Tag Archives: badlawyer

Former Harvard Law Attorney Pleads Guilty to Bizarre Kidnapping Plot

Matthew Muller

Frmr. Atty. Matthew Muller

Matthew Muller was admitted to practice law in California in 2011 after graduating Harvard Law. A decorated former Marine, he could have accomplished anything with his life, and now he is facing life behind bars. Muller pled guilty on Thursday to a kidnapping and ransom plot, and his attorney is concerned that he could be sentenced to life in prison. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to recommend no more than 40 years in prison, but the ultimate sentence will be up to the judge.

When Denise Huskins and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn reported that they had been kidnapped, investigators did not believe them, and developed a theory that the report was a hoax. That was finally shot down when Muller was caught in another home invasion/attempted robbery and discovery the trappings of this offense. He had demanded $17,000 in ransom payments that he never collected, and Ms. Huskins was ultimately dropped off safely at her family home.

Huskins and Quinn have filed a lawsuit against the Vallejo police department for their mishandling of the case, and claim that they had to move our of town after the department’s allegations of a bogus kidnapping. Police doubted Ms. Huskins because they thought she didn’t act like a kidnapping victim: going as far to require Mr. Quinn to provide DNA samples. The whole case is crazy: I look forward to seeing it on ’48 Hours’ or even in a movie.

 

 

 

 

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Hey Lawyers, Never Talk $#!t About Your Clients

johnny-manziel-mugshot-435

Former Browns QB Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel, who’s facing charges in Texas for allegedly striking his former girlfriend, was in court for a preliminary hearing. A reporter texted his attorney for a comment, and received a text back that appears kind of incriminating. The lawyer has indicated the text was meant for another attorney. Oops.

It’s bad practice to bad mouth your own clients… thought the temptation can be great on some criminal cases, but it’s a bad idea. It’s an even worse idea if you don’t pay attention who your texts are going to. Suggesting, say, that your client may have been doing something illegal might end up prejudicing your client if they decide to have him submit a pee test. That could be bad for the client, and for you.

Attorney Charged for Punching His Own Client in Courthouse

Joseph Lopez, via Twitter

Joseph Lopez, via Twitter

Prominent Chicago defense attorney Joseph “The Shark” Lopez has been charged with battery for punching his client. Apparently he and the now-former client got in an altercation in a holding cell at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. Lopez is suggesting that he was acting in self-defense, but prosecutors apparently felt the battery charge, a misdemeanor, was warranted.

I wonder who his lawyer is going to be.

It is not a Crime to Tell Off the Government

Michael Barbosa, of Connecticut, was traveling through Liberty , New York, when he got a ticket for speeding. He was upset about it, but decided to pay the ticket. He wrote out a check, and mailed it back to Liberty, and he wrote a message on the ticket: “FUCK YOUR SHITTY TOWN BITCHES”.

The officials of Liberty, New York, did not appreciate his sentiment, and refused to accept his payment. They set a court date, sent him a summons, and he had to return to Liberty to appear. Much to his suprise, when he did appear, he was arrested for aggravated harassment.

Sadly for the town of Liberty, we have a First Amendment, and criticism of the government is absolutely protected by that Constitutional provision. Criticism of the government, some might say, is kind of the point of the right to freedom of speech. What do I know? Oh, I know the law, and the judge agreed, dismissing the case. Because- Constitutionally protected expression.

Also Sadly for the town of Liberty… not only did they spend time, money and other resources on their misguided prosecution of the case, but they also got sued by Mr. Barbosa and the ACLU. And they lost, because they arrested and tried to prosecute a citizen for exercising his Constitutional right to criticize the government. And even more tax dollars were blown by town of Liberty.

While Mr. Barbosa certainly chose an inartful method of expressing his disapproval of the government’s actions, he was completely within his rights to do so. It’s a shame… and ultimately a waste of taxpayer money for this misguided and vindictive prosecution.

Prominent California Defense Attorney Arrested for Murder

Frank Carson

Frank Carson

Frank Carson, a defense attorney in Modesto, California, has been arrested for first degree murder for a man suspected of stealing irrigation pipes from him in 2012. Korey Kaufman’s body was found in 2013. Carson ran for DA of his county just last year. In addition, eight other people have been arrested in the plot, including two California Highway Patrol Troopers, and Carson’s family. It’s a Dateline episode waiting for a trial.

This is apparently Carson’s actual mug shot on the left.

Fort Myers Attorney Arrested

Patrick Buckley Mug Shot

Patrick Buckley Mug Shot

J. Patrick Buckley III was arrested yesterday for Grand Theft and Fraud charges. The charges likely relate to the trust account issue that led to Buckley’s suspension by the Florida bar a few months ago, initially in January, 2015. There isn’t much available yet on the details of the charge, so I am speculating that they are connected. However, the charges are consistent to the Bar allegations that he misappropriated client funds.

Buckley FL Bar photo

Buckley FL Bar photo

Update on the Easters: the Drug-Planting-Attorney-Parents

Jill and Kent Easter

Jill and Kent Easter

You might remember Jill and Kent Easter, a pair of married attorneys (and she a part-time novelist), who were charged with planting drugs in the vehicle of a rival PTA volunteer. Jill plead guilty, and was sentenced to jail, and Kent took his case to trial. Kent’s first trial ended in a hung jury, with Kent claiming that he was pushed around by his controlling wife, and that he didn’t know that drugs were planted in the vehicle. It went back to trial in September, amid revelations that Jill was cheating on Kent with a firefighter, and Kent was convicted the second time around. He was sentenced to six months in jail, a couple months more than Jill got, thanks to her plea deal.

ABC News decided to dig deep, and did a whole 20/20 feature on the case just last week. It’s worth checking out, as well.