The Idaho Supreme Court decided an interesting case in which the Boy Scouts of America sought to dismiss a case brought by sex abuse victims who had not proceeded with their cases until they were adults. Generally, Idaho civil law contains a statute of limitations that ends liability for civil cases after some number of years. For example – if

Continue Reading Idaho’s Civil Action For Victims Of Sexual Abuse Not Applied Retroactively

The problem with over generalizations is – they are in fact over generalizations! Guilty. I may have suggested recently that your likelihood of getting relief on appeal is about the same as coming up with a perpetual motion machine; or a little less than winning that $200 million Power Ball; or swimming from Los Angeles to San Diego – even

Continue Reading Did I say the Idaho Supreme Court never grants relief? Say it ain’t so!

I had the call again this week: "I did not do anything wrong. Do you think it is ok if I talk to the police? Because – actually – I already talked to them and now they tell me they know what I did. I didn’t do anything!" 

Yes you did. You talked to the police. You thought that they

Continue Reading Never Talk To The Police. I Mean It – NEVER! (OK – if your son or daughter is a cop and it is Christmas … maybe)

Reversing a conviction for rape this week, the Idaho Court of Appeals reminded all of us that the system works when the rules leveling the playing field are enforced. That applies to defense lawyers and prosecutors alike. As Judge Gutierrez noted: "While our system of criminal justice is adversarial in nature, and the prosecutor is expected to be diligent and leave

Continue Reading Three Truths About Criminal Trials – And Maurice Troutman Gets Another Chance

 In a decision handed down on December 30, the Idaho Court of Appeals vacated a conviction for robbery in State vs Faron Hawkins because the district judge did not sua sponte (on his own without a motion from the defendant) order a mental health evaluation during the trial of the case. Hawkins had contacted an FBI agent concerning his fear for

Continue Reading Idaho Appellate Court Says Judge Had Duty To Order Mental Evaluation

 This was the message on my phone today – "the cops are here, they think I have illegal pornography on my computer and want to search.  Can they search it without a warrant?  Should I talk to them?" And then the phone went dead.  I suppose the caller had a little talk with the nice officers and they straightened it

Continue Reading Can They Search My Computer Without A Warrant?

 The testimony usually goes like this – 

"Now officer, as you observed the defendant’s driving that night, did you see anything that caused you to believe he might be operating under the influence of some intoxicant?"

"I did.  He was weaving all over the place, crossed the yellow line and the white lines, and almost hit another officer who happened

Continue Reading Is The Exclusionary Rule At Risk – Maybe

 So the last time we talked I told you to keep silent, but what if you talked? What if you told the nice detective that you bought the drugs from your source in El Paso, who just happens to take delivery across the Rio Grande from "Phillipe" and his brother.  Well my friend – you’ve got trouble.  Trouble. With a capital

Continue Reading So Let’s Say You Talked – What About That Confession?

I am not a psychologist – and I don’t play one on this blog, but the Idaho Court of Appeals has decided that criminal defense lawyers need to pay attention to their clients’ mental states at the time they enter a plea of guilty.  In Ridgley vs State of Idaho, decided August 6, Judge Lansing held that the appellant’s

Continue Reading So You Want To Plead Guilty – Idaho Appellate Court Says Lawyer Must Consider Mental State