Sentencing Tips

Feb

In a recent article for Law360, Alan Ellis, Mark Allenbaugh, Doug Passon and Jonathan Edelstein discuss United States v. Haymond, 869 F.3d 1153, a case before the Supreme Court on February 26, 2019. The court will determine whether the Constitution precludes a judge from imposing “heightened punishment on [defendants out on supervised release] based, not on their original ...

Dec

In part 12 of the Law360 Views from the Bench series, Alan Ellis shares insights from three judges when responding to Mr. Ellis' question: What can an attorney do when faced with representing a client who has committed a reprehensible offense with a lengthy criminal record? Click to read the article.

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

Dec

Rule 35 and Prior State Sentences United States v. Hankton, No. 16-31126 (5th Cir. Nov. 16, 2017) In Hankton, defendants, at their federal sentencings, had the time they had served on prior, related state sentences credited toward their federal sentences. Quoting Hank Sadowski, former and now-retired Bureau of Prisons’ Regional Counsel, who has written and lectured extensively on the subject ...

Nov

This table, prepared by the Federal Defender Program of Chicago in 2001, is a useful predictive tool. It is not an official BOP document and should not be relied on as such. Please note that good time credits do not apply to sentences of one year of less. Click to see the Good Time Credit Calculation Table.

Nov

In this article published by Bloomberg Law White Collar Crime Report, Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh discuss the proposed amendment to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines regarding acceptance of responsibility and challenging relevant conduct. Ellis and Allenbaugh argue that any revised commentary to U.S.S.G. § 3E1.1 should make clear that challenges to relevant conduct, as well as arguments in favor of ...

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