free Markets," has been barred by an order from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York from speaking publicly about a grand jury subpoena that court sent to Reason.com.

The subpoena demanded the records of six people who left hyperbolic comments at the website about the federal judge who oversaw the controversial conviction of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. Shortly after the subpoena was issued, the government issued a gag order prohibiting Reason not only from discussing the matter but even acknowledging the existence of the subpoena or the gag order itself. As a wide variety of media outlets have noted, such actions on the part of the government are not only fundamentally misguided and misdirected, they have a tangible chilling effect on free expression by commenters and publications alike.

US Attorney Preet Bharara and Assistant US Attorney Niketh Velamoor should be disbarred. Judge Frank Mass should be removed from office and disbarred. This is such an egregious overreach and violation of civil rights. There is no excuse for this kind of heavy handed action. They are explicitly violating the 1st Amendment which they swore to uphold.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Off topic - local playground website

My friend Oliver Trojak has put together a website for the Resica Playground in East Stroudsburg, PA as part of a community service project for his graduate studies.


Great website build and looks to be a valuable community service program. Check out the site and help out with the playground build if you can.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Appeal work - "Statement of Matters Complained of on Appeal"

The process for an appeal from a Court of Common Pleas to the Superior Court is actually relatively straightforward. Only a simple "Notice of Appeal" needs to be filed along with the appropriate fees. The Notice itself does not need to contain the reasons for the appeal.

The lower court is entitled to request that an appellant file a "Statement of Matters Complained of on Appeal", commonly known as a "1925(b) statement." This is the first time that the appellant is required to list the reasons for the appeal. This need not be an exhaustive brief, and it is usually best to make the statements as simple and clear as possible, but it does need to contain all the claims that are a basis for the appeal. Failure to include an issue in this statement is grounds for the Superior Court to ignore such issues.

This statement is then reviewed by the lower court and may result in a response from the lower court justifying its decision. Such a response is forwarded to the Superior Court for further review along with the briefs of the parties.

Although the 1925(b) statement is relatively simple to prepare it must be done with the knowledge that it is an important part of the appellate process, and failure to complete it adequately could result in waiver of appellate issues.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

FBI admits it overstated expert evidence for over two decades.

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.
Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’slargest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.
The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.

Wow, simply wow.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sexual assault cases and disclosure of victims and alleged offenders.

Pocono Mountain Regional Police arrested a 19-year-old Pocono Summit man on April 10 and charged him with statutory sexual assault, according to a police report sent out on Friday.

The press has taken a position that it will not reveal the names of sexual assault victims in news stories, but it has no such prohibition on the names of the alleged offenders. Alleged sexual assault offenders, who have yet to be convicted of a crime, face severe ostracization from the rest of society, including loss of employment. While first amendment issues obviously prevent a prohibition on revealing the names of those involved in sexual assault cases, it would be nice if the press would consider the privacy of those who have not been convicted of such a crime from being released to the public.