Category: Articles of Interest

Pace Law’s First Annual Opening Statement Competition for 1Ls

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.

How Do Prosecutors Prepare to Interview President Trump

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!

The Use of Cooperating Witnesses in Federal Prosecutions

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.

Let’s Keep the Conversation About Gun Control Going

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:

NYS Prosecutors to Meet Their Brady Obligations

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 DefenseNew York Law Journal (Nov. 7, 2017).