By Buck Files
This column is about Robert C. Nalley, a Maryland state judge who committed a federal criminal offense in a courtroom where he was hearing pre-trial matters before jury selection began. You will see in real time what the judge does and how it impacted the defendant, Delvon King-Ali, who was standing before him. VIDEO
Then, we will look at what took place in the federal system as Nalley is prosecuted and sentenced for this offense.
My research for this column consisted of reviewing newspaper articles about these events, searching for a YouTube video, locating the case on Pacer, reviewing all the documents that were not filed under seal, obtaining a copy of the 39 page statement of facts from the sentencing hearing and reviewing it for excerpts to include in this column. Continue reading JUDGE ROBERT C NALLEY FINALLY GETS HIS “COMEUPPANACE”
By Buck Files
The event has occurred on thousands of occasions. Terry Trooper sees Danny Defendant driving on his highway. Something catches Terry’s attention that causes him to believe that Danny has committed or is committing a criminal offense. Terry initiates a traffic stop that leads to a conversation with Danny, a seizure of something and a warrantless arrest. The issue for the trial court or the appellate court is always the same: Did Terry have probable cause or a reasonable suspicion that Danny had committed or was committing a criminal offense? Continue reading WAS IT A “SUSPICION” OR A “REASONABLE SUSPICION”?
By Buck Files
A prosecutor who is overly aggressive can introduce error into the trial of a case. A defense lawyer who sits on his hands and does not object can limit the appellate court’s consideration of an issue to a plain error standard. A trial judge who considers testimony improperly adduced by an aggressive prosecutor in determining what sentence to impose can make the case difficult for an appellate court to affirm. Continue reading A JUDGE, A PROSECUTOR AND A DEFENSE LAWYER WORK TOGETHER TO GIVE THE JUDGES OF THE THIRD CIRCUIT AND UNBELIEVABLE CASE
Sometimes words don’t mean what they should. Consider, for example, the words “border search.” Where would a border search be conducted? At the border. Wrong. If you go to WestLaw’s ALLFEDS database and type in the query “international airport” & “border search,” you will see that there have been 337 cases that arose out of border searches conducted at international airports. Continue reading A Non-Routine Border Search Issue
More than forty years ago, United States District Judge William Wayne Justice appointed me to represent a pro se petitioner who was seeking habeas relief in his court. This petitioner had also appeared pro se in a divorce proceeding and had been called to the stand by his wife’s lawyer. While testifying, he admitted to many acts of sexual intercourse with his young daughter. After that case was concluded, the trial judge had a statement of facts prepared and sent it to the local district attorney. Continue reading Judge Delgado-Colon “Skirted Near the Line” But Didn’t Cross It