Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Recommendation for Private Detective in the Pocono Area

Detective John Pansy has been of invaluable assistance over the course of the last year in contacting potential witnesses and securing their statements. He is professional, experienced, and he gets the job done.

It doesn't hurt that he looks like a badass from Sons of Anarchy.

Thank you, John for your assistance in this case.

Recommendation for Clinical and Forensic Psychologist.

In preparing a case for trial I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Frank Dattilio from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Dr. Dattilio's credentials are beyond reproach. I believe the best endorsement I can offer for Dr. Dattilio is as follows:

On an important issue to the current case, the Commonwealth's expert witness presented the court with a CV (Curriculum Vitae aka Resume) of 2 pages. When Dr. Dattilio was offered as an expert witness the court was presented with a CV of 42 pages. Forty-Two pages.

Thank you, Dr. Dattilio for your work on this case. I cannot endorse him highly enough.

Recommendation of Forensic Services Expert

I have had the pleasure of working with Arthur Young of Guardian Forensic Sciences out of Abington, Pennsylvania for the last few months while working on a particularly complex case involving DNA evidence.

Mr. Young was very patient with myself and co-counsel in explaining the issues involved and took far too much time out of his busy practice to educate us on the basics of DNA analysis.

I cannot reiterate what a delight it was to work with him on this case. I HIGHLY recommend him for anyone in the NEPA or Tri-State area looking for a professional forensic analyst

Thank you, Mr. Young.

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat.

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat. The Burden of Proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies.

This Latin phrase, uttered over 1500 years ago still applies to our criminal justice system in that the presumption of innocence belongs to the defendant, and the burden of proof rests entirely on the accuser to prove guilt.

Attorney Weidenbaum and Attorney Skutnik, I am proud to have worked with you.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Formal Arraignment: Criminal Procedure 101

The Formal Arraignment is a step in the criminal justice process that indicates the matter has moved beyond the local District Justice to a Court of Common Pleas. This step is where the defendant is formally advised of the charges against him/her, the schedule for proceeding forward is set, and any preliminary pre-trial issues are taken care of.

The Formal Arraignment is not an opportunity to present evidence. It is strictly a procedural matter. In many jurisdictions arraignments are either done en masse or sometimes waived by signature.

The most important part of the Formal Arraignment for the defendant is what it means going forward. Following that date there are several scheduling matters that the defense counsel must consider.

1. Within 7 days the defendant must request a Bill of Particulars. This is a substantive request which unfortunately has become all but ignored in recent years, but it is still important.

2. Within 14 days the defendant must formally request discovery. This includes photographs, tests, statements, or other items which form the basis for the Commonwealth's case. This can be as simple as a letter to the DA's office but it must be done.

3. Within 30 days the defendant must file an Omnibus Pretrial Motion for relief. This might include matters such as suppression, change of venue, request for more discovery, or other matters.

I will go in depth as to what each of the above entails at a later date.

While the Formal Arraignment has been reduced to a procedural formality it is still vitally important as it sets the schedule going forward for important and powerful matters to come.