Alan Ellis Newsletters

Aug

Inmates often say that 99 percent of lawyers don’t know the first thing about the Bureau of Prisons and the 1 percent who do are all doing time themselves. Understanding these practice tips, published in BNA's Bloomberg Law, will decrease the 99 percent number. Read the article here.

Jul

At the time then-judge Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Trump, we wrote about his position on "relevant conduct." A year later, President Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to take the seat of retiring Justice Kennedy. Judge Kavanaugh shares the concerns of Justice Gorsuch on the impact judge-found facts drive federal sentencings, often increasing terms of ...

Jul

Most lawyers understandably are unable to advise a first-time federal inmate as to what it will be like in prison. In this article, the fourth in a series published in Law360 Expert Analysis newsletter, I interview J. Michael Henderson about key aspects of mental health care and substance abuse treatment in the Bureau of Prisons. Henderson has over 23 years ...

Jul

RDAP is the only BOP program through which federal prisoners can earn ...

Jun

The federal presentence investigation report (PSR) is the document most heavily relied on by a judge in imposing sentence—particularly in those cases where a guilty plea has been entered and the court knows little about the defendant. It also is the document that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) relies on in making designations and placements and many other decisions ...

May

Some of the more interesting insights that I’ve received from judges whom I’ve interviewed for this series have come from those who were criminal defense lawyers. This article focuses exclusively on the information shared by four judges with the unique perspective of both the stage manager and the audience. (1) Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr., from the Southern District of Florida ...

Apr

Most lawyers are understandably unable to advise a first-time federal inmate as to what it will be like in prison. Rarely do they ever get beyond an attorney visiting room. In this four-part series of articles, we, the co-authors of "Federal Prison Guidebook," with the help of Philip S. Wise, retired Bureau of Prisons assistant director of heath services, offer ...

Mar

Most lawyers are understandably unable to advise a first-time federal inmate as to what it will be like in prison. Rarely do they ever get beyond an attorney visiting room. In this four-part series of articles, we, the co-authors of "Federal Prison Guidebook," with the help of Philip S. Wise, retired Bureau of Prisons assistant director of heath services, offer ...

Jan

U.S. District Judges Frederic Block of the Eastern District of New York and Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California in San Francisco are legendary sentencing judges. Read their views on sentencing in this article, Part 10 of the Law360 series, "Views from the Bench," by Alan Ellis. Click to read the article.

Jan

In this article, published in Bloomberg Law's White Collar Crime Report, Alan Ellis, Mark Allenbaugh and Doug Passon discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision examining the use of acquitted conduct at sentencing. The authors argue that based on the high court’s ruling, only facts arising out of a final conviction, and not elements of acquitted, dismissed, or uncharged crimes, ...

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