Cases

Select Cases and Legal Presentations

Select Cases:

A.A. v. U.S. (9th Cir. 2019): Obtained writ of error coram nobis vacating 20-year old conviction after district court denied relief, by establishing petitioner had received ineffective assistance of counsel when counsel advised that so long as his sentence was under one year, the conviction would not have immigration consequences.

U.S. v. Read, 918 F.3d 712 (9th Cir. 2019): Obtained reversal of all counts of conviction after trial because permitting defense counsel to present insanity defense over client's clear rejection violated his  Sixth Amendment right to choose his defense.

U.S. v. C.A.L. (9th Cir. 2019): Obtained full reversal of convictions for harboring a federal fugitive and false statement to federal law enforcement. Court found officers violated Fourth Amendment when they gained entry into private home by threatening to kick door in. On remand, government dismissed indictment.

U.S. v. Franklin, 904 F.3d 793 (9th Cir. 2018): Obtained reversal of 15-year mandatory minimum sentence by establishing Washington drug priors cover too much conduct to be considered "serious drug offenses" triggering the sentencing enhancement. On remand, client received time-served sentence and was released.

U.S. v. C.A.R. (9th Cir. 2018): Obtained reversal of sentence in counterfeit case based on miscalculation of criminal history. On remand, client received sentence less than half the length of original sentence.

U.S. v. Brown, 879 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2018): Obtained reversal of sentence in firearms case by establishing that Washington drug conspiracies do not trigger sentence increase for prior drug convictions. Client received significantly reduced sentence on remand.

U.S. v. Wells, 879 F.3d 900 (9th Cir. 2018): Obtained reversal of all six counts of conviction and four consecutive life sentences in double homicide case.  Court found government's use of criminal profile evidence and old act of disobedience to shore up wholly circumstantial case rendered trial fundamentally unfair.

U.S. v. R.S.A. (9th Cir. 2017): Obtained reversal of prison sentence in false statements case where sentencing judge found officer defendant had stolen from a suspect even though there was no evidence of a theft. Ninth Circuit reversed sentence, remanded for resentencing, and reassigned matter to new judge. 

U.S. v. E.Q.F. (9th Cir. 2016). Obtained reversal of sentence and new sentencing proceeding because court violated client’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel when it allowed him to proceed at sentencing without counsel and without ensuring a knowing and intelligent waiver of counsel.

U.S. v. L.E. (9th Cir. 2016). Obtained bail pending appeal and then reversal of sentence in mortgage fraud case based on due process violation when district judge relied on confidential presentence reports of other individuals without notice to client, erred in calculating the sentencing guidelines, and denied the government an opportunity to speak at sentencing. After the Ninth Circuit ordered the case reassigned to a new court for resentencing, a time-served sentence was imposed.

U.S. v. F.R. (9th Cir. 2015). Obtained reversal of convictions for RICO conspiracy  and conspiracy to murder in aid of racketeering because  court improperly excluded defense expert testimony  regarding client's PTSD.  On remand, government offered significantly reduced charges and time-served sentence.

U.S. v. R.T.S. (9th Cir. 2015). Obtained reversal of order dismissing motion for post-conviction relief because district court improperly dismissed motion based on petitioner’s failure to submit a signed request for counsel.

U.S. v. Garcia-Jimenez, 807 F.3d 1079 (9th Cir. 2015). Obtained reversal of sentence and established that New Jersey aggravated assault is not a crime of violence triggering sentence increase.

U.S. v. G.P. (9th Cir. 2015). Obtained reversal of assault conviction and remand for new trial because court violated client’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel when it denied his pretrial motion to substitute counsel.

People v. Chung, 237 Cal.App.4th 462 (Cal. App. 2015). Obtained reduction of sentence by establishing that separate sentences for offering to sell three different drugs violated statutory bar on multiple punishment for single act.

U.S. v. Sahagun-Gallegos, 782 F.3d 1094 (9th Cir. 2015). Obtained reversal of sentence and established that, in determining effect of prior state conviction on sentence, sentencing court may not rely on defense attorney’s statement of factual basis for guilty plea and then use process of elimination to determine elements of state conviction.

U.S. v. J.Q.W. (9th Cir. 2014). Obtained reversal of 15-year mandatory minimum sentence because prior burglary conviction was improperly considered “violent felony” triggering application of Armed Career Criminal Act.  Sentence on remand was less than 5 years.

U.S. v. Jackson, 754 F.3d 1116 (9th Cir. 2014). Obtained reversal of conviction for possession of false badge because government did not prove the badge at issue was covered by the statute.

U.S. v. Ward, 747 F.3d 1184 (9th Cir. 2014). Obtained reversal of aggravated identity theft convictions because court’s instructions to the jury effectively amended the indictment in violation of client’s constitutional right to indictment by grand jury.

U.S. v. E.C.M (9th Cir. 2012). Obtained reversal of firearms conviction based on Fourth Amendment violation. Court of appeals held officers did not have reasonable suspicion to justify investigatory stop of client's vehicle.

U.S. v. Bustamante, 687 F.3d 1190 (9th Cir. 2012). Obtained reversal of all counts of conviction because "birth certificate" admitted at trial was testimonial evidence admitted against client's Sixth Amendment right to confrontation. Government dismissed case.

L.C. v. U.S. (C.D. Cal. 2012). Obtained writ of error coram nobis vacating and dismissing eleven counts of honest services fraud. Client's professional license was reinstated.

U.S. v. H.A.O. (C.D. Cal. 2012). Negotiated withdrawal of guilty plea and entry of plea to alternative offense because client was not advised by trial counsel of immigration consequences of initial offense. Immigration authorities halted attempt to deport client.

U.S. v. R.K. (C.D. Cal. 2011). Facilitated execution of order that funds seized during investigation be used to pay off client's restitution balance, which resulted in stipulated remand, immediate release on sentence, and termination of supervised release.

U.S. v. Doss, 630 F.3d 1181 (9th Cir. 2011). Obtained reversal of witness tampering conviction by establishing that statute does not criminalize advising an individual with a privilege not to testify; obtained reversal of mandatory life sentence on ground that government is required to prove sentencing enhancement facts to jury beyond a reasonable doubt. On remand, government declined to prove sentencing enhancement.

U.S. v. F.R. (9th Cir. 2009). Obtained reversal of convictions for RICO conspiracy and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering because of error in entrapment instruction. Conviction at retrial also reversed on appeal (2015).

U.S. v. Locklin, 530 F.3d 908 (9th Cir. 2008). Obtained reversal of felony sentence by establishing that evidence at trial proved only misdemeanor.

U.S. v. Barsumyan, 517 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2008). Established that ban on computer use was inappropriate condition of supervision where government did not establish that offense involved computers.

Butler v. Curry, 528 F.3d 624 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 555 U.S. 1089 (2008). Established that Supreme Court decision holding California's Determinate Sentencing Law unconstitutional applied retroactively on habeas corpus and that probationary status must be proved to jury to enhance sentence. 

I.M. v. Kane (9th Cir 2008; C.D. Cal. 2006). Obtained release of client, a California prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment, because evidence at his trial was insufficient to support homicide conviction.

U.S. v. A.L.H. (C.D. Cal. 2008). Obtained new trial based on investigation revealing that government had failed to disclose exculpatory evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland. Government offered significantly reduced charges in lieu of retrial.

Select Legal Presentations:

Challenging Drug Predicates. Advanced Seminar for Assistant Federal Defenders, Federal Judicial Center,  Detroit, Michigan (Faculty, May 2019), Multi-Track Federal Criminal Defense Seminar. Office of Defender Services, Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Los Angeles, California (Faculty August 2018), Advanced Seminar for Assistant Federal Defenders, Federal Judicial Center,  Kansas City, Missouri (Faculty, May 2018), Office of the Federal Public Defender and Criminal Justice Act Attorneys, Eastern District of California (Faculty, October 2017), Advanced Seminar for Assistant Federal Defenders, Federal Judicial Center, New Orleans, Louisiana (Faculty, May 2017).

Always, Sometimes, Never: Ten Tips to Try on Appeal. Advanced Seminar for Assistant Federal Defenders, Federal Judicial Center,  Detroit, Michigan (Faculty, May 2019),Office of the Federal Public Defender, District of Nevada (Faculty, September 2018)

Defining Crime of Violence. Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California (Faculty, May 2016), Criminal Justice Act Trial Panel Training, Central District of California (Faculty, May 2016), Office of the Federal Public Defender and Criminal Justice Act Attorneys, District of Arizona (Faculty, April 2016).

Role in the Offense. 2015 Annual National Training Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. United States Sentencing Commission, New Orleans, Louisiana (Faculty, September 2015).

Reverse Engineering: Laying the Seeds for Sentencing From the Start. National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 4th Annual West Coast White Collar Conference (Faculty, June 2014).

Moncrieffe and Descamps.  Office of the Federal Public Defender and Criminal Justice Act Attorneys, Central District of California (Faculty, August 2013).

Supreme Court Update. Office of the Federal Public Defender and Criminal Justice Act Attorneys, Central District of California (Faculty, July 2013); Criminal Justice Act Appellate Panel Training, Central District of California (Faculty, March 2013); Orientation Seminar for Assistant Federal Defenders, Federal Judicial Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico (Faculty, November 2012).

Access to Counsel. "Dialogues on Detention: Applying Lessons from Criminal Justice Reform to the Immigration Detention System." Human Rights First. University of California, Irvine (Panel, September 2012).

Resources to Support and Improve Your Practice. Criminal Justice Act Trial Panel Training, Central District of California (Panel, October 2011).

The Sentencing Reform Act: 25 Years Later. United States Sentencing Commission Regional Hearings, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California (Defender Testimony, May 2009).

Sentencing Advocacy Workshop. Office of Defender Services-Training Branch, Administrative Office of the United States Courts, San Antonio, Texas (Faculty, March 2004); Santa Monica, California (Faculty, March 2005); Miami Beach, Florida (Faculty, March 2006).

Fourth Amendment Suppression Motions. Winning Strategies: Training Seminar for Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorneys; Office of Defender Services, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Faculty, September 2005).

Impact of the Feeney Amendment, the Ashcroft Memoranda, and the Sentencing Commission's Revised Guidelines on the Discretion and Independence of Judges. Conference of Chief District Judges of the Ninth Circuit, Laguna Beach, California (Panel, January 2004).

Recent Supreme Court Jurisprudence from Apprendi to Blakely10th, 11th, and 13th Annual National Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Federal Bar Association and the United States Sentencing Commission, Palm Springs, California and Miami Beach, Florida (Plenary Panels, May 2001, 2002, 2004).

New Legal Challenges After Apprendi. Seminar for Federal Defender Investigators and Paralegal Specialists, Federal Judicial Center, Kansas City, Kansas (Faculty, March 2001).

Litigating Illegal Reentry Cases in the Wake of Apprendi v. New JerseyOrientation Seminar for Assistant Federal Defenders, Federal Judicial Center, Nashville, Tennessee (Faculty, November 2000).