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Criminal Defense Lawyers

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December 3, 1989 | By Janet L. Fix, Inquirer Staff Writer
Criminal-defense lawyers are feeling like an endangered species. Society has little patience with drugs, drug dealers and, often, those who defend them. And now the Internal Revenue Service is threatening legal action against lawyers who fail to report clients who pay them more than $10,000 in cash. Last month, the IRS sent letters to 956 criminal-defense lawyers throughout the nation, demanding within 30 days the names of clients who had paid legal fees larger than $10,000 in cash.
NEWS
May 4, 1991 | By Henry Goldman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Almost anywhere else, if you walked into a lecture on "the extermination of rats," you could expect a discourse on rodent control. But get 200 of the nation's defense lawyers together - people skilled in drawing new meanings from words - and rat control becomes the art and practice of neutralizing criminals turned government witnesses. They assembled at a conference sponsored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Ritz Carlton Hotel yesterday. Amid polished marble and brass, crystal chandeliers and padded chintz, some of the best criminal lawyers in the land swapped stories and belly laughs about the times they stymied prosecutors, stood up to judges and held juries spellbound.
NEWS
June 25, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
He is past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and during a career of more than 40 years has represented accused killers Ira Einhorn, Amanda Knox, and Robert Durst. But on Thursday, Center City lawyer Theodore Simon, 65, was in a Philadelphia courtroom as the accuser. The case was Commonwealth v. Rico Clark - the defendant being a 27-year-old Norristown man accused of picking a rubber-banded wad of cash from the pocket of Simon's suit jacket and leading him on a foot chase that ended with Clark's arrest several blocks away.
NEWS
June 20, 2014 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Corbett on Wednesday signed legislation that targets youth coaches who have sex with players, closing a loophole that allowed coaches unaffiliated with a school to escape felony charges if victims were 16 or older. The new law is the latest in a string of acts passed to better protect children since the scandal involving serial child molester Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University Since that controversy broke in 2009, 11 coaches in the Philadelphia region have been charged with having or attempting to have sex with players.
NEWS
August 21, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two years ago, a veteran police narcotics officer was labeled a liar by a Philadelphia judge who tossed evidence seized from an alleged drug dealer, destroying the prosecution's case. The Philadelphia Police Department has removed Christopher Hulmes from street duty pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation; the city has paid $150,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit against him, and another is pending in federal court. But Hulmes told another Philadelphia judge on Tuesday that he was telling the truth about the June 14 arrest of alleged Kensington drug buyer Richard Hill.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Services for William H. Buckman, 61, of Cherry Hill, a prominent civil rights lawyer, were set for 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at Platt Memorial Chapels, 2001 Berlin Rd., Cherry Hill. A visitation was set there from 12:15 p.m. Sunday, with interment in Roosevelt Memorial Park, Trevose. Mr. Buckman was found dead in a Mount Laurel motel room on Tuesday, Oct. 14. Mount Laurel police said Thursday that he had committed suicide, but did not state the circumstances. Surviving are his wife, Shellie; son Ethan; daughter Emilee; two brothers; a sister; and a nephew.
NEWS
January 12, 2013 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office withdrew 28 more prosecutions Thursday involving officers from a controversial narcotics unit, bringing to 167 the cases that have been dropped in six weeks. An association of criminal defense lawyers, meanwhile, held a meeting for dozens for attorneys hoping to contest even more cases. Municipal Court President Judge Marsha H. Neifield, with little discussion, oversaw the reversal of the 28 cases handled by officers who have been removed from the Narcotics Field Unit South.
NEWS
November 5, 1989 | By Lisa Moorhead, Special to The Inquirer
He's been quick on the draw for the last 10 years as a defense lawyer in Delaware County, and now W. David Breen is slipping into a new saddle. A partner in the law firm of Cronin, Emuryan & Breen, which has offices in Aston and Ridley Township, Breen recently was elected president of the Delaware County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Paraphrasing famed defense attorney F. Lee Bailey, Breen described his breed as like the last gunfighters of the old West. "They're pretty much mavericks," Breen said.
NEWS
June 28, 1994 | By Jodi Enda, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
It's an all-star team like no other, featuring the flamboyance of an F. Lee Bailey, the craftiness of an Alan Dershowitz and the laser-beam focus of a Robert Shapiro. Hall of Famers of the law. They might not fill a football stadium, but in the staid legal world, they are every bit as powerful and dominant as O.J. Simpson was in his. With Simpson's very life and freedom hanging in the balance, some of the keenest and the best-known legal minds in the country have leapt to his defense.
NEWS
April 7, 2011 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The amount of public funding paid to Philadelphia court-appointed criminal-defense lawyers is so low that it violates the constitutional rights of indigent people facing the death penalty. So argues a petition filed Wednesday by a group of Philadelphia court-appointed death-penalty lawyers who told a city judge that the commonwealth should pay them adequately or stop seeking capital punishment. "It amounts to a presumption of ineffectiveness," lawyer Marc Bookman told Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner, citing the U.S. Constitution's Sixth Amendment provision guaranteeing a criminal defendant the right to legal counsel.
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NEWS
June 25, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
He is past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and during a career of more than 40 years has represented accused killers Ira Einhorn, Amanda Knox, and Robert Durst. But on Thursday, Center City lawyer Theodore Simon, 65, was in a Philadelphia courtroom as the accuser. The case was Commonwealth v. Rico Clark - the defendant being a 27-year-old Norristown man accused of picking a rubber-banded wad of cash from the pocket of Simon's suit jacket and leading him on a foot chase that ended with Clark's arrest several blocks away.
NEWS
February 5, 2016 | By Chris Mondics, Staff Writer
Veteran prosecutors, using such words as extraordinary and unusual, said they were puzzled by the promise by former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. never to prosecute comedian Bill Cosby. Such deals rarely happen, the prosecutors said, simply because it is impossible to know what new information might emerge. And when the deals do emerge, they said, it is critical to get the agreement in writing. Castor testified Tuesday at a hearing on the aggravated indecent-assault charge against Cosby that his 2005 announcement not to file criminal charges amounted to a pledge that his office, and his successors, had dropped the case forever.
NEWS
September 26, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday relaxed the standard by which police may search an automobile without obtaining a warrant, ruling that the current test "does not provide greater liberty or security" to the state's residents "and has placed on law enforcement unrealistic and impracticable burdens. " With the 5-2 decision, the high court reversed precedent, finding that its previous standard had resulted in unintended consequences such as a surge in consent searches and prolonged roadside stops.
NEWS
August 7, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
IT SEEMED as if Richard Johnson was always looking after society's underdogs. As a criminal-defense lawyer, his concern for his clients extended well beyond the courtroom. "He wanted to encourage his clients to turn their lives around," said his daughter, Diahnne. "He tried to show them there was a better way to live. " And when Richard worked for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, one of his jobs was to make sure minority workers got a fair shake. Richard Ernest Johnson, who opened his own law office in Center City in the mid-'70s, a history and news junkie who devoured newspapers and magazines and kept up with TV news shows, and a devoted family patriarch, died of heart failure July 31. He was 89 and lived in Center City.
NEWS
May 13, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Before DNA testing became the gold standard in forensic science, hair analysis was often a prosecutor's trump card. Developed by the FBI's vaunted crime lab, microscopic hair analysis - comparing a hair found at a crime scene with one from a criminal defendant - as described in polished, confident testimony by an FBI hair analyst, could seal a guilty verdict. Now, an ongoing FBI hair-analysis review - preliminary results were announced April 20 - recommends a wholesale look at cases in which testimony about microscopic hair analysis contributed to a guilty verdict.
NEWS
November 26, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
One veteran Philadelphia civil rights lawyer found the evidence exonerating Officer Darren Wilson murky. There were no accounts of Michael Brown's appearing to reach for a gun, no flash of something silver, the lawyer said. Another defense lawyer said he was both bemused and surprised to see all the attention paid by the grand jury to exculpatory evidence. "Did that happen because it was [about] a police officer?" the lawyer asked. "I think the answer is probably yes. " But a former prosecutor who won convictions against Philadelphia police for brutality was won over.
NEWS
October 27, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Taking a hard line, Democratic leaders in the state House have decided not to pay legal bills for four Philadelphia legislators alleged to have pocketed cash in a sting investigation. In the past, both Republican and Democratic legislative leaders have often chosen to pay for criminal defense lawyers for lawmakers and staff caught up in corruption investigations up until they were formally charged. State Rep. Frank Dermody, a veteran lawmaker from north of Pittsburgh who leads the Democrats in the GOP-controlled House, declined to comment, but the decision seems to reflect stark facts: Sources and investigative documents say the four Democrats were caught on video or audio accepting a total of $18,500, and did not report the gifts on their financial-disclosure forms.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Services for William H. Buckman, 61, of Cherry Hill, a prominent civil rights lawyer, were set for 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at Platt Memorial Chapels, 2001 Berlin Rd., Cherry Hill. A visitation was set there from 12:15 p.m. Sunday, with interment in Roosevelt Memorial Park, Trevose. Mr. Buckman was found dead in a Mount Laurel motel room on Tuesday, Oct. 14. Mount Laurel police said Thursday that he had committed suicide, but did not state the circumstances. Surviving are his wife, Shellie; son Ethan; daughter Emilee; two brothers; a sister; and a nephew.
NEWS
August 21, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two years ago, a veteran police narcotics officer was labeled a liar by a Philadelphia judge who tossed evidence seized from an alleged drug dealer, destroying the prosecution's case. The Philadelphia Police Department has removed Christopher Hulmes from street duty pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation; the city has paid $150,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit against him, and another is pending in federal court. But Hulmes told another Philadelphia judge on Tuesday that he was telling the truth about the June 14 arrest of alleged Kensington drug buyer Richard Hill.
NEWS
June 20, 2014 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Corbett on Wednesday signed legislation that targets youth coaches who have sex with players, closing a loophole that allowed coaches unaffiliated with a school to escape felony charges if victims were 16 or older. The new law is the latest in a string of acts passed to better protect children since the scandal involving serial child molester Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University Since that controversy broke in 2009, 11 coaches in the Philadelphia region have been charged with having or attempting to have sex with players.
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