ILNews

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. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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