Firm Files Petition with United States Supreme Court on Noteworthy CasePublished on December 12, 2019
Spolin Law has filed a petition in the United States Supreme Court, in Washington D.C., on a noteworthy case that implicates major Constitutional issues.
The October 2019 filing, termed a petition for writ of certiorari, seeks to have the court accept the case and overturn the conviction of the firm’s client, whose rights were violated in the course of his trial. If the court rules on the side of client, the decision will affect criminal defendants throughout the United States in both state and federal courts.
The primary issue presented to the United States Supreme Court was whether an attorney for a criminal defendant may subsequently represent a witness against his former client. The issue relates to the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. The Sixth Amendment, as interpreted by prior case law, guarantees criminal defendants the right to the “effective” assistance of a lawyer. An attorney whose representation falls below the standards articulated by the courts will be considered ineffective, thus violating the client’s Constitutional rights.
In the present case, a lawyer represented a criminal defendant while simultaneously representing a witness who was slated to testify against the defendant. Once the lawyer realized that he was representing both parties, he withdrew from representation of the defendant but continued to represent the witness. By that time the attorney had received hundreds of pages of discovery and had numerous confidential conversations with the defendant, including material that the witness could have used to conform his testimony to other evidence in order to make it more believable. The witness—a convict himself—had agreed to testify against the defendant in exchange for the prosecution’s dismissal of a separate attempted murder charge against the witness.
Aaron Spolin, who is admitted to practice in front of the United States Supreme Court, submitted the petition and is the primary attorney on the case.
To contact the firm about a criminal appeals or post-conviction matter, call us at (310) 424-5816.
Spolin Law’s Firm Manager, Dionne A. Parker, Wins the 2019 Client Service AwardPublished on December 5, 2019
Dionne A. Parker, Spolin Law P.C.’s law firm manager, has won the firm’s 2019 Client Service Award. The award, which comes with a $300 cash prize, was created to recognize members of the Spolin Law team who go above and beyond in their efforts to serve clients.
Numerous clients and other firm members have specifically singled out Ms. Parker for praise over the course of the past year. While she has a difficult workload—operating the administrative nerve center of the firm—she strives to make sure that each client knows how important his or her case is to the firm. This includes returning phone calls promptly, providing relevant case documents, communicating with court clerks and other agencies, and carrying out whatever other steps are necessary to assist the lawyers assigned to the case.
While Ms. Parker serves solely in a non-legal capacity at Spolin Law, she also happens to be a licensed attorney admitted to the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and United States Supreme Court bars.
Prior to joining Spolin Law, Ms. Parker served as an attorney at a prominent Washington D.C. law firm. She was also the Associate General Counsel for the National Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, an international nonprofit organization.
If you would like to nominate a firm member for the 2020 Client Service Award, please contact us via phone or email.