Circuit judges commend attorney in opinion

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2007
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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an attorney's motion to withdraw his client's notice of appeal because the attorney couldn't find a non-frivolous basis for an appeal. The court also commended the attorney for how he handled the appeal.

In U.S.A. v. Alan R. King, Jr., No. 07-2143, King pleaded guilty to stealing government property, loan fraud, false representation of Social Security numbers, and federal student financial aid fraud. The District Court sentenced him to 105 months imprisonment, five years of supervised release, $183,845 in restitution, and a $400 special assessment.

King filed a notice to appeal, which caused his attorney to file a motion to withdraw because the attorney couldn't discern a non-frivolous basis for the appeal. The Circuit Court limited its review to the potential frivolous issues identified by the attorney and King and found all the issues raised would be considered frivolous in appeal.

King argued he was not of sound mind when he pleaded guilty. In the per curiam opinion, the court disagreed, stating after he entered his plea he gave coherent and articulate responses.

King contends the District Court didn't give a sound reason as to why it rejected the plea agreement King reached with the government. The District Court judge did explain that he rejected the plea agreement because he disagreed with the parties' stipulated offense level, which improperly awarded King for accepting responsibility. Accepting the plea deal would give King a sentence lower than what he should receive based on the crimes he committed.

King wanted to challenge the court's finding he obstructed justice by attempting to flee while on pre-trial release. King did not return to the community corrections center where he was staying and even obtained a new driver's license with a stolen Social Security number. King also wanted to know if he could challenge the District Court's refusal to award him a reduction for the acceptance of responsibility. By recommitting the same type of crime while on release, it showed he did not accept responsibility, the court ruled, and challenging either issue would be frivolous.

A challenge to King's criminal history and whether he could challenge his prison sentence would also be frivolous, the court decided. King lied to police and a judge that his license had been suspended and claimed he was a twin and police had the wrong person in custody. The offense showed a pattern of deceptive conduct. In regards to his prison sentence, the District Court concluded a heavy sentence was required given the seriousness of his offenses.

The circuit judges closed the opinion recognizing King's attorney, James McKinley, for his ability to balance representing his client and not filing a frivolous appeal.

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.