NJ Dems hire criminal lawyer – New Jersey Globe – New Jersey Globe (press release) (blog)

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee has retained Gerald Krovatin, one of the state’s top criminal defense attorneys, to represent them in probes of the Murphy administration’s hiring practices, a state party source has confirmed.

Krovatin is expected to handle a series of document requests and other issues that involve the state committee.

Allegations of sexual assault against Al Alvarez, a former Murphy campaign official who held a top transition post and then joined the administration, have triggered a series of investigations: one by the Legislature, another by the Middlesex County prosecutor, and a third by the governor.  Murphy hired former state Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero to conduct an internal review.

The joint legislative committee formed to investigate the hiring of Al Alvarez said last week that Katie Brennan, who says Alvarez raped her during the 2017 Murphy campaign, will testify on December 4.

Krovatin represented Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer in 2014 after she alleged threats by the Christie administration to win her endorsement in the governor’s re-election campaign.

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Irish 'lawyer for the Palestinian people' arrested for drunk, racist rant … – The Jerusalem Post

An Air India Airbus A320neo plane takes off in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, December 13, 2017.

An Air India Airbus A320neo plane takes off in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, December 13, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/REGIS DUVIGNAU)

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An inebriated woman who claimed to be an international lawyer and pro-Palestinian activist was arrested after a racist, abusive rant aboard an Air India flight.
 
The woman was identified in The Times as Simone O’Broin, 50, from Belfast in Northern Ireland. A video of the incident posted on Twitter by Tarun Shukla, an aviation reporter for Economic Times Prime.
 
In the video, O’Broin – also known as Burns – can be hear berating staff how they’re treating “business class passengers like that, who are international criminal lawyers for the Palestinian people… I’m working for all your people, the f***ing Rohingya… don’t get any money for it by the way, but you can’t give me a f***ing glass of wine, is that correct?”
 
According to several reports, O’Broin was irate that she was denied more alcohol and also told she cannot smoke on board the aircraft.

Irish lady behaves in such an abusive, racist way with @airindiain crew for being refused extra drinks. Very decent AI crew behaviour. Arrested on landing. Wonder if she should have been controlled onboard with handcuffs. @JitiBhargava @Mohan_Rngnathan pic.twitter.com/kSTDmGOEm5

— Tarun Shukla (@shukla_tarun) November 13, 2018

O’Broin also told the Air India crew member that she was the “leader of the f***ing boycott movement – if I say boycott Air India, done. Do you understand me?”
 

In the video, O’Broin continues to rant and rave, calling one staff member an “Indian money-grubbing bastard” and using other racial and misogynistic slurs. She then repeatedly proclaimed that she is a “human rights lawyer for the f***ing Palestinian people” as well as the “Irish Republic Army… you’ll be f***ing shot.”
 
The London Metropolitan Police confirmed to Business Insider on Wednesday that O’Broin was arrested when she landed at Heathrow Airport “on suspicion of racially aggravated public order, common assault, and drunk and disorderly and taken to a west London police station. The arrest related to incidents that had occurred on board the plane. She was subsequently released under investigation.”
 
O’Broin was traveling from Mumbai to London on Saturday, and video of the incident was first posted online on Tuesday, leading to widespread media coverage and the discovery of the woman’s identity.
 
Despite O’Broin’s repeated claims of being an international criminal lawyer and activist, there was not a lot of information online linking her to the cause. In 2012, she wrote two reports for BADIL, the Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. The online catalogue of the Bethlehem University Library lists a paper she wrote in 2011 titled “Applying international criminal law to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people.” And in 2010 she signed a letter written the BBC complaining that its coverage of the Mavi Marmara incident “was little more than an extension of Israel’s PR offensive.”

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Air India passenger claiming to be 'international criminal lawyer' verbally attacks crew after being denied wine – Fox News

An irate business-class passenger who identified herself as an “international criminal lawyer” was filmed yelling at and threatening – allegedly while intoxicated – an Air India crew on a Saturday flight from Mumbai to London after they refused to serve her more wine.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT DRAWS WINDOW FOR PASSENGER STUCK IN WINDOWLESS SEAT

WARNING: Clip contains extremely graphic language.

The passenger, a 50-year-old woman from Ireland, according to The Sun, is seen in the video yelling at cabin crew and demanding to speak to the pilot because flight attendants won’t serve her.

In the video, the unidentified passenger screams in a flight attendant’s face, telling him she is a lawyer for “the Palestinian people” and then goes on to say “I am working for all of your people.” It is unknown what nationality the flight attendant is, though the flight reportedly originated in Mumbai, India, and not in the Middle East. The woman went on to say she works for the “Rohingya” and “all nations" before stating she “do[esn’t] get any money for it” and demanding another glass of wine.

She goes on to threaten to “boycott” the airline for not serving her “a wee bottle of wine.”

WARNING: Clip contains extremely graphic language.

FLYBE PILOT WHO DEVELOPED FEAR OF FLYING WAS UNFAIRLY DISMISSED BY AIRLINE

The flight attendant remains calm as the woman turns to other crew members, who are allegedly writing a report about her, and starts screaming “f— off” before eventually jumping up and down and appearing to flip them off with her middle fingers.

The woman eventually makes her way back into the cabin, where she appears not to remember which airport the plane is flying into.

In another video, the woman continues her rant, this time berating other passengers in business class. At one point she turns to the camera and threatens the person recording, saying she has ties to the “Irish Republican Army. You’ll be f—ing shot.”

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London Metropolitan Police confirmed to The Daily Mail that the woman was taken into custody once the plane landed at Heathrow Airport.

“At approximately 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, 10 November, a 50-year-old woman was arrested after an Air India flight had landed at Heathrow Airport,” a police spokesperson told MailOnline. “She was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order, common assault and drunk and disorderly and taken to a west London police station. She was subsequently released under investigation.”

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NJ Dems hire criminal lawyer – New Jersey Globe (press release) (blog)

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee has retained Gerald Krovatin, one of the state’s top criminal defense attorneys, to represent them in probes of the Murphy administration’s hiring practices, a state party source has confirmed.

Krovatin is expected to handle a series of document requests and other issues that involve the state committee.

Allegations of sexual assault against Al Alvarez, a former Murphy campaign official who held a top transition post and then joined the administration, have triggered a series of investigations: one by the Legislature, another by the Middlesex County prosecutor, and a third by the governor.  Murphy hired former state Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero to conduct an internal review.

The joint legislative committee formed to investigate the hiring of Al Alvarez said last week that Katie Brennan, who says Alvarez raped her during the 2017 Murphy campaign, will testify on December 4.

Krovatin represented Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer in 2014 after she alleged threats by the Christie administration to win her endorsement in the governor’s re-election campaign.

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The Courts See a Crime. These Lawyers See a Whole Life. – The Marshall Project

On any given day in this nation’s courtrooms, there’s a parade of defendants struggling with homelessness, mental illness or drug addiction.

That is the fundamental insight of “holistic defense,” a form of legal representation pioneered in the Bronx two decades ago. Using this method, public defender’s offices not only help clients with their court cases but also try to address the life circumstances that led them to commit crimes in the first place.

And according to one of the first ever large-scale, empirical studies of holistic defenders’ effectiveness, helping people with their life problems often gets them out of jail, too.

The study compared outcomes in the Bronx between a prototypical holistic defender’s office and a more traditional one using court data from more than 587,000 cases spanning 2000 through 2007 and 2012 through 2014. The research, by the nonprofit RAND Corporation and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, found that defendants offered holistic services were about 16 percent less likely to get locked up. They were also expected to serve 24 percent shorter jail and prison sentences—without leading to any increase in crime.

In drug cases, those represented holistically saw their likelihood of serving time decrease by 25 percent; expected sentence lengths were reduced by 63 percent.

Over 10 years, defendants under the holistic model spent 1.1 million fewer days behind bars. About 4,500 people who otherwise would have gone to jail avoided it completely.

The study took advantage of a natural experiment occurring in Bronx courtrooms every day. The Legal Aid Society, one of the oldest (founded in 1876) and largest traditional public defender’s offices in the United States, and The Bronx Defenders, a holistic start-up formed in 1997, divide between them the 95 percent of defendants in the borough who can’t afford a lawyer. They are randomly assigned the cases, ensuring an essentially pure comparison despite the many confounding variables of the criminal justice system.

At a holistic defender’s office, clients are not represented by a single defense attorney; instead, they’re furnished with a team of criminal, civil and family attorneys, social workers and non-lawyer specialists who help with their housing issues, food stamps and other public benefits. Together, these advocates identify the biggest challenges in each defendant’s life and communicate that information to judges, who otherwise face an assembly line of indistinguishable cases proceeding before them each day.

By simply providing more human information about each client, the notion is, holistic defenders can help judges make more precise determinations about whom to divert from jail.

Of course, not every jurisdiction in America can afford—or has the political will to provide—this caliber of legal services to poor people. Many public defender’s offices around the country have claimed to be “holistic” (it’s become something of a buzzword), but few have the actual staffing and training to back it up. In rural areas, social workers, drug-treatment providers and mental-health services, let alone high-quality lawyers, are few and far between. And the kind of intensive (and therefore time-consuming) attention to each case that The Bronx Defenders offers clients isn’t acceptable to many judges outside New York City whose priority is moving their dockets along.

Governments are only mandated under the Sixth Amendment and by the Supreme Court to supply legal representation to low-income people at “critical stages” of criminal cases, in which the loss of liberty is a possible sanction.

“It is very difficult to get policymakers to say that they will fund $1 more than what is constitutionally required,” said David Carroll, executive director of the nonprofit Sixth Amendment Center.

Justine Olderman, executive director of The Bronx Defenders, acknowledged in an interview that her organization’s demonstrated effectiveness is possible in part because of the robust funding dispensed by the city of New York as well as the philanthropic donations available there.

But the new RAND study found that holistic defense saved New York taxpayers $165 million in incarceration costs over a decade, offsetting the higher price tag of hiring social workers and staffing for a range of client needs.

With or without holistic services, the study concluded, public defender’s offices of any kind are much more effective than private lawyers appointed by judges, which is the system for providing indigent defense in much of the country.

Tina Luongo, attorney-in-charge of criminal defense at The Legal Aid Society, said her organization is not as different from The Bronx Defenders as it’s been made out to be. “We don’t want this study to make it seem as though we pit each other against one another,” she said.

The only difference between the two, Luongo points out, is that Legal Aid is a much larger, unionized institution operating citywide, with less flexibility in how it can operate than a still-growing start-up.

From 2000 to 2007, she said, when much of the study’s data was gathered, stop-and-frisk policing was in full effect around New York City, leading to massive caseloads for Legal Aid lawyers and little time or resources for addressing their clients’ non-legal needs. After the organization fought for and in 2009 won caps on the number of cases that public defenders could be assigned, they were able to hire more social workers and follow the holistic model.

From 2009 to 2013, the ratio of attorneys to social workers at Legal Aid in the Bronx dramatically improved, according to internal statistics. By 2015, they and the city’s other institutional defenders had 35 percent more funds to enhance their on-the-ground client services.

“The takeaway of this report is to say that fully funded [defenders], lower caseloads, the ability to have trained, supervised staff that have experience and that are client-forward and innovative is what you need,” said Luongo. “And I don’t care what you call it… that’s what we do.”

In the end, resolving a lifetime of poverty and systemic barriers to success may be too much for public defenders alone to accomplish. The period of time they have to work with clients is too small a dosage, the RAND study suggests, to resolve such intractable problems. According to court data, getting holistic legal help during one case had no discernible positive effect on people’s likelihood to commit crimes in the future.

For Wendy Porrata, 45, though, holistic representation has been a lasting blessing. After running up a long rap sheet of drug-related arrests in the 1990s and early 2000s, she relied on The Bronx Defenders not just to get her out of jail, she says, but also for a couch to sleep on (in their office) and even help with her schoolwork.

Now, she’s a professional social worker herself. “We should bottle up whatever [they] did for me,” she said, “and provide it to people everywhere.”

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Milwaukee County judge vacates contempt finding against defense lawyer who ended up in shackles – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A Milwaukee County judge on Friday vacated a contempt finding against an assistant public defender and recused himself from the case, a fatal traffic crash.

Circuit Judge David Borowski’s decision to have Puck Tsai briefly detained Oct. 26 generated an immediate backlash from the State Public Defender’s Office and the criminal defense bar in general.

Last week, the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers called for Borowski to formally vacate the finding of contempt and apologize or resign.

RELATED: Milwaukee County judge under fire for detaining defense lawyer, who wound up shackled

RELATED: Defense lawyers group calls for Milwaukee County judge to admit error, apologize or resign over jailed lawyer

On Friday, Borowski vacated the contempt findings, but the record does not indicate he apologized. The hearing had not been noticed earlier in the case docket.

Tsai’s supervisor had suggested in a letter to the judge Tuesday that that might best be done in writing directly to Tsai, who was not present for Friday’s hearing.

“It is of utmost importance to us that Attorney Tsai’s reputation be restored,” State Public Defender supervisor Paige Styler wrote. 

“We expect that Attorney Tsai will be treated respectfully and professionally by the courts and their staff. We know you have asked if you can apologize to him and (we) ask that you correspond with him in writing. 

“We believe it would go a long way in restoring the relationship and allowing everyone to move forward.”

Borowski also recused himself from any further role in the underlying case. It is now assigned to Circuit Judge Mark Sanders. The next court date is a status conference Nov. 29.

The State Public Defender’s Office issued a statement that it was pleased that Borowski vacated what it called an erroneous finding of contempt.

Chad Lanning, president of Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, echoed that sentiment. 

“WACDL will continue to promote the proper administration of criminal justice, foster and maintain the integrity and independence of the criminal defense bar,” he said.

Bail issue set off tempers

Marcus Wilborn, 32, was charged in August with homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle for a June 2017 two-car crash near North 30th Street and West Lisbon Avenue. He struck another driver broadside an the intersection. Wilborn’s blood showed an alcohol level of 0.11 and a significant presence of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

He had been free on a $50,000 signature bond since August. One of his conditions of release is maintaining absolute sobriety. 

On Oct. 26, Justice Point, a nonprofit agency that provides pretrial services to the courts, reported a violation after a urine screen had come back with a high level of water, which can suggest but does not prove that a subject may have tried to tamper with a testing or result.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Lonski asked that cash bail be imposed; Tsai argued against the requested bail modification.

According to a transcript of the hearing, Borowski seemed inclined to add the cash bail from the get-go. He called it “shocking” and “preposterous” that Wilborn was on a signature bond for a homicide case. He imposed bail of $2,500, which meant Wilbron would stay in jail at least over the next weekend, if not until his case resolved.

While Tsai, a 2014 graduate of University of Wisconsin Law School, was arguing that the victim was really at fault in the crash and Wilborn has statutory defenses, Borowski cut him off, telling him the possible defenses have nothing to do with a bail decision. “Let’s all stop talking.”

As the clerk was looking for the next court date, Borowski had the deputy return Wilborn to his seat, then told Tsai to sit down. “Is there something you want to say, or do you want to go into custody?” 

That’s when Tsai said he wanted to highlight that Wilborn is innocent at this stage.

“No kidding. I get that. Sit down,” Borowski said, then, “Counsel, if you don’t knock —” then ordered him taken into custody before finishing his sentence.

“Rolling your eyes, throwing your hands in the air, acting like I’m some kind of idiot gets you locked up for contempt,” Borowski told Tsai.

Supervisors from Tsai’s office appeared within minutes and when Tsai was returned to the courtroom he was in handcuffs and shackles, per Milwaukee County sheriff’s policy. Borowski said he immediately ordered the chains removed when he saw that Tsai was restrained.

According to a transcript of the Oct. 26 proceedings, Borowski attributed the dust-up to the morning not being “the best day” for anyone involved.

Later the same day, Wilborn had a negative urine screen and Borowski vacated his cash bail and restored him to the prior signature bond and conditions. 

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Lawyer representing crime victim held in contempt, shining light on little-known legal role – Chicago Tribune

Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.

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Lawyer removes post calling his client a 'terrible criminal' – Pilot Tribune

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Pilot Tribune

Lawyer removes post calling his client a 'terrible criminal'
Pilot Tribune
IOWA CITY — A lawyer representing a notorious Iowa murder suspect removed a Facebook post Friday in which he called another client an “idiot” and “terrible criminal” who deserved to be jailed. Marshalltown defense attorney Chad Frese said his post was …

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Lawyer removes post calling his client a 'terrible criminal' – Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

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Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Lawyer removes post calling his client a 'terrible criminal'
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
IOWA CITY (AP) — A lawyer representing a notorious Iowa murder suspect removed a Facebook post Friday in which he called another client an “idiot” and “terrible criminal” who deserved to be jailed. Marshalltown defense attorney Chad Frese said his

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Who Is Pete Mihalik? Top Criminal Lawyer Gunned Down As He Dropped His Children Off at School – Newsweek

Police in South Africa are questioning suspects over the brutal slaying of a prominent criminal lawyer in broad daylight as he dropped his children off at school.

Peter Mihalik, 50, was shot in the head while he was in his car outside Reddam House School in Green Point, Cape Town.

His eight-year-old son was injured in the attack and taken to hospital, while his 17-year-old daughter, who was also inside the car, was unharmed.

The circumstances around the killing are unclear but the city’s mayor in waiting Dan Plato described it as an apparent assassination which was an attack on the entire criminal justice system, News 24 reported.

Ismail Jamie SC, chairperson of the Cape Bar Association said: “We are shocked, we are saddened. We feel sad for his children especially. We don’t know the circumstances. It appears to have been a targeted killing and it could have had something to do with his work,” News 24 reported.

Sowetan Live reported that one of the killers walked up to Mihalik’s Mercedes-Benz outside the school around 7.35 a.m. on Tuesday and fired two shots through the driver’s door window. It is not clear where his team of round-the-clock bodyguards were.

The gunman fled the scene in a silver VW Polo driven by an accomplice. Cape Town Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said two men who had been arrested separately after the shooting were being questioned by officers in the police anti-gang unit.

Mihalik took on some of the toughest cases before the Cape Town courts and had represented underworld figures linked to a turf war and killings in the city. He was involved in the stand-off and had been acting a middle man to resolve the dispute between two rival gangs.

His lawyer partner Noorudien Hassan, 45, was also shot dead, two years ago, outside his home.

An unnamed underworld figure close to Mihalik warned of “chaos” and possible revenge attacks, telling News24 that “his blood will be picked up by his loyal friends.”

The lawyer’s wife, mother and sister all committed suicide before the age of 50. His father‚ Janos‚ said Mihalik’s sister would look after the children‚ who are now orphaned.

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