Do they authorize searches and have cops tap phones without warrants?
Do they withhold exculpatory evidence and use manufactured evidence to win cases?
Almost every new client we meet with asks us those questions.
We tend to dismiss them with a statement about how no case is worth a prosecutor's career. We note that some prosecutors play it close to the line, but most do not cross it. We recall the conviction against then Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens where DOJ lawyers were caught withholding exculpatory evidence, but we then state that the case was an outlier.
Maybe we are wrong. It has happened (rarely) before.
With this news that Miami Criminal Defense Attorney extraordinaire and Federal Blogger David O Markus is litigating this case as reported in the Miami Herald in which the allegations are that two Assistant United States Attorneys made a deal with a defendant who had also signed a joint defense agreement and was taking part in strategy sessions with the co-defendants and then being debriefed by the feds on defense strategy.
The allegations are, to quote DOM "Jaw-dropping" and he is right.
“Numerous jaw-dropping cover-ups and misrepresentations that were made to this court during that hearing [before trial] are just coming to light, and necessitate new remedies,” the defendants’ appellate attorney, David O. Markus, wrote in an August 2018 motion, which was among the documents just unsealed.
Contrary to previous assertions that Leon gave them no evidence, federal prosecutors H. Ron Davidson and Elijah Leavitt admitted in documents that they had obtained handwritten notes from Leon during the period when he was secretly invading the defense camp. Leon had given the notes to an IRS agent during a debriefing in February 2016 when he began his cooperation.
To the defendants, Leon had double-crossed them after he had joined them in a Joint Defense Agreement, an agreement where all four defendants extended the attorney-client relationship among them to share privileged information. But the other three defendants didn’t learn that Leon had broken ranks with them until his plea deal was publicly disclosed in April 2016. Until then, he had been a mole for the prosecution, the three defendants claim.
Without speaking for Mr. Markus in this matter, in other forums at other times, he and other prominent criminal defense attorneys have noted that even when prosecutors are caught breaking the law, they are rarely punished. At most the defendants are afforded relief, and life goes on. However when a criminal defense attorney is accused of misconduct, investigations are opened, Bar proceedings are commenced, and the attorneys career is damaged if not ruined.
Yet prosecutors who withhold evidence or otherwise do not play by the rules are sometimes demoted, rarely lose their jobs, are given new cases, and turned loose against other defendants.
This is what is called a double-standard. And it is wrong.
More jawdropping is that one of these prosecutors is now a judge. If judges won't punish Elijah Levitt maybe the jqc will now that he is a sitting judge who misbehaved while a prosecutor. Remember Laura Watson????????
You all dismiss me as a mad man ranting. Den dis happens and all of de sudden I do not seem so crazy.
FREE ALEX MICHAELS !
"We tend to dismiss them with a statement about how no case is worth a prosecutor's career."
Prosecutors losing their careers for railroading defendants? Hahahahahaha!
Could you actually say that with a straight face?
Nice suck up to DOM. Guess you need the referrals.
Nice publicity for the Romanian idiot today in the Herald.
5:41 I like DOM. I think he is a fine lawyer. Truly one of the best around. A real fighter. Not sure how he could refer me cases and in the words of Hyman Roth …."small potatoes" I'm just not interested in the pedantic physician over-prescribing drugs; garden variety stock fraud -ponzi scheme case. Nice enough and he crushes them, but not for moi.
Fair enough Rumpole. You do good work in county court. Glad to see you know your lane.
Rumpole - please tell us what ever happened to:
You say there is a double standard, yet the cooperator's attorney is named nowhere in your post or the herald article. If there was a conspiracy to spy, cooperator's atty is either aware at best or ringleader at worst. His omission may prove a double standard, but the opposite you suggest. Funny you would use this case as your proof of disparate treatment. Very very weak my friend. How do you justify such a brazen distortion of the allegations in this case to your unsuspecting readers?
I'm pretty sure the defendant is named in the herald article. But not his lawyer. I'd be more interested in knowing the defense attorney that tolerated that. Go on CMECF and let me know who it is. I'm in trial in Arizona of all places. Not a lot of time. Hot here BTW
Fred- Working for regional counsel
Andy- Retired somewhere
Feiler-running around for the new big thing. 3D internet. Marijuana edibles. Reptile vending machines. Always something
5:29 If Rumpole is Phil, then he was on the front page of herald in 2018 getting a defendant exonerated of a murder charge and I know he is handling a federal appeal of a surgeon who got life in prison.
If Rumpole is not phil, then maybe he does country court work, but It doesn't seem likely.
Rump, this recent talk has got me curious - how about a post about the greatest Justice Building defense lawyers, ASAs and Judges of the past 30 or so years? Might be fun
I will not publish where an attorney has retired out of respect for his privacy. I know you meant well but this blog is widely read and I need to protect people's privacy.
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