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2008 Perfect Plea Update

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May 24, 2008, 18:08
2008 Perfect Plea Update
I'm working on a 2008 Update for The Perfect Plea. Anything you want to see in the new edition?
May 27, 2008, 11:48
David Newell
May 27, 2008, 17:10
I have never understood that game. How, exactly, does it help get a defendant 5-99 or life?
May 27, 2008, 19:13
David Newell
I was thinking of it as more of a marketing ploy "The Perfect Plea: Now With Sudoku!". Truth is it's a hard question to answer as it's a pretty complete book (and suggestions like discuss State v. Moore seems like something you would've already thought of).
May 27, 2008, 19:43
I'll repeat what I always told David Newell and Sarah in Editorial Board meetings: I always like things with more pictures of me. Now I realize David took over the board and began aggressively marketing his own line of bauble heads, but still, my picture is far more interesting.

Other than that, I would like a discussion of being able to bind the defendant contractually if he backs out of a deal or doesn't show for sentencing, etc. I know that was covered by case law this last year. Right?

Now don't tell me that is Newell's reference. If so, I'm on with Jumbles instead of Sudoku.
May 27, 2008, 20:02
David Newell
Originally posted by Dan Bradley:
My picture is far more interesting.

I couldn't agree more!
May 28, 2008, 14:50
Ken Sparks
Binding a defendant as to the amount of jail credit as part of the plea agreement.
May 28, 2008, 18:14
Good addition, Ken, and there is some case law to help. Look for some tweaking on the footnotes in that area and some language in the plea forms.
May 29, 2008, 10:11
Talk about pleas in absentia and why not to do them.

The Lizard Man is innocent!
May 29, 2008, 11:02
How would a judge confirm a defendant is competent to stand trial and entering a voluntary plea without direct questioning?
July 24, 2008, 12:44
Last chance for suggestions. Her Royal Highness Editor Diane Beckham now has the materials for formatting.
July 24, 2008, 13:04
David Newell
How about how to determine lesser-included offenses for purposes of a plea bargain? And can the defendant be estopped from complaining about pleading to an lesser offense that isn't necessarily included in the indictment?

(Hey, it's substantive, even if it's discrete.)
July 24, 2008, 18:40
I included citation to a case that very recently came out on that issue. My advice: the better practice is to file a separate information on the offense if you have any doubt as to whether it is a lesser included offense. Very doubtful as to whether defendant can waive the issue, although the estoppel by acceptance doctrine is growing.

We had a couple of cases recently in which I noticed the plea was taken on a questionable lesser included. Instructed the prosecutor to file an information and redo the case, which is no problem since we caught it before sentencing.
July 24, 2008, 19:24
How about a big, bold faced, 48 point type page saying "no pleas to run concurrent with federal sentence" or whatever that annoying problem is?

Another important one is "no plea bargains involving agreements to expunctions or nondisclosures." You can't bind other agencies, and if they don't expunge it might bust your plea down the road.
July 24, 2008, 19:26
David Newell
My next door neighbor will be very happy.
July 25, 2008, 09:19
Appellate lawyers always want mistakes published in bold face type, never to be repeated. Trial lawyers want them published in footnotes with small print, followed by something about harmless error.
July 25, 2008, 09:48
Andrea W
*pokes in* I think I heard the word "expunction"?

July 25, 2008, 10:19
The better practice is to include in the plea agreement that the defendant will not seek expunction. There simply is no good reason to destroy records of an arrest and investigation absent actual innocence.
October 28, 2008, 13:39
Your 2008 Perfect Plea should be arriving in the mail. A big thanks to the Court of Criminal Appeals for approving a grant that provides a free copy to all prosecutors. Special thanks to Judges Barbara Hervey, Michael Keasler and Larry Meyers, who oversee the grant.

And a great big thanks to Diane Beckham, the best editor anywhere.