Robert Helfend

Defense Attorney in Los Angeles

1,622 notes

aljazeeraamerica:

Three students charged with hate crimes at California college

Three university students in California accused of taunting their black roommate with racial slurs and references to slavery, once trying to clamp a bicycle lock on his neck, have been charged with hate crimes in an incident that has roiled the campus.
The three freshmen have also been suspended from their school, San Jose State University, in Northern California, east of the tech hub of Silicon Valley, where student protests erupted this week after the accusations came to light.
A fourth student was suspended Friday in connection with the incidents.

Read more
Photo: Karl Mondon/AP

aljazeeraamerica:

Three students charged with hate crimes at California college

Three university students in California accused of taunting their black roommate with racial slurs and references to slavery, once trying to clamp a bicycle lock on his neck, have been charged with hate crimes in an incident that has roiled the campus.

The three freshmen have also been suspended from their school, San Jose State University, in Northern California, east of the tech hub of Silicon Valley, where student protests erupted this week after the accusations came to light.

A fourth student was suspended Friday in connection with the incidents.

Read more

Photo: Karl Mondon/AP

67 notes

16 B - Solutions

thecriminallawyer:

CONTINUED FROM 16 A - Which discussed the problems of overcriminalization, regulatory crimes and strict liability offenses.  

Now Part B summarizes the history of how the law got this way, and perhaps offers some solutions.

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43 notes

Wis. judges on 7th Circuit uphold jail booking fee, over strong dissent - JSOnline

letterstomycountry:

From the article:

A federal appeals court decision by two Wisconsin judges that it’s OK for an Illinois jail to charge every arrested person a $30 booking fee was blasted by a third dissenting judge who compared the practice to something from “Alice in Wonderland” or “1984.”

This is an excellent example of a court abusing the doctrine of Standing to uphold a law that is unconstitutional on its face.  The majority engages in a long and completely irrelevant analysis of the Standing doctrine, followed by a Kafkaesque analysis of the Plaintiff’s procedural due process claim that manages to completely miss the point at every turn.  As Judge Hamilton says in his dissent:

This should be a simple case.  The village’s booking fee ordinance is unconstitutional on its face.  It takes property from all arrestees—the guilty and the innocent alike—without due process of law. The deprivation occurs at the time of arrest, immediately and finally.  It occurs based on only the say-so and perhaps even the whim of one arresting officer. By no stretch of the imagination can that be due process of law.  The fee is in substance a criminal fine, modest but a fine nonetheless, and it is imposed regardless of the validity of the arrest and regardless of whether there is any criminal prosecution or what its outcome might be.

This is how blatantly unconstitutional laws get upheld in the courts.  Overly technical judges place form over substance to reach legally absurd results. The Standing doctrine  is supposed to be used to prevent the courts from being flooded with claims asserted by people who haven’t actually suffered a legal injury.  It certainly doesn’t apply when the Plaintiff is challenging a facially unconstitutional law, which would be invalid when applied to the innocent and guilty alike.  So the fact that the Plaintiff pled guilty to the crime he was arrested for is completely irrelevant to the constitutionality of the law.  The 7th Circuit majority in this case missed the forest through the trees.

(via priceofliberty)

582 notes

thinksquad:

Detroit— If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.
Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.
“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.
Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.
“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.
“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”
Craig’s statements Thursday echoed those he made Dec. 19 on “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR (760 AM), when he said: “There’s a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction. I learned that real quick in the state of Maine.”
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140103/METRO01/301030038#ixzz2pMBbduzx

thinksquad:

Detroit— If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.

Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.

Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.

“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.

“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

Craig’s statements Thursday echoed those he made Dec. 19 on “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR (760 AM), when he said: “There’s a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction. I learned that real quick in the state of Maine.”

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140103/METRO01/301030038#ixzz2pMBbduzx

(via priceofliberty)

11 notes

Carlos Montes Court Case Ends in Victory!

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

Los Angeles, CA - On June 5, 2012 Carlos Montes’ criminal court prosecution ended in a victory for Carlos and the movement.

Carlos Montes’ home was raided on May 17, 2011, by the combined forces of the LA County Sheriff’s Swat Team and the FBI, by crashing his door down at 5:00 a.m., with automatic assault rifles drawn, almost killing him. He was charged with 6 serious felonies with a possible jail time of up to 18 years.

With local and national support, via solidarity protests, call-in campaigns to President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Holder, local rallies and protests, and an offensive legal strategy, two felonies were dropped - this was a first partial victory. However the District Attorney still stated that they wanted Montes to do at least 5 years in state prison for the 4 felony charges remaining.

The local and national Committees to Stop FBI Repression launched a petition drive and a “Call the D.A.” campaign, with phone banking and a robo call by Carlos to over 4 000 supporters, urging folks to call District Attorney Steve Cooley. The D.A.’s office was flooded with calls and letters.

Montes’ attorney made several motions to get charges dropped on various grounds, but the Los Angeles Superior Court judge rejected them. Preparations were made for a trial, knowing well the state judicial system is not ‘fair and impartial.’ Montes and his attorney Jorge Gonzalez got widespread support and media coverage including in the Democracy Now TV show, La Opinion and the Guardian UK newspaper.

The local D.A. on the case then sought for a resolution and proposed to drop three additional felonies, if Carlos pled “no contest” to one count of perjury. This proposal included no jail time, three years of probation and community service. Under advice from supporters, friends and his attorney Montes moved forward with this proposal.

This is a victory for Carlos Montes and the movement against police political repression. A trial had the danger of him being convicted of four felonies with jail time and the additional old felony - a total of 5 felonies. At this point Carlos is out of jail, will continue to organize against repression, for public education, against U.S.-led wars and for immigrant rights. He is already planning to attend the protest at the Republican National Convention on August 27, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.

Next steps: The local committee with supporters and rank-and-file members of SEIU 721 will hold a victory party to thank everyone who worked on this campaign and to help pay off legal expenses. It is set for Saturday, June 23, 7:00 p.m. Details will follow.

Carlos wants to thank all the people, organizations, unions and community people who worked and supported him in this struggle against police/political repression.

The struggle continues to defend the 23 other anti-war and international solidarity activists who are STILL under an FBI investigation for showing solidarity with the oppressed people of the world, especially the Palestinian and Colombian people. Stay updated via: www.stopfbi.net!

(via cholactivists)

42 notes

latimes:

Suing over employment let-downsIt’s hard out there for most people to find a job - but going so far as to sue your law school for making it appear like success was easy to find? That’s what Southwestern Law School alumni are up to, having filed against the school for working in hourly jobs when they dreamed of six-figure salaries.
Take a look at the story of one of the students taking their alma mater to court:

Michael D. Lieberman [pictured above] decided to enroll at Southwestern Law School after reading that 97% of its graduates were employed within nine months. He graduated in 2009, passed the bar on his first try but could not find a job as a lawyer. He worked for a while as a software tester, then a technical writer, and now serves as a field representative for an elected official.

Read the full story from reporter Maura Dolan.
Photo: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

latimes:

Suing over employment let-downs

It’s hard out there for most people to find a job - but going so far as to sue your law school for making it appear like success was easy to find? That’s what Southwestern Law School alumni are up to, having filed against the school for working in hourly jobs when they dreamed of six-figure salaries.

Take a look at the story of one of the students taking their alma mater to court:

Michael D. Lieberman [pictured above] decided to enroll at Southwestern Law School after reading that 97% of its graduates were employed within nine months. He graduated in 2009, passed the bar on his first try but could not find a job as a lawyer. He worked for a while as a software tester, then a technical writer, and now serves as a field representative for an elected official.

Read the full story from reporter Maura Dolan.

Photo: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

91 notes

LAPD Officers Punished For Not Meeting Ticket Quotas Win $5.9 Million Settlement

laliberty:

So these tax-leech bullies are given orders from their tax-leech bosses to reach a minimum amount of harassment against mostly peaceful people - ticket quotas that are against the law (but these tax-leeches are above the law, so why would that matter?). They fail to reach this minimum and are subsequently “punished” (lol). Then, these tax-leech bullies sue the city in response to the treatment by their tax-leech bosses. The tax-leech meddlers in the city council, in turn, settled with the tax-leech bullies to the tune of $5.9 million. And this was paid for, of course, by taxpayers.

So we pay for all these tax-leeches to harass us, we pay them to set minimum amounts of harassment which in turn we pay fees on, and now we pay for the consequences of their wrong-doing.

Aren’t government monopolies delightful? 

(Source: laliberty)