Notable Decisions and Other News

Decisions

Appellate Term Dismisses Top Count

05/02/2017
People v. Hosue: The court held that appellant's conviction of attempted endangering the welfare of a child was against the weight of the evidence.     READ MORE >
Decisions

High Court Reverses Conviction, Orders New Trial

05/02/17
People v. Smalling: The Court of Appeals held that, under the circumstances, the trial court committed reversible error when it delivered a constructive possession charge in response to a jury note.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Orders New Trial in Gang Assault Case

05/10/2017
People v. Ramirez: The court reversed appellant's conviction because the prosecutor committed misconduct on summation.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Two Court of Appeals Wins for One Client in SORA Case

03/30/17
People v. Cook: The Court of Appeals reversed the lower court's assessment of points under Risk Factor 7 and also found in favor of the defendant on a procedural issue.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Grants New Trial Because of Prosecutorial Misconduct

12/30/2016
The Appellate Division, Second Department, Grants New Trial Given Prosecutial Misconduct in Summation   READ MORE >
Decisions

New York Court of Appeals Grants New Trial Given Batson Violation

12/22/2016
The New York Court of Appeals Grants a New Trial Given a Batson Violation   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Lowers Sex Offender Designation

11/30/2016
People v. Chen:  The Appellate Division, Second Department, lowers sex offender designation given improper weapon assessment.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Grants New Trial Given Improper Limit on Cross-Examination

11/23/2016
People v. Jahmal Enoe:  The Appellate Division, Second Department, grants a new trial given the improper limitation of cross-examination of a police officer about a federal civil rights lawsuit.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Runs Sentences Concurrently

11/16/2016
People v. Michel:  The Appellate Division, Second Department, rules consecutive sentencing improper for murder and weapon possession charges.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Indictment on Speedy Trial Grounds

10/25/2016
People v. Clarke:  The New York Court of Appeals affirms the dismissal of the indictment on speedy trial grounds given the People's failure to exercise due diligence in obtaining appellant's DNA sample.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Indictment on Speedy Trial Grounds

10/20/2016
People v. Dru Allard:  The New York Court of Appeals affirms the dismissal of the indictment on speedy trial grounds.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Grants New Trial Given Appellant's Absence From Courtroom

10/19/2016
People v. Daniel Gray: The Appellate Division, Second Department, grants new trial given appellant's absence from courtroom.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Grants New Trial in Murder Case Given Evidentiary Errors

10/19/2016
People v. Roger Thomas:  The Appellate Division, Second Department, grants new trial in murder case on interest of justice grounds given evidentiary errors.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reverses Suppression Ruling

10/05/2016
People v. Houston:  Second Department grants suppression on search-incident-to-arrest issue, finding warrantless search of bag unjustified given lack of exigent circumstances.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Term Orders Hearing on Speedy Trial Issue

09/20/2016
People v. Morena: Appellate Term Orders Hearing on Speedy Trial Issue   READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reverses Suppression Ruling

08/31/2016
People v. Anderson: Second Department reverses suppression ruling, finding search of bag incident to arrest unlawful given lack of exigent circumstances.   READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Dissenting Justice Grants Leave to Appeal

08/05/2016
People v. Johnson: Dissenting Justice Grants Leave to Appeal to the New York Court of Appeals on Fourth Amendment and Other Issues.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reduces Sentence on One Conviction, Orders New Trial on Another

07/27/2016
People v. Wilson:  The court reversed the defendant's conspiracy conviction and ordered a new trial because of a jurisdictional issue.     READ MORE >
Decisions

High Court Establishes Confrontation Rule Regarding DNA Evidence

07/22/2016
People v. Sean John: The Court of Appeals reversed the defendant's conviction and ordered a new trial.     READ MORE >
Decisions

C.P.L. 440 Ruling Reversed

07/13/2016
People v. Moore:  The Appellate Division, Second Department, held that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to advocate for an immigration-safe sentence.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Gun and Drug Conviction Reversed as Against the Weight of the Evidence

07/13/2016
People v. Oneill: The Appellate Division, Second Department, dismissed the indictment.     READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Court of Appeals Grants Leave to Address Trial Counsel’s Obligation to Protect the Defendant’s Right to Appeal

07/07/2016
People v. Arjune:  The defendant's appeal was dismissed for failure to prosecute.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reverses Murder Conviction

07/06/16
People v. Redd: The court ordered a new trial because of the prosecutor's "pervasive" misconduct.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Conviction Reversed Because of Miranda Violation

06/22/2016
People v. Cleverin: The People failed to establish that the defendant's Miranda waiver was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary.     READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave Granted to Examine Use of Youthful Offender Adjudications in SORA Context

06/09/2016
People v. Francis: The SORA hearing court ruled that the defendant's youthful offender adjudication could serve as the basis for the assessment of points for a "prior felony conviction."    READ MORE >
Decisions

Suppression Ruling Reversed

06/08/2016
People v. Avinger: The Second Department held that the People had failed to identify any exigency justifying a warrantless entry.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reverses Conviction Because of Trial Attorney's Ineffectiveness

06/01/2016
People v. McCray: Citing trial counsel's elicitation of damaging testimony from the complainant, the court ordered a new trial.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Rejects People's Appeal

05/18/2016
People v. McElroy: The court affirmed a post-verdict ruling that reduced the defendant's conviction of second-degree assault to third-degree assault.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reverses Conviction, Dismisses Indictment

05/18/2016
People v. Chavez: The court held that the jury's verdict convicting the defendant of second-degree gang assault was against the weight of the evidence.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Conviction Reversed Because of Batson Violation

05/11/2016
People v. Jones: The Court ordered a new trial on the top count of second-degree assault.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Finds Burglary Sentence Excessive, Orders New Trial on Lesser Counts

05/11/2016
People v. Jackson: The Court reduced the defendant's sentence from 15 to 10 years.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Court of Appeals Orders New Trial in Gang Assault Case

03/29/2016
People v. Cedeno: The Court reversed the defendant's conviction because of a Bruton error.     READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave Granted to Address "Prompt Outcry" Issue

03/08/2016

Appellant Nirun Honghirun was convicted of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree.  On appeal to the Appellate Division, Second Department, Appellate Advocates argued that testimony from three witnesses did not fall within the scope of the "prompt outcry" exception to the hearsay rule, but the Second Department affirmed the conviction.  Appellate Advocates asked the Court of Appeals to grant leave to determine whether defense counsel was ineffective for, inter alia, failing to argue that certain testimony introduced at trial did not constitute "prompt outcry" evidence.  Associate Judge Eugene M. Fahey granted the application.

Patricia Pazner of Appellate Advocates represented Mr. Honghirun in the Second Department, filed his leave application, and will continue to represent him in the Court of Appeals.  

 

 
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Court of Appeals Grants Leave in Assault Case

02/24/2016

In December of 2012, appellant Lanze Mason was convicted of assault in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.  The Appellate Division, Second Department, unanimously affirmed his conviction in October of 2015.  

In an application to Associate Judge Eugene M. Fahey of the Court of Appeals, Appellate Advocates asked the Court to grant leave for two reasons: (1) to decide whether a court commits a mode of proceedings error when it provides false information to potential jurors, designed to dissuade them from disclosing that they may be unqualified to serve on the jury; and (2) to clarify whether the determination of the level of force used in a justification defense (ordinary physical force or deadly physical force) should be decided by the court as a matter of law, or relegated to the jury’s consideration as a question of fact.  On February 24, 2016, Judge Fahey granted the leave application.

Shanda Sibley of Appellate Advocates represented Mr. Mason in the Second Department, filed the leave application on his behalf, and will continue to represent him in the Court of Appeals.   

 

 
Decisions

Court of Appeals Reverses Conviction, Suppresses Evidence

02/23/2016
People v. Sanders: The Court of Appeals reversed the defendant's conviction of criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Court of Appeals Reverses Predicate Felony Adjudication

02/11/2016
People v. Thompson:  The Court of Appeals held that appellant had been improperly adjudicated a second violent felony offender.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Case Remanded for Youthful Offender Consideration

01/20/2016
People v. Eric P.: The lower court erred in failing to make a record as to why it did not adjudicate appellant a youthful offender.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Court Orders New Trial Because of Improper Miranda Preamble

01/20/2016
People v. Marino: The Second Department held that the lower court should have suppressed the defendant's videotaped statement.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Relief Granted for Client in Robbery Case

12/29/2015
People v. Rose: The Appellate Division, Second Department, modified appellant's conviction, vacated his sentence, and remanded the case for resentencing.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department: Robbery Sentence Was Exessive

12/22/2015
People v. Stevens: The Second Department reduced appellant's sentence by 5 years.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Dismisses Indictment Because of Illegal Search

12/22/2015
People v. Graham: The gun and drugs recovered from the defendant should have been suppressed.     READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Court of Appeals Grants Leave on Search Issue

12/16/2015

The police entered what appeared to be a single family home, went to the second floor, and arrested appellant Sean Garvin in a doorway.  The building was a two-family home, and the doorway where appellant was arrested was at the threshold of his apartment, but the People did not introduce evidence at the suppression hearing establishing that the police knew the building was a two-family home at the time of the arrest.  The trial court denied Mr. Garvin's motion to suppress the evidence, and he was convicted of robbery in the third degree (four counts) and attempted robbery in the third degree.  

The Second Department affirmed the denial of the suppression motion, but Justice Hall dissented because “the People failed to show that the police entry into the building where the defendant lived was lawful” and subsequently granted Mr. Garvin's application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals.

Tammy Linn, who briefed and argued Mr. Garvin's case in the Appellate Division, will continue to represent him in the Court of Appeals.  

 
Decisions

Case Remanded for Youthful Offender Determination

12/16/2015
People v. Lormil: The trial court erred in failing to make a determination regarding whether the defendant should have been granted a youthful offender adjudication.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Trial Court Erred Regarding Appellant's Predicate Status

12/16/2015
People v. Mitchell: The Appellate Division, Second Department, remanded the case so that the defendant can be sentenced as a first-time felony offender.     READ MORE >
Decisions

New Trial Ordered in Manslaughter Case

12/09/2015
People v. Austin: The trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury regarding justification.     READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave Granted on Parolee Search Issue

12/02/2015

On December 2, 2015, Judge Stein of the Court of Appeals granted a leave application in People v. Everett McMillan.  The issue on which leave was granted concerns the Fourth Amendment rights of parolees, a question last addressed at length in People v. Huntley, 43 N.Y.2d 175 (1977).  

Alex Donn is representing Mr. McMillan in the Court of Appeals.  

 
Decisions

Court Holds That Sentence Was Improperly Enhanced

11/19/2015
People v. Carrasquillo:  The Second Department remanded the case for imposition of the sentence that had been originally promised.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Holds Search Unlawful

11/19/2015
People v. Scott: The Second Department dismissed appellant's conviction of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Dismisses Gun and Drug Charges

11/19/2015
People v. Brown: The Second Department held that the People failed to prove that appellant constructively possessed the contraband that was found inside an apartment where he was arrested.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department: Court Erred in Denying Intoxication Charge Request

11/12/2015
People v. Goldring:  The Second Department reversed appellant's conviction and ordered a new trial.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Indictment Dismissed in Gun Case

11/09/2015
People v. Clermont: The Appellate Division, Second Department, held that the police lacked reasonable suspicion to chase the defendant.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Halves Client's Sentence

10/27/2015
People v. Gordon: The Second Department reduced Mr. Gordon's aggregate sentence from 24 to 12 years.     READ MORE >
Decisions

New Trial Ordered in Burglary Case

10/27/2015
People v. Velez: The trial court erred in refusing to deliver an intoxication charge.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reduces Sentence

10/07/2015

Appellate Advocates client Francisco Saaverda had been sentenced to 15 years of incarceration after pleading guilty to second-degree burglary in Queens.  On October 7, 2015, the Second Department reduced his sentence to 8 years.  

Lynn W. L. Fahey briefed and argued the case.  

 
Decisions

Disorderly Conduct Conviction Dismissed

09/17/2015
People v. Welch: The Appellate Term held that the evidence was insufficient to meet the People's burden.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Client's Sentence Reduced by 7 Years

08/26/2015
People v. Adamson: The Second Department held the the sentences for assault should run concurrently with each other.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reverses Conviction After Reargument

08/26/2015
People v. Pena:  The Appellate Division, Second Department, granted appellant's reargument motion, reversed his assault and robbery convictions, and remanded the case for a new trial to be preceded by an independent source hearing.     READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave to Appeal Granted to Address Hearsay Issue

08/25/2015

The defendant was charged with first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree sex abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child based on accusations made by a young girl's parents.  The trial court ruled that the girl was qualified to give unsworn testimony, even though she never uttered a single complete sentence or even a coherent fragment. The jury acquitted appellant of criminal sexual act, but convicted him of sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.  The Second Department affirmed the conviction, holding that the child’s statements “were not erroneously admitted into evidence under the excited utterance” exception.    

In her leave application to the Court of Appeals, Anna Pervukhin asked the Court to determine whether, if a very young child lacks the capacity to give even  unsworn testimony, a witness can testify as to her out-of-court words or describe and interpret her out-of-court gestures.  Judge Pigott granted leave on August 14, 2015.  

Ms. Pervukhin will continue to represent the defendant in the Court of Appeals.  

 
Decisions

Sentence Reduced by Second Department

07/29/2015
People v. Johnakin: The Second Department held that the initial sentence was excessive.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reverses Sentence

08/07/2015
People v. Dawkins: The Second Department vacated the defendant's sentence and remitted the case for a new sentencing determination.     READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Court of Appeals Grants Leave on Prison Garb Issue

08/05/2015

For the first day of jury selection, Appellate Advocates client Rafael Then appeared in orange prison-issued pants in front of the entire voir dire panel.  The Appellate Division held that this was “not an error so egregious as to deprive the defendant of his right to a fair trial” and affirmed Mr. Then's conviction of robbery in the first and second degrees.  Appellate Advocates asked the Court of Appeals to determine whether harmless error analysis should apply to a defendant’s forced appearance before the jury in prison-issued clothing.  Judge Eugene M. Fahey granted the leave application.  

Allegra Glashausser of Appellate Advocates represented Mr. Then in the Appellate Division.  

 
Decisions

Court of Appeals Grants Leave on Social Media Question

08/05/2015

At the jury trial of Appellate Advocates client Chris Price, defense counsel objected to the admission of a photo found on a social media website that showed Mr. Price holding a gun.  Counsel contended that the People had not laid a proper foundation for the admission of the photo.  The photo was allowed into evidence, Mr. Price was convicted of robbery in the first and second degrees, and the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the conviction.  

Appellate Advocates asked the Court of Appeals to hear the case in order to address, inter alia, the authentication requirements for photographs on social networking websites.  Judge Eugene M. Fahey granted the leave application.  

Tammy Linn of Appellate Advocates represented Mr. Price in the Appellate Division and will continue to represent him in the Court of Appeals.  

 
Decisions

Appellate Division Dismisses Robbery and Assault Charges

07/29/2015
People v. Torres:  The Second Department held that there was insufficient evidence of a forcible taking.     READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Court of Appeals to Hear Case on Harmless Error Analysis

07/24/2015

Two days after a knifepoint subway robbery in Queens, the complainant saw appellant Anthony Romero in Brooklyn and, believing he was the robber, called 911.  After a show-up identification, Mr. Romero was arrested.  At the precinct, a detective improperly elicited a statement from Mr. Romero in violation of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), and he was convicted of first-degree robbery.  The Appellate Division agreed that the statement should have been suppressed, but held that the error was harmless.  Its decision did not identify any factors that it considered in making its harmlessness determination.

In our application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals, Appellate Advocates asked the Court to announce the factors that the Appellate Division must consider when deeming improperly-admitted confessions harmless.  

Patty Pazner of Appellate Advocates represented Mr. Romero in the Appellate Division and will continue to represent him in the Court of Appeals.  

 
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Dissenting Appellate Division Justice Grants Leave in Murder Case

07/16/2015

On April 29, 2015, the Appellate Division affirmed the conviction of Appellate Advocates client Prince Clark in a 3-2 decision.  On June 29, 2015, dissenting Justice Robert J. Miller granted leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals.

De Nice Powell briefed the case in the Appellate Division and will continue to represent Mr. Clark in the Court of Appeals.  

 

 
Decisions

New Trial Ordered in Murder Case

07/16/2015
People v. Irving:  The Second Department held that the lower court erred in refusing to charge a justification charge.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Dismisses Assault and Burglary Convictions

07/16/2015
People v. Samuels:  The Court held that appellant's assault convictions were against the weight of the evidence and that the People failed to prove the elements of burglary that were charged to the jury.     READ MORE >
Decisions

New Trial in Robbery Case Because of Jury Note Error

07/02/2015

People v. Wiggs: Appellant’s conviction for second-degree robbery was reversed because, before taking the jury's verdict, the court failed to give counsel notice of a jury note requesting a readback of alibi testimony. 

  READ MORE >
Decisions

Robbery Conviction Reversed Because of Suggestive Showup

07/02/2015

People v. Buckery: The defendant’s robbery conviction was reversed and remanded for a new trial because the pre-trial showup identification was unduly suggestive. 

  READ MORE >
Decisions

Resentencing Reversed Because of Post-Release Supervision Error

06/25/2015
People v. Battee: The Second Department remanded the case to the trial court for a PRS determination.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department: Robbery Sentence Was Excessive

06/25/15
People v. Boone: The Appellate Division, Second Department, reduced appellant's aggregate sentence from 25 years to 15.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Leave Granted on Charge Issue

06/24/2015

On June 8, 2012, Omar Smalling was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees and tampering with physical evidence.  The Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the conviction on March 11, 2015.  Appellate Advocates filed an application for leave to appeal the case to the Court of Appeals, asking the Court to consider whether it was error for the trial court to provide a supplemental charge on constructive possession, specifically instructing the jury that “two or more individuals can jointly have property in their possession,” where the People’s exclusive theory of the case was that appellant alone physically possessed and fired the gun. Judge Eugene M. Fahey granted the leave application.  

Kathleen Whooley represented Mr. Smalling in the Appellate Division.

 
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Court of Appeals Grants Leave to Address Prosecutor's Use of PowerPoint in Summation

06/19/2015

In 2011, Appellate Advocates client Leonard Williams was convicted of burglary in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, and assault in the second degree.  On December 31, 2014, the Appellate Division, Second Department, unanimously affirmed the conviction.  Appellate Advocates sought leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals, contending that the case raised important questions related to the propriety of  a prosecutor's use of a PowerPoint presentation during summation.  On June 19, 2015, Judge Eugene F. Pigott, Jr., granted the leave application.   

Alex Donn of Appellate Advocates represented Mr. Williams in the Appellate Division and will continue to represent him in the Court of Appeals.  

 
Decisions

New Trial Ordered In Robbery Case

06/10/2015

People v. Pride: The defendant’s conviction of first-degree robbery (2 counts) was reversed because the court failed to conduct an independent source hearing after suppressing a suggestive lineup.  

  READ MORE >
Decisions

Robbery Conviction Reversed

06/10/2015
People v. Brown: The defendant’s conviction was reversed and sent back for a new trial because the court failed to follow the O’Rama protocol in responding to a jury note indicating that an impasse had been reached.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Client's Sentence Reduced by Half

05/27/2015
People v. Etheridge: The Second Department held that the previous sentence, imposed after a probation violation, was excessive.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Count Dismissed and New Trial Ordered in Burglary Case

05/27/2015
People v. Rivera: The Second Department suppressed the defendant's statement because of a Miranda violation and ordered a new trial.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Conviction Reversed Because of Jury Selection Error

05/27/2015
People v. Grant: Defense counsel had legitimate reasons for striking juror.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Indictment Dismissed Because of Delayed Prosecution

05/272015
People v. AllardThe defendant’s conviction of menacing as a hate crime was reversed, and the indictment dismissed, because the People failed to bring the case to trial in the time allotted to them under the speedy trial statute.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department: Mistake to Grant Upward Departure

05/27/2015
People v. Perkins:  Appellate court reverses defendant’s designation as a level three (high risk) sex offender and designates him a level two (moderate risk) offender.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division: Only One SORA Adjudication Permitted Per "Current Offense"

05/20/2015
People v. Cook: Second Department reverses SORA adjudication in unusual case involving two SORA adjudications in different counties.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reverses Conviction on 75 Sexual Misconduct Counts

05/14/2015

People v. Singh: The defendant’s conviction on 73 counts was dismissed as duplicitous or against the weight of the evidence, and a new trial was ordered on the remaining two counts because of prosecutorial misconduct during summation.

  READ MORE >
Miscellaneous

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Cert Petition in Queens Booking Cases

05/14/2015

On Monday, May 4, 2015, the United States Supreme Court declined to reconsider the Court of Appeals's favorable decision in People v. Dunbar and People v. Lloyd-Douglas, the cases arising out of the Queens Booking Interview Program.  

Allegra Glashausser and Leila Hull successfully argued the case in the Court of Appeals and opposed the petition for certiorari.  

 
Decisions

In 3-2 Split, Two Second Department Judges Vote to Reverse Conviction in Murder Case

04/29/2015
People v. Clark: Dissenting judges say that justification defense should have been charged to the jury.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Modifies Predicate Felony Adjudication

04/30/2015
People v. Millazzo: The defendant's case will be remanded to the trial court for resentencing.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Conviction Reversed Because of Improper Police Search at Hospital

04/30/2015

People v. Salvodon: The defendant’s conviction of first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, and lesser charges, was reversed, evidence was suppressed, and a new trial was ordered.

  READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Finds Document Inadmissible as "Business Record" and Orders New Trial in Grand Larceny Case

04/30/2015
People v. Cordova:  Court reverses convictions of grand larceny in the third degree and falsifying business records.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Murder Conviction Reversed for Prosecutorial Misconduct

04/30/2015
People v. Martinez: The defendant’s conviction for second-degree murder was reversed and remanded for a new trial based on the prosecutor’s misconduct.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Burglary Conviction Reversed

04/22/2015
People v. Garnes: Counts dismissed because of merger doctrine and new trial ordered because of errors   READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Reverses First-Degree Robbery Conviction

04/22/2015
People v. Lowery:  Court should listen to lawyer, not defendant, regarding submission of lesser-included offenses   READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Court of Appeals Grants Leave on Batson Issue

04/08/2015
People v. Bridgeforth: Court of Appeals Judge Jenny Rivera grants leave on issues concerning discrimination during jury selection.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Top Court Orders New Trial in Homicide Case

04/07/2015
People v. Dubarry:  Court of Appeals reverses conviction and orders new trial for client serving 20-to-life for murder.     READ MORE >
Decisions

New Trial Ordered Because of Prosecutor's Misconduct

04/08/2015
People v. Rowley: The Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed the defendant's conviction of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree because the prosecutor committed misconduct while cross-examining the defendant and on summation.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Weapon Possession Conviction Reversed

4/08/2015

People v. Verni: The defendant’s conviction for second-degree weapon possession was reversed and sent back for a new trial because the court failed to submit a lesser-included offense of misdemeanor weapon possession to the jury. 

  READ MORE >
Decisions

Burglary Sentence Reduced

03/25/2015
READ MORE >
Decisions

Gun Conviction Vacated: Verdict Was Against Weight of the Evidence

3/25/2015
People v. Joyner: The Appellate Division, Second Department vacated Mr. Joyner’s conviction for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, finding the guilty verdict was against the weight of the evidence. Mr. Joyner will be released immediately.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Conviction Reversed for Improper Rebuttal

2/25/2015
People v. Yohance Crevelle:  The Appellate Division reversed Mr. Crevelle’s attempted second-degree murder conviction because of improper alibi rebuttal testimony   READ MORE >
Decisions

Court Upholds Dismissal of Top Count

2/25/2015

People v. Nayley Lazaro: The Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s post-verdict dismissal of attempted first-degree assault

  READ MORE >
Decisions

Divided Court Upholds Conviction Despite Anonymous Testimony

2/18/2015

People v. Ricardo Ricketts 

  READ MORE >
Decisions

Court Should Have Excused Three Jurors Who Could Not Be Fair

2/18/2015

People v. Nicholas Reyes

  READ MORE >
Decisions

Sentence Reduced

02/11/2015
People v. Rommel Mitchell   READ MORE >
Decisions

Split Panel Upholds Robbery Conviction

02/02/2015
People v. Louis Speaks   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Suppresses Evidence

11/26/2014
People v. Alston: The Appelalte Division suppressed evidence found during a search at a hospital, finding that Mr. Alston, a victim, retained a reasonable expectation of privacy in his property at the hospital and his ambiguous statement to the officer was not consent to search.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Court of Appeals Reverses Second-Degree Murder Conviction

11/24/2014

People v. Pamela Hanson: Court of Appeals reversed a second-degree murder conviction because the trial judge failed to respond to two of the jury’s notes during deliberation. 

  READ MORE >
Decisions

Conviction Reversed: Defendant Denied his Right to a Speedy Trial

11/2/2014

People v. Nnamdi Clarke: The Appellate Division held that Mr. Clarke’s right to a speedy trial was denied because “the People failed to exercise due diligence in obtaining the DNA sample” from Mr. Clarke, the more than 5 months between the taking of the oral swab in June 2009 and the obtaining of the results in November 2009 was chargeable to the People. 

  READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Concurring Justice Grants Leave in Gun Possession Case

10/21/2014
People v. Sean John: The Appellate Division affirmed Mr. John’s conviction of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree menacing, finding that police lawfully opened and seized a gun box without a warrant from a shared basement under the “plain view” doctrine. The judge who wrote a concurring opinion granted leave to the Court of Appeals.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Burglary Conviction Dismissed

10/08/2014
People v. Nathaniel Issac: Insufficient evidence to convict Mr. Issac of burglary and criminal mischief.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Resentencing Ordered

10/1/2014

People v. Durant: The Appellate Division vacated Mr. Durant’s adjudication as a second violent felony offender and ordered resentencing. 

  READ MORE >
Decisions

Divided Panel Orders a New Trial in Second-Degree Burglary Case

9/24/2014
People v. Delvillatron: Police had no probable cause to arrest Mr. Delvillatron so the statement he made to officers had to be suppressed. Consequently, the Appellate Division reversed his conviction.    READ MORE >
Miscellaneous

Court of Appeals Argument: Is the Queens Pre-Arraignment Interrogation Program Unconstitutional?

09/19/2014

In 2007, the Queens County District Attorney began a pre-arraignment interrogation program in which thousands of uncounseled defendants were questioned by district attorneys in Central Booking immediately prior to their arraignments. Jermaine Dunbar, Collin Lloyd-Douglas and Eugene Polhill were three of those thousands.  In each case, members of the Queens District Attorney’s office read the defendants a set script before reading their Miranda rights. 

Thursday, the Court of Appeals heard argument about the constitutionality of the Queens Central Booking pre-arraignment interrogation program.

  READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave Granted for Grand Jury & Sentencing Issues

09/08/2014
People v. Samuel Small: On December 13, 2013, the Appellate Division affirmed Mr. Small’s burglary conviction. On August 8, 2014, Judge Smith granted leave.   READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave Granted: Court of Appeals to Review Whether Counsel Ineffective in Child Sex Abuse Case

09/03/2014
People v. Nugene Ambers: The Court of Appeals granted leave to review whether counsel was ineffective for failing to seek dismissal of time-barred misdemeanor counts and failing to object to clearly improper summation misconduct.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Split Appellate Panel Declines to Find Counsel Ineffective in Murder Trial

08/27/2014
People v. Casseus: Over dissent, the Appellate Division found counsel’s failure to request submission of first-degree manslaughter as a lesser-included offense of intentional murder was not ineffective.   READ MORE >
Decisions

New Trials In Two Cases: Judges Failed to Show Jury Notes to Counsel

08/27/2014

In both People v. Sydoriak and People v. Morris, the Appellate Division ordered new trials because of the failure of the trial judge in each case to read the lawyers the contents of jury notes before responding to the notes. 

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Decisions

Assault Conviction Reduced in Interest of Justice

8/20/2014

People v. Ragguete: The Appellate Division reduced Mr. Ragguete’s first-degree assault conviction to attempted first-degree assault because the People failed to establish that the complainant had been seriously physically injured. 

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Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave Granted: Court to Review Jury Selection and Submission of Time-Barred Count

08/02/2014
People v. Davon Harris: The Court of Appeals will review two issues, 1) whether the court denied Mr. Harris his right to a fair and impartial jury, and 2) whether defense counsel was ineffective for failing to seek dismissal of a time-barred count.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Counsel Ineffective For Not Requesting Affirmative Defense

7/30/2014
People v. Charles Collins: In this first-degree robbery case, the Appellate Division found that Mr. Collins's counsel was ineffective for not requesting the affirmative defense that Mr. Collins did not have a loaded and operable firearm during the robbery. The court reduced Mr. Collins's conviction to second-degree robbery and sent his case back for resentencing.    READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Dissenting Judge Grants Leave in Bribery Case

07/10/2014
People v. Dupree Harris: Justice Miller, the dissenting judge in the Appellate Division, granted leave to the Court of Appeals in this complicated case, which raises the issue of when evidence of uncharged crimes may be admitted at trial.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Insufficient Evidence for Second-Degree Robbery Conviction

7/09/2014

People v. Boney: Because of insufficient evidence that the complainant suffered a physical injury during a robbery, the Appellate Division reduced Mr. Boney’s conviction of second-degree robbery to third-degree robbery. The case was sent back for resentencing on all counts. 

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Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave Granted: Court of Appeals to Review Whether Hearing Required on Resentencing Motion Under 2009 Drug Law Reform Act

7/8/2014
Judge Read granted leave to appeal People v. Ally Golo to the Court of Appeals, which concerns whether a defendant who is eligible for resentencing under the 2009 Drug Law Reform Act is categorically entitled to a hearing.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Defendant Deprived of his Right to Testify Before Grand Jury Vote

07/03/2014

People v. Motion Ellison: The Appellate Division dismissed Mr. Ellison's indictment because he was deprived of his right to testify before the grand jury prior to its vote on the indictment.  

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Decisions

Sentence Illegal Because No Evidence of "Hate Crimes"

7/2/2014

People v. Quanel Miller: Mr. Miller's case was sent back for a resentencing because the court sentenced him for committing hate crimes, when the evidence did not show his crimes were motivated by ethnicity or age.

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Decisions

Conviction Reversed and Indictment Dismissed in "Shaken Baby" Case

07/02/2014
People v. Robinson:  The Appellate Division reversed and dismissed Ms. Robinson’s child endangerment conviction, finding that the lower court erred by allowing the People to introduce improper rebuttal testimony and that the evidence was insufficient to prove her intent.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Reversal for Failure to Question Unqualified Juror

7/2/2014

People v. Dewayne Henry:  In a unanimous decision, the Appellate Division, Second Department, held that the trial court deprived Mr. Henry and his co-defendant of a fair trial by refusing to question a juror about an apparent bias. 

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Decisions

Defendant Can Vacate Plea

7/2/2014
People v. Farquan Griffin: When Mr. Griffin pled guilty, he understood that his sentence would run concurrently to a sentence he was already serving on another conviction. The other conviction, however, was subsequently reversed. The Appellate Division held Mr. Griffin should have the opportunity to vacate his plea.     READ MORE >
Decisions

Evidence of Depraved Indifference During High-Speed Chase Insufficient

7/1/2014

People v. Jose Maldonado: The Court of Appeals reversed Mr. Maldonado's conviction for depraved indifference murder and reduced it to second-degree manslaughter because of insufficient evidence.

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Decisions

Failure to Prepare Expert Was Ineffective

6/25/2014
People v. Wayne Henderson: In a unanimous decision, the Second Department held that counsel was ineffective for not disclosing the material information to an expert, whose testimony was essential to the diminished capacity defense.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Burglary and Robbery Sentence Reduced

6/18/2014
People v. Jared Ojeda: Sentence reduced.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Reverses Lower Court’s Denial of Client’s Pro Se Sentencing Motion

06/18/2014
People v. Derrick Michael:  The Appellate Division held that the lower court erred in denying Mr. Michael’s pro se motion, pursuant to C.P.L. 440.20, to set aside his sentence   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Reverses Gun Conviction

6/18/2014
People v. Tausheba Thompson:  The Appellate Division held that the lower court erred in denying defense counsel’s motion to suppress a loaded gun that was found in Mr. Thompson’s backpack.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Court of Appeals: Violation of Defendant’s Right to be Present During a Supplemental Jury Instruction

6/10/2014

People v. Anner Rivera:

In a split 4-3 decision, the Court of Appeals held that Mr. Rivera's absence while the court answered a juror’s questions violated his fundamental constitutional right to be present at all material stages of his trial.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Reduces Robbery Sentence by 5 years

6/11/2014
People v. Freddie Thompson: The Appellate Division reduced Mr. Thompson’s sentence from 20 to 15 years.    READ MORE >
Decisions

New Trial Ordered Because of Court's Confusing Charge

6/4/2014
People v. Narindat Jagdharry: Because the court bundled different counts together when charging the jury, the Appellate Division ordered a new trial for Mr. Jadharry.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Vacates Conviction for First-Degree Assault

5/28/2014

People v. Jonathan Frazier: The Appellate Division vacated Mr. Frazier's first-degree assault conviction because the People did not prove he caused the victim's injuries.

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Decisions

Appellate Division Reduces Robbery Sentence By 30 Years

5/28/2014

People v. Leroy Currie:  Finding Mr. Currie's five consecutive 20-year sentences excessive, the Appellate Division reduced his sentence by 30 years. 

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Miscellaneous

Constitutional Challenge to Sexual Assault Reform Act

05/27/2014
The Sexual Assault Reform Act (“SARA”) prohibits all level three sex offenders and all sex offenders whose victim was under 18 years old from knowingly going within 1,000 feet of any school or other facility that primarily serves children. SARA’s plain language restricts an offender’s movement. The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (“DOCCS”), however, has interpreted the statute to be a residency restriction.   READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave Granted: Court of Appeals to Review Sufficiency of Evidence in Manslaughter Conviction

4/21/2014

Judge Rivera granted leave to appeal People v. Hakim B. Scott to the Court of Appeals. The case raises two issues:

1.Was there sufficient evidence that Mr. Scott aided and abetted in a manslaughter when he did not cause the victim’s death?  

2. Was it error for the court to issue a supplemental jury instruction correcting the date of the alleged crime while Mr. Scott and his lawyer were out of the courtroom? 

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Decisions

Sentence Reduced for Second-Degree Weapon Possession.

05/21/2014
People v. Floyd Jarvis: Mr. Jarvis’s sentence of 6 years incarceration followed by 5 years of post-release supervision was reduced to 4 ½ years incarceration and 3 years or post-release supervision.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Split Appellate Panel Affirms Bribery Conviction Involving Molineux Challenge

05/14/2014
People v. Dupree Harris: Over a strong dissent, the Appellate Division found no error with the prosecutor’s introduction of evidence of an uncharged murder at defendant’s trial on bribery charges.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Second Department Affirms Suppression of Gun

05/14/2014

People v. Nichols: Weapon correctly suppressed because the police did not have reasonable suspicion to search Nichols's backpack.

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Decisions

Murder Conviction Reversed Due to Prosecutor's Misconduct

05/12/2014
People v. Lloyd: In a 3-1 decision, the Second Department reversed Mr. Lloyd’s conviction because he had been deprived of a fair trial by the prosecutor’s improper suggestion that a non-testifying witness had identified him shortly after the incident.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Weapon Conviction Reversed Due to Police Misconduct

04/23/2014
People v. Shomari Laviscount:  The Appellate Division suppressed a weapon and dismissed the indictment because the police improperly approached appellant’s car, shined a flashlight inside, and ordered him and his passenger out of the car.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Appellate Division Vacates Conviction for Gun Possession as Against the Weight of the Credible Evidence

4/9/2014

People v. Dejuan Battle: Weapon possession conviction reversed because of doubts about the credibility of the police officers that they saw Mr. Battle throw a gun under a car when a civilian witness testified she saw someone else leave the gun there. 

 

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Decisions

440 Motion Denial on Procedural Grounds Reversed

04/09/2014
People v. Raymond Mentor: The Appellate Division reversed the trial court's denial of defendant's 440 motion on procedural grounds.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Conviction Reversed Due to Judge’s Mischaracterization of Jury Note

04/02/2014
People v. Sebastian Giraldo:  The Appellate Division reversed a weapons possession conviction where a jury note suggested a fundamental misunderstanding of the law that the court, in summarizing the note, failed to make clear to counsel.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Sentence Reduction

03/26/2014
READ MORE >
Decisions

Consecutive sentences on two attempted burglary convictions vacated

03/19/2014
People v. Jaquan Moore:  The Appellate Divison vacated consecutive sentences on two attempted burglary convictions.    READ MORE >
Decisions

Reversal: Burglary Conviction with 16 year Sentence Dismissed Because of Insufficient Proof

03/19/2014
In People v. Mujaahid Taufiq, the Appellate Division reversed Mr. Taufiq's burglary conviction, dismissing that count of the indictment, because there was insufficient evidence of his guilt.   READ MORE >
Decisions

Reversal and Sentence Reduction: 12 year robbery sentence reduced to 6 years

03/12/2014
People v. Patrick Harris: The Appellate Division reduced Mr. Harris's sentence for second-degree robbery from 12 years' incarceration to 6 years' incarceration.    READ MORE >
Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave Granted: Judge’s failure to respond to jury notes to have Court of Appeals review

August 2013
The Court of Appeals granted leave to review the affirmance of Appellate Advocate client Pamela Hanson. The Court will review whether Ms. Hanson was deprived of a fair trial by the Supreme Court’s failure to respond to two jury notes.