NY Lawyers File Grievance Against Prosecutor

by TChris

New York's criminal defense lawyers are mad as heck, and they're not going to take it any more. Fed up with "a pattern of prejudicial public statements by Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro," the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed a disciplinary complaint against the prosecutor.

The complaint, by the group's Prosecutorial and Judicial Complaint Center, focused on a Pirro news conference in January announcing the indictment of Eddie Cordero Sr. ... The lawyers' group said Pirro implied that Cordero was HIV positive, a disclosure that might violate state law. She went on to describe the crime as a classic case why violent sex offenders should be subjected to civil detention once their prison terms are over.

"The number and content of the media reports in the Cordero case make it plain that a reasonable person should know that the dissemination of such comments has a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding," Daniel Arshack, a Manhattan lawyer who is secretary of the complaint center, wrote in the seven-page grievance letter. The grievance was the first filed since the complaint center was formed last year.

The group also complained about two other high profile cases in which Pirro made prejudicial comments to the media. Pirro allegedly has a pattern of releasing information to the media that would be inadmissible in a trial, presumably to taint the pool of jurors who may participate in the trial.

The defense lawyers' group complaint comes just a few weeks after Pace Law professor Bennett Gershman, a frequent critic of Pirro, also cited the Cordero case in his own complaint letter to the judicial committee in mid-February.

Pirro is reportedly considering a run for the office of state attorney general in 2006. TalkLeft's take on Pirro is here.

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    Re: NY Lawyers File Grievance Against Prosecutor (none / 0) (#1)
    by cp on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 02:28:55 PM EST
    ok, that last statement was what i was looking for. it has been my experience that extremely loud prosecutors tend to be ones who are planning to seek higher office. they get free publicity, increased name recognition, and don't have to defend their comments in court. of course, defense attorneys have been known to pull the same stunts as well. i know, i know, hard to believe, but true. the only way to stop this is for the judge to issue a gag order.

    Re: NY Lawyers File Grievance Against Prosecutor (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Mar 08, 2005 at 06:58:02 PM EST
    Violent sex offenders SHOULD be lock-up forever. Civil detention is too kind for them. All should get life without parole. Would you want one living next to you?

    Re: NY Lawyers File Grievance Against Prosecutor (none / 0) (#3)
    by Walter on Wed Mar 09, 2005 at 10:36:40 AM EST
    I filed a grievance with the Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Ohio against an attorney. Assistant Disciplinary Counsel Ken Donchatz actually fabricated a story and then based his determination on his own fabrication. It would have been nice if either the attorney or myself were included in the loop. I always laugh when people think that they will get some type of justice from a Disciplinary Counsel. First and only item on the Discipliary Counsel's mission statement.....1. Cover up and deny any wrongdoing by any judge or attorney by any means possible.