PRACTICE TIPS: OBTAINING THE MOST IMPACTFUL CHARACTER LETTERS FOR SENTENCING IN FEDERAL COURT Have a client who can collect over 400 letters to present to the judge prior to sentencing? The quantity is impressive, but do the letters leave a lasting impression? Do they reinforce your themes for mitigation?
This is a very common response when I suggest to attorneys that we obtain a psychological evaluation of our client in preparation for sentencing. Of course there may be reasons a psychological evaluation would not be beneficial. For example, if your client will be testifying against a co-defendant in
A high profile client in a widely publicized case is disparaged in the media. We have all seen it, a “reality show” played over and over. Everybody has a comment, an opinion, a judgment. Similarly, the Court is barraged by reports from the government highlighting all of the client’s horrible
The federal sentencing guidelines took effect on November 1, 1987. As a former federal probation officer, I watched a judge languish over sending a 77-year-old woman to prison for 10 years who carried drugs in her girdle. A 20-year sentence for a marijuana grower. Time and time again, judges complained
We all agree that the fraud guidelines are out of touch with reality. U.S. district court judges no longer find credence in the fraud guidelines. According to the most recent sentencing statistics released by the USSC, the average sentence imposed in fraud cases is 51.4% lower than the guideline minimum. The