Aggression for Aggression's Sake Does Not Make Someone a Good Lawyer

One of the most frequent calls I get is from family members who think they are sounding reasonable and saying “all I want is a time cut.” I understand that one of the things the family is trying to say is that they not contesting guilt. The problem is that Michigan has limited options for sentencing reductions. I wish it was that easy. The full blog article is my long response.
Read More...

Second Circuit Denies Lynne Stewart's Request for Stay

Lynne Stewart is a civil rights attorney who isn't scared to handle controversial cases. Her representation of radical cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, resulted in a prison sentence for her violation of the Bureau of Prisons restrictions on her ability to disseminate any information learned during her meetings with the defendant. Based on her heretofore exemplary conduct as a defense attorney, she received a sentence of twenty-eight months. Four years after the appeal was filed, the Second Circuit ordered her sentenced increased and, more surprisingly, her right to appellate bond terminated despite the strong dissent of the one of the panelists. On November 19, 2009, the Second Circuit denied Ms. Stewart’s motion for a stay of surrender order. (Click here to read the motion filed in the District Court one day before on the same subject; the Second Circuit Motion is not currently available). On November 20, 2009, Ms. Stewart voluntarily surrendered herself to the U.S. Marshalls. A motion for reconsideration of the denial was filed on November 20, 2009 and remains undecided as of Thanksgiving.

Read More...

Second Circuit Ups Lynne Stewart's Sentence and Orders Her Detained

Lynne Stewart is a civil rights attorney who isn't scared to handle controversial cases. Her representation of radical cleric Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, resulted in a prison sentence for her violation of the Bureau of Prisons restrictions on her ability to disseminate any information learned during her meetings with the defendant. Based on her heretofore exemplary conduct as a defense attorney, she received a sentence of twenty-eight months. Ms. Stewart was represented on appeal by a number of top volunteer attorneys who believed the prosecution was politically motivated including the legendary Duke Law School Professor Michael Tigar and Joshua Dratel. Four years after the appeal was filed, the Second Circuit ordered her sentenced increased and, more surprisingly, her right to appellate bond terminated despite the strong dissent of the one of the panelists. Like dissenting Judge Calabressi, one has to wonder if the subsequent events of 9/11 influenced the harsh results of this Court's ruling. Concurring Judge Walker essentially ordered 70 year old Lynn Stewart to serve a 360 month sentence. United States v Stewart, Second Circuit No. 06-5015. Click here to read the New York Times article on the ruling. Click here to read the New York Times story.