Notable Decisions and Other News

Decisions

Indictment Dismissed in Gun Case

November 9, 2015

In 2006, police officers approached Jocelyn Clermont because he was making “constant adjustments” to the right side of his waistband while walking at night in a neighborhood known for gang activity.  Mr. Clermont fled, throwing a gun to the ground.  Before the suppression hearing, defense counsel filed papers stating that he was “overwhelm[ed]” by his workload and did not have the resources to represent all of  his clients competently.  At the suppression hearing, he did not make any argument for suppression.  The court denied suppression, and Mr. Clermont was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees. 

The Second Department affirmed the conviction in 2012, but Justice Miller dissented and subsequently granted Appellate Advocates's application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals.  The Court of Appeals agreed that counsel had been ineffective at the suppression hearing and remanded the case to the trial court for “further proceedings on the suppression application."  After Appellate Advocates argued that the police lacked reasonable suspicion for chasing Mr. Clermont, the court denied suppression again.  

Appellate Advocates appealed.  On November 4, 2015, the Appellate Division, Second Department agreed that the police lacked reasonable suspicion for chasing Mr. Clermont, reversed the conviction, suppressed the gun, and dismissed the indictment.  

Allegra Glashausser briefed the case for Appellate Advocates, and Benjamin Litman argued the appeal in the Second Department.