Month: June 2019

The right to counsel is the very core of the American constitution. An attorney plays a vital role in advising a client of their rights and by using their expertise to guide the client through any given legal situation. Not only is the right to counsel in the spirit of our founding documents, but was reaffirmed in Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) when the Supreme Court decided that an indigent client had a constitutional right to counsel. In deciding this case, Justice Harlan asserted that “the mere existence of a serious criminal charge constitute[s], in itself, special circumstances requiring the services of counsel at trial”. This sentiment has been echoed throughout the courts and our system of justice at large ever since. However, is the right to counsel as crucial when someone has already been found guilty in the court of public opinion? According to the recent actions taken by Harvard University, they have decided that it is not.

The Right to Council vs The Court of Public Opinion

Recently, faculty dean and professor at Harvard Law School, Ron Sullivan, was ousted from his position after joining the defense team of Harvey Weinstein, a notable director accused of sexual abuse allegations against numerous women celebrities. The sanctimonious outrage by students and fellow staff at Sullivan’s decision to defend Harvey Weinstein, a man, presumed innocent may I remind you, was truly disconcerting. The principles affirmed in Gideon have been replaced with a new age of “cancel culture” and moral outrage at attorneys who still value the concept of the right to counsel for all. Regardless of one’s thoughts of the man being defended or the crimes he has been accused of, our constitution demands zealous defense, which should persist no matter the circumstance. Just as surgeons don’t decline to operate on “bad people”, lawyers too are held to the same standard of professional conduct.

Associating Attorneys With Their Clients – Right or Wrong?

The right to counsel starts to decay the moment we begin to fault attorneys for the alleged acts of their clients. A lawyer being ostracized for their client’s alleged actions and being removed from their position at a university should shock the collective conscience of America’s legal community. It is additionally upsetting to see this unfounded outrage from students at what is considered one of the finest legal institutions in the nation. I wonder what these outraged Harvard students would say if the premise were instead an indigent client accused of these acts? Should we rail against the public defender who zealously defends that individual in a court of law for representing an individual accused of such crimes? I am sure you will be offered the politically correct answer that no matter the case or financial ability, a right to counsel is paramount. However, when it comes to cases in popular culture of a wealthy, famous man retaining highly regarded counsel, it is suddenly a blemish on that attorneys’ career and shameful. This hypocrisy is jarring. No matter one’s thoughts on Harvey Weinstein, those feelings should not be redirected at his counsel, none the less by attorneys and law students who should understand these concepts better than anyone. When it becomes too great a burden to bear to represent an individual in the public eye accused of criminal acts, we have lost our way. In order to protect the rights of the innocent, it is important that we protect the rights of all, even more so the unpopular defendants.

As recently reported in The New York Times, Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, had a major victory in court this month regarding charges of soliciting a prostitute. Judge Leonard Hanser granted Kraft’s motion to suppress video evidence of the alleged act detailed by the prosecution. With this video evidence no longer admissible in court, the prosecution has been dealt a serious, potentially fatal blow. The Judge concurred with Kraft’s counsel that the way the video evidence was obtained did not satisfy constitutional guidelines regarding the privacy of the customers and therefore must be suppressed. The Judge went a step further, finding the search on Kraft’s car to have been an unconstitutional search, requiring that evidence to be suppressed as well. As a result of these motions being granted, the prosecutors have delayed their prosecution indefinitely while they appeal the motion to suppress.

The Most Useful Tool For An Effective Defense

A motion to suppress evidence is one of the most useful tools an effective defense team has at its disposal. If a motion to suppress is granted, it can result in a dramatically different outcome or even the dismissal of a case. So, when is a motion to suppress granted and what exactly is this motion? A motion to suppress is a motion to exclude certain evidence from trial. Such a motion is often used when evidence is obtained illegally or is in violation of an individual’s constitutional rights. A motion to suppress can be understood as the enforcement mechanism behind what is known as the exclusionary rule, which is a rule that states evidence obtained illegally must be excluded from trial. Excluding illegally obtained evidence follows along with the themes of due process of law and fourth amendment rights to be free from unlawful searches and seizures that can be found in the United States Constitution.

When To Exclude And How To Know If You Can

So, how do you know if you have a valid claim to exclude evidence from trial if you find yourself in a similar situation? To be honest, it can be a very complex legal question. In Robert Kraft’s case, his defense counsel was able to pinpoint those exact violations in a way that was convincing to the judge which compelled him to grant the motions to suppress. Effective counsel that is experienced in such matters can be the difference between a conviction and total dismissal of a case, as Robert Kraft may soon find out first hand if the prosecution decides to dismiss the matter. Something as simple as this procedural motion can derail an otherwise meritorious case against an individual if executed properly. It is therefore critical to obtain counsel that is proficient in the strategy of criminal litigation.

Contact An Experienced Defense Team Today

If you have been accused or charged with solicitation of prostitution in Washington, DC or Maryland, contact Bruckheim & Patel for a free, confidential evaluation of your case.

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