Firm Wins Two Appellate Cases

Two years ago, a man walked out of his motel room and looked down the barrel of a police officer’s drawn gun. Another officer searched him and took him back into the room where detectives interrogated him for about an hour. He was never read his rights.

His statements to police were played in front of a jury. The jury found him guilty and sentenced him to a dozen years in prison. Then he called us.

On appeal, our attorneys argued that the statements were illegally obtained and should not have been played in court. The man deserved a new trial.

The Arkansas Court of Appeals agreed. In November, the Court reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial. The man “was in custody for the purposes of Miranda, yet he was subjected to a custodial interrogation by the police without having been informed of his right to remain silent, to seek counsel, or to stop the police questioning at any point,” wrote the Court.

The case is Morris v. State, 2016 Ark. App. 546.

In 2012, an employee for a construction company was diagnosed with cancer. The company fired him and cancelled his insurance.

The man hired our firm and filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A lawsuit followed.

Unfortunately, the man died a year-and-a-half later, before the conclusion of his case. His Estate continued the matter, but the construction company argued that Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits die with their plaintiffs. A federal judge agreed and dismissed the case. We appealed.

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals in St. Louis unanimously reversed the decision and reinstated the lawsuit. The Court agreed with our firm’s argument that “the very nature of the ADA makes it more likely the aggrieved party will die before the case is complete given the health issue which brings him or her under the statute’s protection…. Congress passed the ADA to eradicate discrimination against disabled persons, some of whom may be targeted precisely because of their poor health. A state law allowing claims to abate when the aggrieved party died impedes this broad remedial purpose.”

The case is Guenther v. Griffin Construction Company, Inc., No. 16-1760, ___ S.W.3d ___ (8th Cir. 2017).

The attorneys at Miller, Butler, Schneider, Pawlik, & Rozzell, PLLC, handle both civil and criminal appeals from our current clients, from clients who had another attorney represent them prior to the appeal, and even from clients who had no legal counsel at all during their initial case. From issuing notices of appeal and reviewing every document previously filed to drafting briefs and arguing before appellate judges, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to provide superior post-trial representation. Contact us today: 479-621-0006.

Miller, Butler, Schneider, Pawlik, & Rozzell, PLLC,  is your trusted team—when it counts.

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