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.
Worcester Superior Court (2016)
Attorney Wood, assisted by Attorney Malm, convinced a Superior Court judge to grant a new trial 16 years after our client's conviction because new evidence showed the unreliability of eyewitness identifications.
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").
Supreme Judicial Court (2016)
Attorney Wood convinced the Supreme Judicial Court that the defendant's attorney provided ineffective assistance in advising the defendant to make a statement to the police.
Plymouth Superior Court (2015)
Attorney Wood convinced a judge to order the testing of a a 42 year old stamp for DNA under GL Ch. 278A in a 42 year old murder case. This is one of the first times a judge agreed to order testing of old evidence under this new law.
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.
662 F.3d 18 (2011) (distribution of cocaine)
Exclusion of the defendant’s friends and family likely violated his right to a public trial. The defendant was entitled to a new hearing where he could prove this because he was denied an attorney at the prior hearing.
80 Mass.App.Ct. 43 (2011) (second degree murder)
Exclusion of the defendant’s friends and family during jury selection violated the defendant’s right to a public trial.
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.
75 Mass.App.Ct. 1112 (2009) (distribution of cocaine)
Admission of a “drug certificate” violated the defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him.
74 Mass.App.Ct. 16 (2009) (contempt)
The trial judge could not hold the defendant in contempt because she did not personally see him make threatening gestures in the courtroom.
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.
445 Mass. 446 (2005) (violation of probation)
Our amicus brief helped persuade the Supreme Judicial Court that the judge had no power to extend the defendant’s probation because it had already expired.
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.
17 Mass. L. Rep. 308 (2004) (extortion)
A protestor’s extremely strident statements on a picket line were protected by the First Amendment and the indictment must be dismissed.
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.
438 Mass. 444 (2003) (armed robbery)
Limitation on cross-examination of witness regarding whether his identification of was tainted violated the defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him.
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.
218 F. Supp. 2d 26 (2002) (masked armed robbery)
The prosecutor’s outrageous conduct in closing argument, calling himself a choirboy and saying the defendant did not get the presumption of innocence, infected the trial with unfairness.
53 Mass.App.Ct. 685 (2002) (armed robbery)
The defendant was entitled to display his tattoos to the jury to show that he had been misidentified. Because the judge refused to allow this, he was entitled to a new trial.
52 Mass.App.Ct. 25 (2001) (attempted murder, solicitation of felony)
The defendant was recorded recruiting undercover informants to kill someone. The evidence was insufficient to convict the defendant of attempted murder.
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.
49 Mass. App. Ct. 827 (2000) (armed robbery)
The jury should have been told that the prosecutor’s failure to call crucial witnesses could be held against the Commonwealth.
50 Mass. App. Ct. 312 (2000) (armed home invasion).
Trial counsel was ineffective in failing to request that the jury be told that consent was a defense to home invasion.
47 Mass. App. Ct. 1118 (1999) (unarmed robbery)
The defendant's conviction was reversed because the prosecutor's excuse for removing the only black juror - that she was a divinity student - was a pretext for racial discrimination.