Prosecutor, lawyer involved in Schuette complaint host party for Whitmer – Detroit Free Press

LANSING — An East Lansing attorney who asked for a criminal investigation of Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette and the Ingham County prosecutor who referred his complaint to the FBI are co-hosting a fund-raiser next weekend for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, records show.

Backers of Schuette, who is also running for governor, point to the involvement in the Whitmer campaign of attorney Mike Nichols and Prosecutor Carol Siemon as evidence Nichols’ complaint and Siemon’s referral of it to the FBI were both politically suspect, and that the allegations against Schuette are without merit.

Nichols and Siemon are among 77 co-hosts listed on an invitation to a Whitmer fund-raiser set for July 22 at an East Lansing residence.

“I just think there’s questionable politics here,” Stu Sandler, a political consultant and spokesman for a pro-Schuette Super PAC, said Monday. “This is a meritless complaint and this referral is going to show absolutely nothing.”

Schuettte campaign spokesman John Sellek said on Twitter Monday the facts point to a “politically motivated smear campaign, directly coordinated by Gretchen Whitmer’s trial attorney fund-raiser friend.”

Nichols wrote Siemon on June 28, requesting a state grand jury or other criminal investigation of allegations Schuette improperly used state resources.

On July 2, Siemon referred Nichols’ letter to the FBI, saying the federal agency was “the most appropriate investigative body for this matter.”

The FBI has declined to comment and has not confirmed whether it has opened an investigation.

But on July 9, Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican who is supporting Lt. Gov. Brian Calley for governor, said Siemon’s referral of Nichols’ complaint was “clearly a serious matter,” and “it’s important that the FBI be allowed to do a thorough investigation without any undue influence and let the facts take them wherever they lead.”

More: Snyder: Referral to FBI of complaint about AG Schuette ‘a serious matter’

More: Ingham prosecutor refers request for investigation of AG Bill Schuette to FBI

Sandler said the involvement of Nichols and Siemon in the Whitmer fund-raiser shows “at the very least, there’s a question of politics” in the series of events.

In his letter to Siemon, a Democrat, Nichols cited Schuette’s use of state employees to witness personal real estate transactions in his state-funded office and his hiring of Republican campaign operatives to taxpayer-funded civil service posts in the run-up to his current campaign for governor.

Nichols said he was in a trial Monday morning and not available for comment.

Siemon issued a statement Monday confirming she is co-hosting the event but denying acting improperly with respect to the complaint she received from Nichols.

“I’ve never made a secret of my support” for Whitmer, Siemon said.

“My referral to the FBI was not politically motivated — in fact, the opposite. I referred it to the appropriate investigative entity. Period. I can’t help what political use others made of my actions but mine were emphatically not politically motivated.”

Zack Pohl, a spokesman for the Whitmer campaign, said the facts show Schuette used “government employees to help him sell $7.2 million in luxury Caribbean real estate” and “while Schuette said his millions were in a blind trust, he was getting his staff to help him turn a profit while on the taxpayers’ time.”

Schuette has acknowledged some of his state employees witnessed or notarized documents related to private real estate transactions while at work. He has said he sold real estate owned by him and his sisters and that family real estate did not belong in a blind trust.

Michael Schrimpf, a spokesman for Calley, said “it isn’t surprising to see that people who understand the extent to which Bill Schuette is abusing his office for personal gain would choose to oppose him from holding the highest office in Michigan.”

Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or pegan@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.

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Ex-USC gynecologist retains high-profile criminal attorney – The San Diego Union-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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High-profile ex-prosecutor and a top former public defender run for Criminal Court judge – The Commercial Appeal

Editor’s note: Both are women lawyers named Jennifer. Both are running for judge of Criminal Court Division 10.

There the similarities end.

One is black. One is white. One grew up in Memphis, the other didn’t. One was a public defender, the other was chief deputy prosecutor, and currently is an appointed interim judge.

They are Jennifer Johnson Mitchell and Jennifer Nichols.

Shelby County voters will pick one in the Aug. 2 election. Here’s a look at both lawyers. Judicial candidates do not declare a party affiliation.

Jennifer J. Mitchell

Representing hundreds of clients charged with felonies over the years, Jennifer Johnson Mitchell was regarded as one of the most experienced public defenders in Memphis.

Now the criminal defense attorney is running for judge of Criminal Court Division 10.  Mitchell and Jennifer Nichols, a former deputy prosecutor known for a sterling record of high-profile convictions, are contending to replace retired Judge James C. Beasley Jr.

Gov. Bill Haslam Jr. appointed Nichols interim judge of Division 10 in January. Shelby County voters will choose between the former prosecutor and former public defender in the Aug. 2 general election.

Before her appointment, Nichols was chief deputy for District Attorney General Amy Weirich, the top prosecutor criticized last year by the Black Lives Matter activist group. Its leaders contended Weirich had used overzealous prosecution tactics. Rather than play up the defender-prosecutor divide while campaigning, Mitchell said she pointedly tells voters she is not singling out Nichols or the AG office’s record. 

‘‘I tell them,” Mitchell said of voters, “I’m not running against her. I’m running because there’s an open seat. I want to get across to voters that I’m going to be fair and I’m going to be impartial and treat them with dignity. It’s how I’d like to be treated.”

Handling what she describes as countless cases – the public defender “caseload is massive,” she said – prepared her for a judgeship. She defended clients, negotiated out-of-court settlements, understood the prosecution’s side, observed the judges, and became, she said,  thoroughly immersed in the Criminal Courts’ workings.

Still, Nichols maintains better name recognition. When the Memphis Bar Association recently surveyed local lawyers, 170 attorneys chose Mitchell as best qualified for judge, 314 gave no opinion and 598 picked Nichols.

“The results probably mean the trial attorneys know her name very well,” said Carol Chumney, a Memphis lawyer who ran in 2011 for District Attorney General, referring to the former prosecutor. 

Mitchell, 48, didn’t set out to be a lawyer.

She grew up in Memphis’ Raleigh area, the daughter of a pair of LeMoyne-Owen College graduates. Her father taught in Memphis City Schools. Her mother was a procurement specialist at the old Defense Depot.

Coming out of Memphis Catholic High School she was awarded a volleyball scholarship to the University of Tennessee at Martin, earned a degree and started a mental health career in Memphis working first with poor  at Youth Villages, and then women imprisoned in the Shelby County Correctional Center.

Thinking she’d eventually advance only with more education, she earned a master’s degree in criminal justice in 1994 at what then was named Memphis State University, then moved to Northwest Tennessee. She was employed in Dyersburg by the old Northwest Counseling Center’s mobile crisis unit.

One task: Evaluate people apprehended by police officers, recommend whether they should be admitted as a mental health patient. “That was a very humbling experience,” she said. Two years in Dyersburg led her to figure “it was time to do something different.” A professor had once suggested law school.

She enrolled in the University of Memphis law school at age 28, borrowing the tuition money and soon after graduating was hired in 2001 by the Shelby County Public Defenders’ Office.

The state government agency provides the indigent with legal services free of charge and employs about 140 lawyers, investigators and other staff in Memphis. In Memphis and Shelby County, where almost a third of the nearly 1 million residents are classified as impoverished, she was loaded with dozens of cases.

“The public defender’s office gives you wonderful, hands on experience,” Mitchell said. “You see everything, all kinds of people. You learn how to juggle tasks. You learn how to multi task.”

She spent hours almost every week in the Criminal Court rooms inside the Shelby County Justice Center at 201 Poplar. She’d married. Her husband commented on her long work days. She had landed difficult cases in Criminal Court Division 5, inherited seasoned clients with tough records. Prosecutors were reluctant to agree to more lenient settlement offers.

“Those cases were hard to move,” Mitchell said. “I realized I could do this on my own and in the process get paid a little better.”

In 2014, Mitchell left the public defender agency and opened her own law office in sight of 201 Poplar. She bought men’s dress shirts and pressed trousers and kept them in the office for her client’s court appearances. She also stocked a winter jacket.  She reasoned a client arrested in July wearing a T-shirt would need a coat to walk home in upon release from 201 Poplar in December.

“I love the work. I like people,” Mitchell said. “I care about people. You see the best of the best and the worst of the worst. You learn how to treat people as who they are. Everyone’s circumstance is different. You deal with a lot of social work. This is just another opportunity to serve.”

Jennifer Nichols

Two decades as a deputy prosecutor put Jennifer Smith Nichols on the front line of some of Memphis and Tennessee’s most sensational criminal cases.

Almost every time she asked for a guilty verdict in the courtroom, a jury delivered — including in the recent high-profile cases that sentenced Zachary Adam for murdering kidnapped teen Holly Bobo, Ronald Goodwin for the murder of his malnourished mother and Cedrick Clayton for shooting to death his wife and her parents. In Clayton’s case, his four-year-old daughter testified as a witness.

“Our goal was not to get convictions,” Nichols said. “It was justice.”

After a long stint as a prosecutor, Nichols, 56, is now running for judge of Shelby County Criminal Court Division 10.

Shelby County voters will choose between her and Memphis attorney Jennifer Johnson Mitchell in the Aug. 2 election.

Ten divisions comprise the state’s criminal court system at 201 Poplar in Memphis. Each division has its own courtroom and judge to try jury trials. Together they handle more than 10,000 new indictments each year.

Nichols appeared regularly in these courtrooms as a trial lawyer, negotiating plea agreements and prosecuting defendants in more than 200 jury trials.

While leading the prosecution in the Holly Bobo trial last year, and at the same time serving as the No. 1 deputy to District Attorney General Amy Weirich, Nichols was asked by several criminal defense attorneys and judges to apply for an interim judgeship. She decided to try.

“I really believed I was ready,” Nichols said, adding, “I look at this as a way to serve in a broader fashion than I was able to do before in the DA’s office.”

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam early this year appointed Nichols to fill in for retiring Division 10 Judge James C. Beasley Jr. The appointment runs until an elected judge is seated following next month’s general election.

Nichols was picked for the bench after serving amid a controversial stretch in the AG’s office. Prosecutorial misconduct allegations aimed chiefly at Weirich surfaced in several cases.  Two complaints named Nichols. Tennessee’s Board of Professional Responsibility dismissed both with no charges.

“People can file anything,” Nichols said. “The important part here is those were summarily dismissed.”

Memphis criminal defense lawyer Leslie Ballin, who has defended clients Nichols charged with murder, lauded his former adversary.

“I think she’s awesome,’’ said Ballin, a lawyer since 1977.

  Asked why lawyers surveyed recently by the Memphis Bar Association favored Nichols for the bench, Ballin cited her widely known name and abilities.

“I think it was also recognition of her character, intellect and judicial temperament, not only while she was in the AG’s office, but also in the last few months she’s served on the bench,’’ Ballin said.

Years ago, it was said Memphis lawyers’ handshake could settle matters, Ballin said, but now agreement terms put in writing can need close reading.

“In the last few years that type of (handshake) understanding has become antiquated. There are instances where they attempt to hide the ball,” Ballin said, referring to prosecutors negotiating agreements with defense lawyers.

 “Those instances are few in number,” Ballin said, adding “none of mine ever involved Jennifer Nichols.”

Singled out for dogged preparation as a trial lawyer, Nichols said she wants to be known as a “predictable” judge in following the law and ruling “straight down the middle’’ on every decision.

She also wants to be known as polite and attentive. “I am determined people who come to my courtroom leave feeling they were respected,” Nichols said.

She’s strived, she said, to explain the legal process. “One of my major goals is to make sure defendants who come to my courtroom understand what is going on,” she said. “I want every victim to understand their case is being handled with integrity by a fair judge who follows the law.”

Nichols, a Memphis resident, moved to the city with her husband in 1991, coming here for his job and leaving an Orlando, Florida, law firm that specialized in medical malpractice cases.

She’s a graduate of the University of Alabama and her hometown law school, Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

The daughter of a former U.S. Department of Labor investigator, Nichols had long wanted to be a prosecutor. Hired in Memphis at the AG’s office, she soon became the chief prosecutor of the then-new child abuse and homicide unit. From there she went to the major violators unit, prosecuting violent individuals, and then the gang unit, where she was named chief prosecutor.

Nichols, by then a single mother, at times asked the judge for a temporary recess so she could fetch her child from the nearby day care before it closed for the day. She then sat the girl, Austin, in the back of the courtroom while the case proceeded. Today, Austin Nichols is an assistant prosecutor in the AG’s office.

In 2003, she looked for more stable hours. The U.S. Postal Service hired her as an attorney in Memphis. Once her daughter was in college in 2009, Nichols rejoined the AG’s office.

Within a year, Bill Gibbons, then the top prosecutor, had formed the special victim’s unit. Nichols was named the unit’s chief prosecutor. Weirich succeeded Gibbons as District Attorney General and named Nichols her chief deputy. 

Nichols still prosecuted cases. And as chief deputy she supervised the 225 lawyers, investigators and other staff members in the office. One task: Negotiate terms with defense lawyers who wanted better plea deals  for their clients than the original terms offered by assistant AGs.

“I think if you asked a defense lawyer they would tell you what they have told me,” Nichols said. “She was tough but she was fair.”  

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Justice Dept. Nominee Who Drew Scrutiny for Russian Bank Work Is Confirmed – New York Times

Justice Dept. Nominee Who Drew Scrutiny for Russian Bank Work Is Confirmed

Image
Brian A. Benczkowski, left, the new head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, with Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, who voted against him.CreditHarry Hamburg/Associated Press
  • July 11, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Senate narrowly confirmed a former Justice Department official on Wednesday to lead the department’s Criminal Division and oversee the government’s career prosecutors, including those investigating President Trump.

Democrats fought the nomination of the former staff member, Brian A. Benczkowski, raising questions about his qualifications. Mr. Benczkowski has never tried a case in court and was also scrutinized over private-sector work for one of Russia’s largest banks.

The 51-to-48 vote was along party lines, with only Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, joining Republicans to confirm Mr. Benczkowski.

His confirmation broke a logjam of pending nominations for top jobs at the Justice Department, where officials and employees complained privately and publicly that the Senate took an unusually long time to greenlight Mr. Benczkowski, who was nominated 13 months ago.

“Brian is an outstanding lawyer with a diverse public service and criminal law background spanning over 20 years,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “At a time like this — with surging violent crime and an unprecedented drug epidemic — this position is especially important.”

Mr. Benczkowski, 48, has worked since 2010 as a lawyer focused on white-collar criminal defense cases at the firm Kirkland & Ellis. In that job, he helped Russia’s Alfa Bank investigate whether its computer servers had contacted the Trump Organization, a question that touched directly on suspicions about the bank that emerged in the early months of the Trump-Russia affair.

The F.B.I., which also investigated, found that data moving between the bank and the Trump Organization did not amount to clandestine communications, and some experts suggested that it was related to Trump hotel marketing materials.

But Democratic senators said Mr. Benczkowski’s decision to take on the Alfa Bank work last year amid heightened scrutiny over relations between Trump associates and Russia showed a lack of good judgment. Alfa Bank’s owners have ties to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, and Mr. Benczkowski worked closely with the Trump transition team and was once a Senate Judiciary Committee staff member when Mr. Sessions was on the committee.

“The main criticism is that Brian will be the person in the Justice Department who oversees sensitive cases, criminal trials and people who make calls on things like search warrants,” said Joyce Vance, a former United States attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. “The flip side of that and the good news is that he’ll be surrounded by career prosecutors who will know how to do all of these things, and whose advice he will have access to.”

He will also help oversee the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference and possible ties to the Trump campaign as well the inquiry into Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, which is being conducted by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

Mr. Benczkowski has told lawmakers that he supported Mr. Mueller’s investigation but would not promise to recuse himself from issues involving Russia. Mr. Sessions has stepped back from election-related matters, including the Russia investigation, which is overseen by Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.

Senate Democrats sought to block Mr. Benczkowski’s confirmation, citing a lack of relevant experience. Though he has served in several Justice Department roles — work in legislative affairs and legal policy as well as key leadership posts for the offices of the attorney general, the deputy attorney general and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — Mr. Benczkowski was not a federal prosecutor.

“The only apparent qualification that Mr. Benczkowski has is his close relationship with, and political loyalty to, the attorney general and the president,” Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, said in his floor statement during Mr. Benczkowski’s confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

“This could prove to be a historic mistake,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, warned after Mr. Benczkowski’s confirmation. He, Mr. Leahy and other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee wrote in May to their colleagues urging them to deny Mr. Benczkowski’s appointment.

But 14 former United States attorneys who supported Mr. Benczkowski’s nomination told the Senate that he was a “person of integrity and fairness, and someone whose experience and leadership skills will serve him and the department well.”

Mr. Benczkowski is a “serious attorney” who understands the Justice Department’s importance, said Megan L. Brown, a lawyer at the firm Wiley Rein who worked with him at the Justice Department. “He has a great sense of duty to country and the safety and security of the country, and also understands the seriousness of the threats we face, domestically and abroad,” she said.

Even with Mr. Benczkowski’s confirmation, the Justice Department is still waiting for the Senate to greenlight leaders for some of its most high-profile divisions, including civil, environmental and civil rights.

Department officials have grown frustrated by the slow pace of confirmations. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has focused on confirming conservative judges as part of the Republican Party’s efforts to reshape the judicial branch while allowing some executive-branch nominations to languish.

A yearlong confirmation process, Mr. Rosenstein said in May, “is a long runway for a job that lasts for only a few years.”

Get politics and Washington news updates via Facebook, Twitter and the Morning Briefing newsletter.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: Senate Breaks Logjam to Confirm Former Sessions Aide for Justice Department Job. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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Senate Expected to Confirm Trump DOJ Nominee Who Represented Russian Bank in 2017 – Roll Call

As the frenzy surrounding President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh kicks into high gear this week, the Senate is expected to vote Wednesday to confirm a divisive new director for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.

In late winter 2017, the nominee, Brian Benczkowski, briefly represented Alfa Bank, a Russian bank with close ties to Russian government officials that media outlets previously reported was a subject of the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

No one at Alfa has been charged with wrongdoing, and it is unclear if the bank is still part of any probe.

Leading Democrats in the chamber wrote a letter to the president last week arguing Benczkowski cannot “credibly oversee” the DOJ Criminal Division’s involvement in Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation and the criminal investigation of Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer.

“Unanswered questions remain about Alfa Bank that should be resolved before the Senate even considers voting to confirm this bank’s lawyer to a top Justice Department position,” the Democratic senators wrote.

But Senate Republicans, who hold a one-vote majority in the chamber, stuck together Tuesday in support of Benczkowski by voting to end debate on his nomination and proceeding to a floor vote to confirm him.

They gained a two-vote cushion after Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who is up for re-election in Trump-friendly West Virginia this November, defected to the GOP side on the motion to end debate — the only member of either party to break ranks.

Manchin’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

The final vote broke down in favor of moving forward with Benczkowski’s nomination, 51-48. GOP Sen. John McCain, who is home in Arizona, did not vote.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the second-in-command at the DOJ, has repeatedly urged the Senate to stop delaying Benczkowski’s confirmation, saying the 48-year-old lawyer is a “highly qualified” candidate for the job.

“The President nominated a highly qualified lawyer named Brian Benczkowski to serve in that position almost one year ago,” Rosenstein said in a speech to lawyers in New York in May. “But Brian is still awaiting a confirmation vote.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is expected to schedule Benczkowski’s confirmation vote for Wednesday, nearly a year and one month after Trump first nominated him.

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'Better Call Saul' Season 4 Teaser: Jimmy McGill Starts to Become a … – SFGate


As Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman once so eloquently put it on “Breaking Bad,” “When the going gets tough, you don’t want a criminal lawyer. You want a criminal lawyer, know what I’m sayin’?”

That was in “Better Call Saul,” the very first episode in which we introduced to Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) and, based on a new teaser for Season 4 of AMC’s prequel series of the same name, it looks like we are finally about to see Jimmy McGill turn into that bad, bad attorney we all know and love.

The 1-minute clip, which is exclusive to TheWrap, opens on an unemployed Jimmy, mourning at his brother Chuck’s (Michael McKean) funeral. The attorney is hoping to get back on his feet and be gainfully employed in a few months, but he’s gotta make some dough first. That’s when he starts casing joints and working overtime to convince Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) to team up on a job. Next thing you know, Jimmy is sporting a purple tracksuit and appears to be in way over his head as he inches closer and closer to becoming Saul.


And, of course, Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) is just as calm, collected and creepy as ever.

Here is the official description for the upcoming fourth season, per AMC:

In “Better Call Saul”s fourth season, Chuck’s death catalyzes Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman. In the wake of his loss, Jimmy takes steps into the criminal world that will put his future as a lawyer – and his relationship with Kim (Rhea Seehorn) – in jeopardy. Chuck’s (Michael McKean) death deeply affects former colleagues Howard (Patrick Fabian) and Kim as well, putting the two of them once again on opposite sides of a battle sparked by the Brothers McGill.


Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut takes a more active role as Madrigal Electromotive’s newest (and most thorough) security consultant. It’s a volatile time to be in Gus Fring’s (Giancarlo Esposito) employ, as Hector’s collapse sends shock waves throughout the Albuquerque underworld and throws the cartel into chaos — tearing apart both Gus and Nacho’s (Michael Mando) well-laid plans. While Gus changes course, Nacho finds himself in the crosshairs of deadly forces.

“Better Call Saul”  is executive produced by Peter Gould, Vince Gilligan, Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Thomas Schnauz and Gennifer Hutchison and hails from Sony Television.

Watch the teaser above.

“Better Call Saul” Season 4 premieres Monday, Aug. 6 at 9/8 c on AMC.

Read original story ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4 Teaser: Jimmy McGill Starts to Become a Truly Criminal Lawyer (Exclusive Video) At TheWrap

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Harvey Weinstein Released on Bail Amid Sex Crime Accusations by 3rd Woman; His Lawyer Expects More Charges – NBC New York

What to Know

  • Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he committed a sex crime against a third woman

  • The new charges include two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison upon conviction

  • Weinstein and his attorney have consistently denied allegations the disgraced movie mogul had nonconsensual sex with anyone

Moving beyond rote denials, Harvey Weinstein is playing a leading role in shaping what his lawyer said Monday will be an aggressive defense to sexual assault charges that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

Lawyer Ben Brafman said the movie mogul-turned-#MeToo villain is essentially working as his paralegal and that they’re stacking up “overwhelming evidence” from email traffic and witness accounts to refute allegations that, so far, have led to criminal charges involving three of the dozens of women who’ve accused Weinstein of wrongdoing.

“I can tell you that we are no longer simply relying on Mr. Weinstein’s denials,” Brafman said outside a New York City courthouse after Weinstein pleaded not guilty to new charges alleging he performed a forcible sex act on a woman in 2006.

“We have corroborative evidence in the form of witnesses, we have corroborative evidence, overwhelming evidence, in the form of email traffic. And the suggestion that Mr. Weinstein raped anyone, just based on what I’ve seen, just based on the evidence I’ve seen, is just a preposterous allegation,” Brafman said. “So far, everything he has told us to look for we have found. And his denials are in my judgment being confirmed everyday by a lot of evidence we are finding that is independent of Mr. Weinstein.”

Yu Aung Thu/AFP via Getty Images

A judge released Weinstein on the same $1 million bail he posted at his first arraignment involving two other accusers and was allowed to return to his Westport, Connecticut home. He’s due back in court on Sept. 20.

Brafman said he expects more criminal charges to be filed later, but didn’t elaborate.

Weinstein previously forfeited his passport and is fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet. He’s also been ordered to stay away from the three women.

Prosecutors, saying the new charges were “significantly more serious,” had sought to have Weinstein forced to move to Manhattan and placed on house arrest.

“We fight these battles one day at a time, and today we won this round,” Brafman said afterward.

Weinstein, 66, hobbled into the courtroom with his hands cuffed behind his back. He was uncuffed for the proceeding and didn’t say much other than entering his plea.

@foodfc_ / Instagram

He left court a few minutes later, trailed by a bulky bodyguard. Weinstein suddenly turned back in a panic about the whereabouts of his wallet. Brafman later said he’d found it.

Weinstein’s new charges include two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison upon conviction. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said they are “some of the most serious sexual offenses” that exist under state law.

Attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the woman whose allegations led to the new charges, said her client will testify if the case goes to trial. She said she doubted Weinstein would do the same.

“Are you really willing to have your client face the jury?” Allred said outside the courthouse. “I doubt that you will take that risk, Mr. Brafman.”

Allred and prosecutors wouldn’t name the woman.

Brafman identified her in court as a former film production assistant who went public last October with allegations that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment.

Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they consent to being identified publicly. Allred said her client is “not going to be giving any interviews and she’d like to maintain her privacy.”

More than 75 women have accused Weinstein of wrongdoing as allegations detailed in Pulitzer Prize-winning stories last October in The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine swelled into the #MeToo movement.

Only three complaints have led to criminal charges so far. In addition to the assault claim that brought him to court Monday, Weinstein is accused of raping an unidentified woman in a hotel room in 2013 and forcing a former actress, Lucia Evans, to perform oral sex at his office in 2004. Evans was one of the first women to accuse Weinstein publicly last fall.

A Timeline of Harvey Weinstein’s Undoing

[NATL-NY] A Timeline of Harvey Weinstein's Undoing

Weinstein, who produced movies including “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love,” has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, with Brafman challenging the credibility of his accusers and the reporting that led to his downfall.

“If we allow Pulitzer-driven reporters to decide this case, then it could be hopeless,” Brafman said. “God help all of us if that’s how the criminal justice system is allowed to work.”

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Meet Electric Forest's Criminal Defense Lawyer [LOL] – EDM.com

Michigan criminal defense lawyer Brian Dailey is here to help you through your Electric Forest drama.

Did some sh** go down for you at Electric Forest? Did you get in trouble with the law? Well, you’re in luck. Electric Forest has their own criminal defense lawyer. His name is Brian Dailey and he is here to help you through festival injustice. 

Brian Dailey:

"I believe the music fans who are simply there to freely associate with like-mind people are very often unfairly targeted by local law enforcement."

Do you resonate with this? Give him a call at (888) 595-9728 or text him for direct legal advice! 

michigan-personal-injury-lawyer-brian-dailey 2

Get more information here

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Edwardsville attorney honored as one of the 10 best criminal attorneys in Illinois – Madison County Record


Attorney Deborah A. Hawkins  

EDWARDSVILLE – Attorney Deborah A. Hawkins of Hawkins Law Office recently was named one of the “10 Best Criminal Lawyers for Client Satisfaction in Illinois” for the second straight year by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys.

Attorneys who are selected to the list must pass the Institute’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, research, and the Institute’s independent evaluation, states the press release announcing the designation.

According to the Institute, “one of the most-significant aspects of the selection process involves attorneys’ relationships and reputation among his or her clients. … Selection criteria therefore focuses on attorneys who demonstrate the highest standards of client satisfaction.”

On Martindale.com, one of Hawkins former clients said, “She is very calm, knowledgeable of the legal process, and most importantly she is a fair and honest lawyer.” 


In a recent article in the Illinois Business Journal, Hawkins said that she treats clients respectfully because many cases are rife with emotions. 

“I listen to the client and advise them of the strengths of the case,” she told the Illinois Business Journal. “The client makes the decision. I try not to impose my personal feelings on the case. I have to be open-minded and not judgmental.”

Hawkins received her bachelor of arts from Millikin University, a master of arts from the University of Iowa and her juris doctor from St. Louis University.

She is affiliated with the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Madison County Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis,

Her office is located at 101 West Vandalia St., Suite 150, in the Mark Twain Plaza I building, close to the Madison County Courthouse in Edwardsville.

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