Tag Archives: Lawyer

R. Kelly’s lawyer wants trial delayed due to jail quarantine

R. Kelly's lawyer wants trial delayed due to jail quarantine

Kelly was quarantined when he was transferred to a new prison because of COVID-19 protocols.

NEW YORK — Editors Note: The video in the player above is from July 2019.

R. Kelly’s new lawyers are asking a judge to postpone his Aug. 9 sex trafficking trial in New York City, arguing they haven’t had enough time to prepare because he’s under a mandatory jail quarantine since his transfer from Chicago.

In a letter Monday to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, lawyer Deveraux Cannick wrote that Kelly’s 14-day quarantine ending Tuesday has exacerbated what Cannick said was a “herculean effort” to get up to speed after their June 21 hiring.

Cannick argued in the letter that Kelly’s new lawyers haven’t been able to meet with him in person because of the quarantine and that proceeding with the R&B star’s trial as scheduled would rob him of effective and meaningful representation.

Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was placed in quarantine when he arrived at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on June 22 from Chicago, where he was being held on similar charges. Tuesday will mark 14 days since Kelly’s transfer to Brooklyn.

“Robert is anxious to have his day in court; however not at the expense of his Sixth Amendment rights,” Cannick wrote, saying the request was not a delay tactic.

Federal prosecutors hadn’t responded to Cannick’s request as of Monday night and declined to comment. Donnelly has yet to rule on the filing.

Federal lockups have been quarantining transferred and newly incarcerated inmates since early in the COVID-19 pandemic as part of protocols to prevent the disease’s spread.

Kelly, 54, is accused of leading an enterprise made up of his managers, bodyguards and other employees who helped him recruit women and girls for sex. Federal prosecutors say the group selected victims at concerts and other venues and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly. The Grammy Award-winning singer denies ever abusing anyone.

Cannick said that once Kelly’s quarantine ends and he is cleared to meet with his lawyers, they’ll be forced to jockey for one of a limited number of conference rooms at the Brooklyn jail. If a room is not available, he wrote, they’ll have to meet with Kelly at a table alongside other lawyers and inmates.

“The nature of the evidence here does not lend itself to open frank discussions in such an environment,” Cannick wrote.

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Author: Associated Press
Read more here >>> CBS8 – Entertainment

Derek Chauvin’s Lawyer Asks for a New Trial After Guilty Verdict

Derek Chauvin’s Lawyer Asks for a New Trial After Guilty Verdict

In the social media photo that surfaced this week, Mr. Mitchell, smiling alongside two other men, is wearing a T-shirt with an image of Dr. King and the phrase, “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.”

The anniversary event in Washington, promoted by the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network, the N.A.A.C.P. and other groups, was known as the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” rally, a reference to the more than nine minutes that Mr. Chauvin knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck before he died. Mr. Floyd’s relatives were among the speakers at the rally.

Judge Peter A. Cahill, who oversaw the Chauvin trial, could convene a hearing to question Mr. Mitchell and probe whether he lied on his questionnaire. But even if Judge Cahill determined that Mr. Mitchell intentionally misled the court on his questionnaire, that alone likely would not be enough to throw out the verdict, legal experts said. The 12 jurors took about 10 hours to convict Mr. Chauvin of all three charges he faced: second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Jurors are allowed to have opinions, legal experts said, but they have to be willing to set them aside and agree to decide a case based on the evidence. For example, a juror in the trial of Paul Manafort, an adviser to former President Donald J. Trump, told Fox News that even though she was a strong supporter of Mr. Trump, she had voted to convict Mr. Manafort.

Experts also said that given the evidence in Mr. Chauvin’s case, a court would be hard pressed to throw out the jury’s decision. Mr. Chauvin could receive decades in prison during his scheduled sentencing next month.

“Given that the evidence was pretty overwhelming, it would take a lot for an appellate court to reverse his conviction,” Ms. Moriarty said.

Benjamin Brafman, a criminal defense lawyer in New York who did not have any involvement in the Chauvin case, said the court would also be cognizant of the public view of the case.

Author: John Eligon
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

How Civil Rights Lawyer Keith Ellison Led the Chauvin Prosecution

Author Tim Arango
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

How Civil Rights Lawyer Keith Ellison Led the Chauvin Prosecution

Still, while Mr. Hussein called the Chauvin conviction a landmark, he was reluctant to give Mr. Ellison too much credit because he said the evidence and public awareness of the case, especially from the harrowing bystander video, was so overwhelming that anything less than a conviction would have been a stark failure.

After the verdict in the Chauvin case was read on Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Ellison, who in the coming months will prosecute three other officers charged in Mr. Floyd’s death who are scheduled to go on trial in August, was measured in his remarks. He said the outcome was simply a starting point that he hoped would lead to a wide-scale reckoning with police abuses against people of color.

“I would not call today’s verdict justice, however,” Mr. Ellison said. “Because justice implies there is restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step toward justice.”

During a meeting on Tuesday night with his team, Mr. Ellison noted that he had spent some of the day with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and that Mr. Jackson had been with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the day he died in Memphis in 1968. Mr. Katyal said that Mr. Ellison “drew a link” in the meeting between what the prosecutors did over the last year in achieving justice for Mr. Floyd and the work of Dr. King and the civil rights activists of the 1960s.

In his public remarks on Tuesday, Mr. Ellison invoked the Kerner Commission, a group appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 to investigate the causes of uprisings over racial injustice in American cities.

“Here we are in 2021 still addressing the same problem,” he said, before reciting the names of other Black people killed by the police, including Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Philando Castile and Daunte Wright, who was killed by an officer in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center during the Chauvin trial.

“This has to end,” Mr. Ellison continued. “We need true justice. That’s not one case. That is a social transformation that says that nobody is beneath the law and no one is above it.”

Lawyer for George Floyd’s family wants to turn attention back

Lawyer for George Floyd's family wants to turn attention back

Author Megan Munce
This post originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

Howard Weitzman, Defense Lawyer for the Famous, Dies at 81

Howard Weitzman, Defense Lawyer for the Famous, Dies at 81

Howard Weitzman, an entertainment lawyer whose client list bristled with the names of some of the nation’s most famous, and infamous, celebrities — including Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber and, for two days, O.J. Simpson — died on Wednesday at his home in the Pacific Palisades section of Los Angeles. He was 81.

The cause was cancer, said Diana Baron, a spokeswoman for his wife, Margaret Weitzman.

In a career spanning five decades, Mr. Weitzman was the lead attorney in more than 300 civil and criminal jury trials, representing more than 1,000 people. His client list read like a Who’s Who of the last half-century’s superstars, among them Marlon Brando, Magic Johnson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Justin Bieber, Ozzy Osbourne, Morgan Freeman and Britney Spears.

He also represented major motion picture studios as well as the powerhouse talent agencies William Morris, ICM and CAA, giving him a 360-degree view of the inner workings of the entertainment industry and a Rolodex of top-level connections that enhanced his reputation as a fixer. He was often ranked as one of the most influential lawyers in the country.

“A renowned trial lawyer and deal-maker, Howard skillfully handled some of the most famous cases in Hollywood,” his law firm, Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert, said in a statement.

A master practitioner of the courthouse-steps news conference, Mr. Weitzman shot to national fame with his defense of John DeLorean[1], the flamboyant automobile executive who was accused of cocaine trafficking. In a 1984 trial during which the jury heard audiotapes of Mr. DeLorean making incriminating statements[2], Mr. Weitzman demolished the credibility of a key informant, argued that the F.B.I. had entrapped his client and won an acquittal.

With cable television in its infancy, Mr. Weitzman was one of the first lawyers to face round-the-clock television coverage of a big trial. He quickly turned it to his advantage, addressing the news media — and the court of public opinion — from the front of the courthouse.

“Part of my reasoning for talking to the media at all was to try and even the scales,” Mr. Weitzman told Southern California Super Lawyers magazine[3] in a lengthy interview in 2008. “I learned then that on TV they tend to take three words from the 10 sentences you spoke. You learn pretty quickly to speak in sound bites if possible.”

Reporters found him helpful, congenial and entertaining, The Washington Post reported during the DeLorean trial[4]. He gave them insights into his legal strategy, the paper said, as well as “a steady supply of his own humorous asides and highly quotable denunciations of the government and its informer.”

Although he was best known for his celebrity criminal cases, Mr. Weitzman also had extensive experience in business litigation and making deals. As aggressive as he could be in court, he came to prefer settling cases out of court.

Many of the lawsuits against his clients had a habit of disappearing. After a 14-year-old boy accused Mr. Jackson of sexually molesting him, Mr. Weitzman and Johnnie Cochran Jr.[5], another superstar defense lawyer, helped short-circuit the boy’s civil suit[6] by having Mr. Jackson pay him a sum believed to be in the millions of dollars.

When a young fan accused Justin Bieber of fathering her child in 2011, she demanded that he take a DNA test. Mr. Weitzman, representing Mr. Bieber, said that his client would submit to such a test — and at the same time threatened to countersue the woman, saying she was making a bogus claim. She dropped her suit.

He also represented Mr. Bieber when he was sued by his former bodyguard,[7] who said Mr. Bieber had punched him in 2012. Just before the trial was to begin, Mr. Weitzman announced that the two had reached an agreement, and the suit was dropped.

Mr. Weitzman referred to his celebrity clients as “people of profile.” He said he believed they suffered in the criminal justice system because judges liked to make an example of them. He made this point in 2007 while representing Paris Hilton, who was caught driving without her license, which had been suspended after a drunk-driving conviction.

She was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

An outraged Mr. Weitzman told reporters that the sentence should have been much lower. “It’s clear she was selectively prosecuted because of who she is,” he said. “Shame on the system and shame on the city attorney for bringing this case.”

The city attorney disputed Mr. Weitzman’s interpretation, saying the judge was simply showing that no one was above the law.

Howard Lloyd Weitzman was born on Sept. 21, 1939, in Los Angeles, where his parents, Wilfred and Billie Weitzman, ran a grocery store. Working there on occasion, he developed an ability to converse with a wide variety of people.

He studied at Los Angeles City College before transferring to the University of Southern California, from which he graduated in 1962 with a degree in physical education. He loved baseball and hoped to make a career of it, but when that didn’t materialize, a friend suggested he try law school.

He took the LSAT but didn’t score high enough to be admitted to U.S.C.’s law school, according to Southern California Super Lawyers. At that point, the magazine said, his baseball coach, Rod Dedeaux, called the dean of the law school, who found a spot for Mr. Weitzman. Mr. Weitzman received his degree in 1965 and began to practice criminal law.

He left his law practice in 1995 to work as vice president of corporate operations for Universal Studios. He worked there until being ousted in a management reshuffle[8].

He said later that his experience at Universal helped him better evaluate whether to take a case to trial. “I was always more inclined to draw lines in the sand earlier in my career,” he said. “Now I try to avoid the actual trial and resolve it short of litigation.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Weitzman is survived by two sons, Armen and Jed, and two grandchildren. His first marriage, to Stacey Cooper Furstman, ended in divorce.

For all his showmanship in the courtroom, Mr. Weitzman opted out of what the media called the trial of the century: the case against O.J. Simpson,[9] who was accused of the 1994 murders of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Mr. Weitzman had accompanied Mr. Simpson to a police interview after the murders. But in less than 48 hours, he dropped out[10], saying he was too busy.

After the sensational trial, during which much of the nation had ground to a halt waiting for the verdict[11] — not guilty — Mr. Weitzman took the unusual step of saying that the jury had reached the wrong conclusion. “That is my opinion,” he told Super Lawyers, “based on time spent with him before the incident occurred, time spent with him after the murders occurred, and observing at arm’s length the facts brought out during the trial.”

He said he had no regrets about not participating in the spectacle. “Being in the eye of the storm,” he said, “is not something I needed.”

Katharine Q. Seelye

Deshaun Watson's lawyer granted hearing over accuser's identity

Deshaun Watson's lawyer granted hearing over accuser's identity
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — In the wake of two accusers going public, Deshaun Watson’s attorney has filed on Thursday an emergency motion, seeking to identify one woman among the 22 civil lawsuits against the Houston Texans quarterback.In a statement, Houston lawyer Rusty Hardin said the anonymity of those accusing Watson is being used “as a sword” against Watson, who on Wednesday began seeing a flurry of his endorsement deals fall, including those with Nike, Beats by Dre, and Reliant[1].

“We have said this before and we want to say it again: Deshaun did not force, coerce or intimidate anyone to do anything against their will,” Hardin’s statement read. “When we asked (Houston lawyer Tony) Buzbee to identify his clients weeks ago, he refused and told us to file a motion. Today we filed that motion.”A hearing is now scheduled in Harris County 113th Civil District Court on Friday at 11 a.m.

The motion filed Thursday pertains to lawsuit 2021-15937, which was filed March 18. Because these lawsuits were filed individually, Hardin would need to file a motion for each of the lawsuits filed.

Hardin continued, “As discussed in our filing, Mr. Buzbee’s use of anonymous lawsuits violates Texas law and the basic concept of fairness. It is clear that, for Mr. Buzbee, this case has never been about seeking justice in a courtroom, but destroying Deshaun’s reputation to enhance his own public profile and enrich himself. While I understand that anonymity often is used as a shield for victims, Mr. Buzbee is using it as a sword.”

Hardin then accuses Buzbee of using the allegations to “destroy” the 25-year-old.

Earlier this week, two of Watson’s accusers – Ashley Solis and Lori Baxley – went public to retell what they called a traumatic experience with the football player.

SEE MORE: Alleged victim of Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson speaks publicly for 1st time[2]

The two women, along with 20 others, have retained Buzbee to file those civil claims on their behalf. Eyewitness News is reaching out to Buzbee’s firm for response to Thursday’s filling.Since the first lawsuits were filed in mid-March, Watson has denied ever committing wrongdoing[3] against anyone, which was something Hardin repeated on Thursday.

Hardin has also collected testimonials from 18 different massage therapists who said their experiences with the Texans player aren’t consistent with what’s being alleged.

Last week, the Houston Police Department confirmed at least one report involving Watson has been filed, but it didn’t elaborate on details. Buzbee has promised evidence is making its way to police.

Click through this immersive experience to read about each of the 22 lawsuits. For a better experience on the app, click here to see the experience on its own page[4].

In terms of his standing with the Texans and the NFL, the league has launched an investigation into whether Watson violated its Personal Conduct Policy. Texans general manager Nick Caserio[5] said the team is “certainly cognizant and aware” of Watson’s situation, adding the allegations are “certainly troubling” and something the team takes “very seriously.”
Watson, who requested a trade from the Texans back in January[6], has reportedly earned a little over $ 40 million in salary and bonuses during his four seasons in the NFL. He’s due to make $ 10.5 million this coming season, and then, $ 35 million in 2021, the first year of a four-year, $ 177 million contract extension[7].SEE ALSO: Could allegations be ‘career killer’ for Deshaun Watson?[8]

ESPN contributed to this story.

Follow Roxie Bustamante on Facebook[9], Twitter[10] and Instagram[11].

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Roxie Bustamante

Sharon Stone on the truth behind that Basic Instinct scene 'My lawyer said it was illegal'

Sharon Stone on the truth behind that Basic Instinct scene 'My lawyer said it was illegal'

Douglas said: “I need someone to share the risks of this movie… I don’t want to be up there all by myself.”

Director Paul Verhoeven remembered Stone, who’d impressed in a small but pivotal role in his 1990 hit Total Recall.

She signed on for $ 500,000. It was a relatively small amount considering the film’s budget and prestige but she knew it coul define her career.

When it hit cinemas and controversy started to spread around whether she was actually showing everything in the infamous scene, Stone said she had initially been wearing white underwear.

She claimed Verhoeven told her the underwear was reflecting the lights and she agreed to remove them, believing anything revealing would be edited out of the final cut.

Her new memoir describes what happened at a preview screening when, absolutely horrified, she saw there was still a full-frontal shot.

Biden staff vetting Obama-era lawyer for DOJ antitrust division: report

President BidenBiden staff vetting Obama-era lawyer for DOJ antitrust division: reportJoe BidenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster GOP looks to squeeze Biden, Democrats on border Sanders creates new headache for Biden on taxes MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1]’s team is reportedly vetting a lawyer who served as the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) general counsel under former President Obama for a top antitrust post. 

According to Politico, which cited two sources familiar with the matter, Jonathan Sallet, who played a key role in formulating the FCC’s net neutrality rules, has been in talks for several weeks now for a top role to work on Biden’s competition policy. [7]

One potential position Sallet could take on is leading the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, where Sallet served as deputy assistant attorney general for litigation from 2016 to 2017.


Sallet as the DOJ’s top litigator helped block Halliburton’s $ 36 billion deal to purchase rival Baker Hughes, and also filed and won suits against Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana mergers.

Politico reported that Sallet could also be a possibility for permanent chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

While Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine confirmed last week that he is being considered to head the FTC, which enforces antitrust and consumer protection laws, Biden has yet to make a formal announcement on the role. 

A top appointment of Sallet, who while at the FCC led the agency’s reviews of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, would signal a move by Biden to continue efforts at aggressively enforcing communications and consumer protection laws. 

Biden has faced substantial pressure to appoint individuals as FTC chair and DOJ antitrust chief who would seek to hold online platforms accountable, including tech giants like Google and Facebook. 

Sallet while working for Colorado Attorney General Phil Wesier, led a multi-state antitrust investigation into Google’s online search engine, and also served as the primary author of a complaint filed in late December against Google on behalf of more than 30 states and territories. 


The complaint seeks to break up the tech giant and specifically accuses Google of holding an unhealthy monopoly online that forces out competitors. 

Sallet did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for confirmation on Politico’s report. 

The report comes the same day the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it would be looking into Facebook’s acquisition of animated image search engine Giphy, arguing that the merger raised competition concerns. [8]

Regulators in Australia are conducting their own independent investigation into the deal, and lawmakers in the U.S. have also pushed for American antitrust regulators to look into it.

[email protected] (Celine Castronuovo)

Boulder Shooting Suspect’s Lawyer Cites ‘Mental Illness’ in First Court Appearance

Boulder Shooting Suspect’s Lawyer Cites ‘Mental Illness’ in First Court Appearance

BOULDER, Colo. — A lawyer for the man charged with 10 counts of murder after a mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo.[1], said in court on Thursday that the suspect has an unspecified mental illness.

During the first court appearance for the suspect, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, prosecutors also vowed to file more charges in the next two weeks and said the police were still processing the vast crime scene at the King Soopers grocery store. Mr. Alissa will continue to be held in jail without bond.

Kathryn Herold, a public defender who is among those assigned to represent Mr. Alissa, raised the possibility that he had a mental illness when she asked the judge to postpone the next court date.

“We cannot do anything until we are able to fully assess Mr. Alissa’s mental illness,” Ms. Herold said at the hearing.

Judge Thomas Mulvahill said that the parties would next meet in court in the next 60 to 90 days to discuss the case.

Mr. Alissa, who was shot in the leg by the police during the attack, was brought in and out of the courtroom in a wheelchair and wore a white surgical mask. He spoke only once during the hearing, saying “yes” when the judge asked if he understood his rights.

One of the other lawyers representing Mr. Alissa on Thursday was Daniel King, a longtime public defender who represented the gunman who killed 12 people in 2012 in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater during a trial that hinged on the gunman’s mental state[2].

Law enforcement officials have said that Mr. Alissa, 21, was armed with what appeared to be a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun during the shooting on Monday, and was wearing an armored vest. Investigators said he began the rampage in the parking lot of the grocery store and then made his way inside.

Boulder Police said Mr. Alissa bought a Ruger AR-556 pistol, a short-barreled variant of an AR-15 carbine, just six days before the shooting. They have not said whether that was one of the two weapons he was found with and have declined to provide more details on the weapons used in the attack.

Mr. Alissa is charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree, including in the death of a police officer who was the first to respond to the scene. If convicted, he faces a penalty of life imprisonment without parole. Prosecutors have charged Mr. Alissa with attempted murder in the first degree, saying he tried to kill another police officer during the attack.

Jack Healy reported from Boulder and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs from New York. Will Wright contributed reporting from New York.


  1. ^ grocery store in Boulder, Colo. (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ hinged on the gunman’s mental state (www.nytimes.com)

Jack Healy and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs