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7th Circuit reaffirms drug conviction over claims of ineffective counsel

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A man convicted of federal drug charges failed to convince a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that his conviction should be vacated due to ineffective assistance of counsel. The court affirmed a conviction from the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

Circuit Judge Richard Posner wrote for the court that Jose Loera Jr. didn’t show his attorney was ineffective in Jose J. Loera, Jr. v. United States of America, 11-3223. “Loera faults his lawyer first for having failed to argue … that the denial of the motion to suppress in the first round of the criminal proceeding should be binding in the second round — the trial — by virtue of the doctrine of collateral estoppel,” Posner wrote. The government had not objected to the motion to suppress initially, the panel noted, so the judge hadn’t reached the merits.

“The doctrine of collateral estoppel was not applicable in this case, and so Loera’s lawyer can’t be faulted for not having invoked it,” Posner wrote. “Not every ruling has collateral estoppel effect in a subsequent proceeding in which the issue resolved by the ruling pops up again. Considering the number of rulings that a judge is apt to make in a case, whether civil or criminal, we worry that to give every ruling collateral estoppel effect would make the doctrine proliferate excessively.

“As in this case, many trial rulings are made casually, with little attention to the merits of the issue ruled on and in this case probably no attention, since the nonmoving party had not opposed the motion that precipitated the ruling.”

Loera also failed to prevail on his claim that his right to speedy trial was violated.

 

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  • Fairy tales abound
    Once again rather than administer justice, the court of appeals has chosen to re write the law to there liking!

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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