Alan Ellis Newsletters

Jan

Federal criminal sentencing experts Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh dissect the First Step Act of 2018, a new bipartisan federal prison reform law. In Part 1 of a three-part series, the authors focus on the significant expansion of the “safety valve;” the reduction of mandatory minimum penalties for second and third-strike offenders; the elimination of a particular draconian ...

Dec

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 ...

Dec

Law360 is publishing a series of articles written by Alan Ellis. The series is part of the Expert Analysis section of Law360's White Collar Crime practice category. For the series, Mr. Ellis interviewed federal judges at length and asked them to share some dos and don'ts for lawyers and their clients who appear before them at sentencing, as well as ...

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

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

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 ...

Nov

Attorneys Alan Ellis and Karen L. Landau discuss ways in which federal criminal defendants, who have been convicted of a crime, either after a guilty plea or a trial, may challenge a conviction or sentence. The article, which first appeared in the Criminal Justice, Spring 2002 Edition, answers the following questions: Who is entitled to a direct appeal? What issues ...

Nov

Attorney Alan Ellis and Todd Bussert outline areas about which defense counsel should be aware in order to afford clients the greatest opportunity for post conviction relief. In this article, originally published in Criminal Justice, Volume 25, Number 1, Spring 2010 by the American Bar Association, they explore ethical constraints on defense counsel’s ability to advise clients and to shield ...

Nov

Attorneys Alan Ellis and James H. Feldman, Jr. discuss how the §2255 and §2241 motions are applied to prisoners in custody to vacate their convictions or sentences. Originally published by the National Association of Criminal defense Lawyers, the article answers the following questions: Who can file a §2255 motion? What issues can be raised in a §2255 motion? How does ...

Nov

Attorney Allan Ellis discusses the the four-level scale the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employs in the designation process that seeks to correlate prisoners’ perceived medical needs to resources, both at institutions and in their corresponding communities. Learn more about the criteria the BOP uses to determine how federal inmates are classified into the four medical levels and how community medical ...