In February 2019, thanks to Attorney Wood's quick intervention, a Boston area university agreed to lift a temporary suspension and not to initiate Title IX proceedings against his client, a college senior in the U.S. on a student visa who had been charged with a misdemeanor in a local court. This decision allows the client to graduate on time.
In January 2019, Attorney Wood, assisted by Attorney Jellison, successfully convinced a trial court to dismiss felony drug distribution charges against a client prior to trial by proving that the Commonwealth had allowed the destruction of relevant evidence and that the Commonwealth's so-called "drug expert" was not qualified to given an opinion and therefore his testimony would be excluded.
Attorney Malm persuaded the Massachusetts Appeals Court to uphold a decision of the Bristol County Superior Court allowing his client's motion to suppress items seized as the result of a motor vehicle stop by police without reasonable suspicion.
On January 5, 2017, Attorney Nathanson convinced a judge to vacate our client's guilty pleas to drug trafficking because his trial attorney failed to advise him that a plea to drug distribution would make him automatically deportable under Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010). Attention to immigration consequences is essential in defending a criminal case.
On December 19, 2016, Attorney Nathanson and Attorney Shih secured the release of our client who had been serving a 15 year federal sentence for possession of a machine gun. Using the decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), the client’s sentence was reduced to time served with probation. They were able to convince the judge that, given the client's exemplary progress in prison and family support, he should be allowed to go directly home instead of a halfway house. Attorneys Nathanson and Shih helped the client create and practice what the judge called "one of the best allocutions I've ever heard."
On August 12, 2016, Attorney Wood convinced a Superior Court judge to grant a new trial in Commonwealth v. Celester, after the Supreme Judicial Court sent the case back for further hearings. The judge agreed with Attorney Wood that Mr. Celester's first attorney had provided ineffective assistance by advising his client to make a statement to the police.
Supreme Judicial Court (2016)
Attorney Wood convinced the Supreme Judicial Court that the ethical rules governing attorneys permit attorneys to contact jurors after trial to investigate claims that jurors had been exposed to prejudicial information ("extraneous influences").
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (2013)
"Since the jury did not find a specific cocaine quantity above 500 grams, defendant's sentence must be vacated and the case remanded for further proceedings consistent with the Supreme Court's intervening decision in Alleyne v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2151 (2013)."
Plymouth Superior Court (2013) (first degree murder)
New trial motion granted. Trial judge gave erroneous felony murder instruction.
456 Mass. 94 (2010) (extortion)
Our amicus (friend of the court) brief helped persuade the Supreme Judicial Court that the exclusion of spectators during jury selection violated the right to a public trial. This is a landmark case on the right to a public trial in Massachusetts.
Norfolk Superior Court (2008) (first degree murder)
The motion for a new trial was allowed because the prosecutor's closing argument gave unsworn testimony that went to a critical issue in the case, improperly vouched for a key Commonwealth witness, and improperly argued that a witness feared testifying against the defendant.
543 U.S. 462 (2005) (possession of a firearm)
The United States Supreme Court ruled that once a trial judge has ruled that the defendant is not guilty, even before the case goes to the jury, the trial judge cannot reconsider the not guilty finding. That violates the Double Jeopardy Clause.
443 Mass. 649 (2005) (manslaughter)
Jurors should hear evidence of the “victim’s” past history of violence because it could prove that the deceased was the aggressor and the defendant acted in self-defense. This was a radical change in the Massachusetts law of self-defense.
Bristol Superior Court (2003) (second degree murder)
The defendant was prosecuted on a cold-case fingerprint 35 years after the killing. The motion to reduce the verdict to manslaughter was allowed and the defendant was released on time already served.
55 Mass. App. Ct. 691 (2002) (rape of a child)
The prosecution used a psychologist as an expert on the characteristics of sexually abused children. The testimony unfairly bolstered the complainant's credibility by improperly telling the jury that the defendant fit the "profile" of a likely child abuser. The conviction was reversed and the Commonwealth dropped the charges.
Calvert County Circuit Court (2001) (breaking and entering)
The post-conviction petition was granted because the client was entitled to custody credit for time he spent in work release program.