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Winning Criminal Defense Opinions and Brief Bank

A good percentage of my practice consist of state and federal criminal appeals. Often times when I read a winning opinion I find myself wanting to read the winning brief. This section of my website is dedicated to that purpose. The only cases listed on this page are criminal defense winners that I was also able to obtain the winning brief for.

USA v. KELMIT OQUENDO-RIVERA

No. 08-2481 (1st Cir 2009)

This is a great case. The Appellant is on supervised release. He is present at a house when 10 to 15 police officers show up for a raid. The appellant is running from the house and is shot in the leg. Also shot at the house is a police officer.  The officer who is shot claims that the Appellant shot him and that he returned fire and that after being shot miraculously jumped a fence and ran off. Lots of problems with the officer's claims. First the appellant was right handed and the officer claims the shooter shot him while holding the gun in his left hand. The Gun was never recovered. There was no blood in the location of the fence or around the fence. The appellants injuries were "savage" and required a rod to be placed in his leg but the officer claims he was jumping fences. Another officer testified that it was another person that shot the officer.

Despite all of the reasons to believe that it was not the appellant that shot the officer the trial court engaged in some mental gymnastics and somehow concluded the government met its burden. As criminal defense lawyers we see this sort of stuff all the time. Many trial judges are intellectually dishonest when it comes to making factual determinations of guilt or innocence. This is why in almost every situation I would rather have a jury making such determinations. However, that is not always an option. It is nice to see an appellate court overturn a district court's factual findings because the district court was intellectually dishonest. (Read the Opinion) (Read the Winning Brief)

 

USA v. Villar, 08-1154 (1st Circuit 2009)

This is a good case for challenging a jury's verdict after the trial. In this case the Appellant Richard Villar was convicted of bank robbery in Federal Court. Days after the verdict a juror sent an email to the lawyer suggesting that some of the jurors based their verdict in part upon the race of the appellant. The attorney for the Appellant filed the appropriate motions in front of the trial court and attempted to inquire of the juror concerning racial bias and prejudice. The trial court was sympathetic, but citing the Federal Rules of Evidence rule 606 (b) found that the court was without discretion to inquire into the validity of the verdict. The appellate court disagreed ruling that Constitutional protections trumped rule 606 (b). Oklahoma has a similar rule found at Title 12 O.S. § 2606 (b). (Read the Villar Opinion) (Villar Brief)

 

USA v. Jones (5th Circuit 06-30535)

A winner because improper admission of of prior bad acts evidence. If a defendant can win in the 5th Circuit they should be able to win anywhere. (Jones Opinion) (Jones Brief)

 

USA v. Duane Bercier (8th Circuit 06-4125)

This is a winner out of the 8th Circuit in which the court of appeals reversed a conviction for sexual abuse because the trial court allowed a physician to testify in great detail concerning allegations of sexual abuse. (Bercier Opinion) (Bercier Brief)

 

USA v. Adan Mendoza (8th Circuit 04-3489)

This a winner on the grounds of insufficiency of evidence. Mendoza was caught driving avehicle that had a large quanity of cocaine in a welded steel box under the seat. The Ciruit ruled that there was insufficient evidence to show that Mendoza knew the cocaine was present. (Read Opinion) (Read Brief)

 

USA v. Steve Cerno (10th Circuit Case 07-2136)

A winner on the Federal Sentencing because ofthe trial court's refussal to consider an argument on the relative amount of force. The 10th Circuit ruled that such a consideration goes to the heart of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)’s mandate that a sentencing court consider the nature and circumstances of the offense conduct when fashioning an appropriate, individualized sentence. (Cerno Opinion) (Cerno Brief)

 

USA v. Bryan Commanche (10th Circuit Case 08-2257)

A winner that reversed a conviction on an assault that occured on an indian reservation because of the improper admission of evidence two prior previous assaults. The court ruled that the admission was improper under Federal Rules of Evidence 404 (b) because the evidence facts of the particular case because the jury must necessarily use it for an impermissible purpose (conformity) before it can reflect on a permissible purpose (intent). (Commanche Opinion) (Commanche Brief)

 

USA v. Shequita Revels (10th Circuit 06-5223)

A winner in which the trial court granted the defense motion to suppress and the government appealed. The circuit affirmed the granting of the motion to suppress finding that Ms. Revels was in custody for Miranda purposes at the time the police served a search warrant at her home. I have also included teh winning motion to suppress with this case. (Revels Opinion) (Revels Brief) (Revels Motion to Suppress)

 

USA v. Avezo (N.D. 10-CR-85-CVE)

A winner at the District Court Levell. great motion to supress based upon a traffic stop and a highway patrol trooper's claim of reasonable suspicion. The occupants of the traffic stop were detained at the location for over 50 minutes while a drug dog was enroute. Great brief and well written opinion. (Avezo Opninion)

USA v. Terrance Matthews (11th Circuit Case 03-15528)

A winner that reversed a conspiracy to distribute cocaine because of the faulty admission of prior bad acts under Federal Rules of Evidence 404 (b). (Matthews Opinion) (Matthews Brief)

 

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Oklahoma Criminal Law and Civil Rights Blog

Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyer: Kevin D. Adams

Disclaimer: Kevin D. Adams only provides legal advice after having entered into an attorney client relationship, which this website specifically does not create. Only after having entered into a representation agreement with Kevin D. Adams will an attorney-client relationship have been created. It is imperative that any action taken by you should be done on advice of legal counsel.* Because every case is different, the descriptions of outcomes and cases previously handled are not meant to be a guarantee of success.

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