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Matt Kaplan Wins Important Constitutional Rights Appeal

Matt Kaplan prevailed on behalf of his client in a criminal case decided yesterday by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. The Court's opinion, which reverses the murder conviction of Mr. Kaplan's client, addresses two fundamental issues of constitutional law—the application to mobile phones of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee that citizens are not to be subject to unreasonable government searches and seizures and, separately, an accused’s right to confront witnesses against him or her under the Sixth Amendment. The…

Matt Kaplan Prevails in Appeal Protecting Key Constitutional Rights

Matt Kaplan has obtained the reversal of his client's murder conviction. Kaplan had argued that constitutional errors committed by the trial court resulted in an unfair trial and may have led to his client's wrongful conviction. The case, decided earlier this week by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, is an important precedent which will protect the rights not only of criminal defendants, but of all Americans. Police obtained important evidence in the case from the review of every…

Conviction Reversed for Violation of Defendant’s Rights

The Kaplan Law Firm's Matthew B. Kaplan  has obtained the reversal of the criminal conviction of one of his clients.  In an opinion issued last week the District of Columbia Court of Appeals—the highest "state" court in the District of Columbia—agreed with Kaplan's argument that  his client had been improperly convicted in a "stipulated trial" on charges of the unlawful possession of a weapon and of ammunition. In a stipulated trial the prosecution and the defense agree on the key…

Criminal Conviction Reversed on Appeal

Today the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued an opinion reversing the felony threats conviction of a client of Matthew B. Kaplan, The Kaplan Law Firm's Principal Attorney.  The government had argued that our client had threatened another person by asking that person, during the course of an argument, "What if I shoot you?" and "What if I shoot your car?"  The Court of Appeals—D.C.'s highest "state" appellate court—agreed with our argument that these words are not self evidently…

Successful Appeal Sets Important Precedent On Right to Impartial Juries

The Kaplan Law Firm's Matthew B. Kaplan obtained the reversal of his client's criminal conviction in a decision issued today by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that strengthens the protections afforded by the jury system to criminal defendants.   Our criminal justice system is not always fair, especially when it comes to cases involving defendants who are poor or minorities.  Today's appellate decision holds that, at least in District of Columbia courts, citizens cannot be automatically excluded from juries…

The Kaplan Law Firm Files Confrontation Clause Appeal

The Kaplan Law Firm recently filed an appeal with the D.C. Court of Appeals seeking reversal of our client's conviction for unlawful weapons possession. The case raises an interesting issue under the Constitution's Confrontation Clause about the right of a criminal defendant to confront his (or her) accuser in court. The clause of the Constitution's Sixth Amendment that is at the heart of this appeal, and which is known as the Confrontation Clause, guarantees that, in a criminal case, the…

Sharp Drop in Appeals Reaching DC’s Highest Court

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has made available caseload statistics through the end of 2016.  (I often represent litigants in the Court of Appeals, which is the highest "state" court in the District of Columbia—appeals from this Court go to the United States Supreme Court.)  One surprising trend is a dramatic drop in the Court's caseload over the last several years.  In 2016 1,357 cases were filed with the Court (the overwhelming majority of these cases were appeals)…

Appeals: First Amendment, Discrimination and Criminal Cases

March is turning out to be a  busy month for appellate matters.  The Kaplan Law Firm will have oral arguments in three separate appellate cases, all of which raise important issues of law. On March 21 we have an oral argument before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond in Villa v. CavaMezze Grill, LLC, a Title VII civil rights case. In this case an employer fired an employee (my client) because she reported that another employee had told our client that she…

The Kaplan Law Firm Files Second Appeal in Important First Amendment Matter

I represent a client who was found in 2014 to have committed the crime of stalking because he truthfully told others that another person had had an affair with his wife.  Although what my client said may have embarrassed his wife’s affair partner, nothing he said could be construed as doing anything more than causing embarrassment—certainly, nothing he said constituted a threat or anything that could even be remotely interpreted as a threat.  Nevertheless, the individual named by my client…

Success in the D.C. Court of Appeals

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has issued a decision in favor of my client on a case involving important First Amendment issues. DISCLAIMER A D.C. Superior Court Judge had ruled that my client had committed the crime of stalking by posting on the internet the fact that a complaining individual had had an affair with my client’s wife.  The complainant was upset that this truthful information had hurt his representation.  The trial court ruled that my client had…