On Saturday, February 10, 2018, the Pace Law Advocacy Program held its first-annual 1L Opening Statement Competition. The walk-on competition afforded 1Ls the opportunity to experience a mock courtroom with a mock jury. In the preliminary rounds, the students delivered openings for both sides of a homicide case with an identity issue. The fact pattern was from a previous Queens District Attorney’s Office Mock Trial competition, and was used with permission of that office. The jurors and evaluators were all Pace alumni and current criminal defense attorneys, assistant district attorneys, and civil litigators. Each of the top four students won a Kaplan bar review gift card. The top four students, in order of placement, were Scott Trivella, Erin Donovan, Vanessa Neal, and Nisha Desai.
Pace Law’s Distinguished Fellow in Criminal Justice and former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah recently spoke with Brian Williams on “the 11th Hour” about the possible interview of President Trump by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and how prosecutors plan for such an interview. Check it out here!
Pace Law’s Distinguished Fellow in Criminal Justice Mimi Rocah recently appeared on the “Law & Crime” network to discuss the government’s use of a cooperating witness with host Caroline Polisi. Ms. Rocah explained the process of using a cooperating witness in a federal prosecution. Although a cooperator must first plead guilty to the highest possible crime (and possibly other unrelated crimes), the incentive to cooperate in a federal investigation is significant. If the government finds that the cooperator has information against more culpable parties and they testify truthfully, the government will ask the judge to sentence the cooperator below the mandatory minimum under the sentencing guidelines. See the interview here.
WRITTEN BY: Mimi Rocah, a former Federal Prosecutor and Pace Law Distinguished Criminal Justice Fellow
It was great to see such an amazing turnout at the November 6 talk with former ATF Mike Burke about guns and gun violence. Please keep reading and talking about the issues. Here are some good follow-up reads:
- Gliffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Categories of Prohibited People, (last visited Nov. 16, 2017) (A summary of prohibited persons and categories under federal law).
- NPR Morning Edition, In Texas and Beyond, Mass Shootings Have Roots in Domestic Violence (Nov. 7, 2017) (An article about the correlation between domestic violence and mass shootings).
- Mark Follman, Gavin Aronsen & Deanna Pan, US Mass Shootings, 1982-2017: Data From Mother Jones’ Investigation, Mother Jones (last updated Nov. 15, 2017) (Mother Jones’ take on gun violence statistics that was referenced in the Nov. 6, 2017 talk at Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University).
- Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Domestic Abusers Are Barred from Gun Ownership, but Often Escape the Law, New York Times (Nov. 6, 2017) (An explanation of why the Texas shooter’s Domestic Violence conviction should have barred him from obtaining a weapon).
NYS judges will now be required to issue an order to Prosecutors to meet their Brady obligations. At the very least, courts will be alerted that they have a role in ensuring timely disclosure. Presumably, a prosecutor who fails to comply can now be held in contempt.
Read the full article: Susan DeSantis, Judges Ordered to Direct Prosecutors to Turn Over Information Favorable to Defense, New York Law Journal (Nov. 7, 2017).