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Articles by Mark Wilson

D.C. Circuit Reverses Denial of DOJ Whistleblower’s Attorney’s Fees

by Mark Wilson

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (D.C.) Circuit reversed a lower court’s refusal to grant attorney’s fees in a whistleblower action.

Elissa Rumsey works for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), as a compliance monitoring coordinator for the Office of Juvenile ...

Seventh Circuit: No Federal Court Jurisdiction to Resolve State Executive and Legislative Branch Disputes

by Mark Wilson

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that federal courts lack jurisdiction to hear declaratory judgment actions filed by a city’s executive branch against its legislative branch. “State courts may have authority to resolve an intramural dispute,” the Court observed. “Otherwise it must be ...

Eighth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment on Ferguson Protestor’s Excessive Force Claim

by Mark Wilson

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed summary judgment in favor of four police officers on an excessive force claim while arresting protestors of the Michael Brown police shooting death.

White Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot African-American teenager Michael Brown Jr. to death ...

Ninth Circuit Suppresses Gang Affiliation Evidence Obtained Without Miranda Warnings

by Mark Wilson

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the suppression of evidence of gang affiliation obtained without Miranda warnings.

On July 4, 2012, Antonio Gilton was arrested for murder and invoked his right to counsel. He was taken to jail and locked in a ...

Mississippi Supreme Court Upholds Lawyer’s Contempt Sanction for “Improper” Argument

by Mark Wilson

The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld contempt sanctions against a criminal defense attorney, finding that he prejudiced the jury against the judge and prosecutor when he insinuated that they were preventing him from telling the truth.

Adofo Minka represented William Wilson on firearms charges. The trial court interrupted ...

Trump Administration Kills Obama’s Forensic Evidence Reliability Reform Efforts

by Mark Wilson

Less than three months into the Trump administration, the President’s assault on science, truth, and all things Obama reached the criminal justice system. Under Trump’s watch, a commission working to improve the reliability of forensic evidence has been abolished.

In 2013, the Obama Administration created the National ...

Idaho Supreme Court Reinstates Class Action Against the State Alleging Inadequate Public Defense System

by Mark Wilson

On April 28, 2017, the Idaho Supreme Court reversed the dismissal of a class action lawsuit alleging that Idaho’s public defense system violates federal and state constitutional standards. The Court held that claims against the State and the Idaho Public Defense Commission (“PDC”) were improperly dismissed but ...

Oregon Supreme Court Announces Default Rule When Plea Agreement Silent About Reprosecution Upon Subsequent Death of Victim

by Mark Wilson

The Oregon Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of murder charges against a defendant who pleaded guilty under a plea agreement to assaulting a victim who subsequently died.

In August 2013, Trevin Michael King, 17, and an adult co-defendant assaulted a man and stole his bicycle. The victim ...

In Case of First Impression, Louisiana Supreme Court Holds Public Records Restriction Inapplicable to Defense Attorney’s Request for Client’s Files and Awards Fees

by Mark Wilson

The Louisiana Supreme Court held that an attorney representing an incarcerated felon is not subject to La. R.S. § 44:31.1 when making a public records request to get information in connection with a potential post-conviction relief application.

La. R.S. §  44:31.1 provides that “an individual in custody ...

Intellectual Disabilities Must Be Considered in Oregon Proportionality Challenges

by Mark Wilson

The Oregon Supreme Court held that a defendant’s intellectual disabilities must be considered when deciding whether a mandatory minimum sentence is disproportionate under the Oregon and United States Constitutions.

On July 15, 2013, Steven Ryan sexually abused 9-year old and 14-year old sisters. He was 23 years ...



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