Author Archive

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 ...

Oct

Have you ever encountered sentencing judges reluctant to direct the probation officer to make corrections to errors in the final Presentence Investigation Report? The same thing—and sometimes with even better results—can be accomplished by asking the judge to issue a Statement of Reasons. Click to read the article.

Sep

Earlier this year, Alan Ellis interviewed Elliot Atkins, Ed.D., a noted forensic psychologist. The highlights of the interview are included in this article, which is intended to provide defense counsel with strategies for more effectively educating the Court about the client whose mental and emotional functioning may have contributed to the commission of the offense. A substantially similar version of this ...

Sep

For the past year and a half, Alan Ellis has interviewed almost two dozen federal judges, discussing with them their philosophies on and advice for lawyers representing clients at federal sentencing. Mr. Ellis saw a pattern across the viewpoints of the judges: they are not getting the information they need during the sentencing phase of a case. Some of the ...

Apr

In this article, published in Bloomberg Law's Criminal Law Reporter and White Collar Crime Report, Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh discuss the importance of effectively using statistics in federal sentencing to avoid unwarranted disparities. The authors provide an overview to practitioners on how to best use the data in mitigation of punishment. Click to read the article.

Apr

By Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh Published by The National Trial Lawyers, April 13, 2017. Reprinted with permission. Bureau of Prisons policies are complex and difficult to understand—even defense lawyers find them taxing particularly so when it comes to medical and mental health issues. Clients and families are more often than not lost in the bureaucratic maze of ...

Mar

Plea Bargained vs. Open Pleas: What the Data Reveal By Alan Ellis, Esq., and Mark H. Allenbaugh, Esq. Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 governs guilty pleas for federal criminal defendants. This expert analysis examines the raw sentencing data published by the U.S. Sentencing Commission regarding the types of pleas defendants enter and the sentences they receive. In particular, we examine the number ...

Jan

Alan Ellis and Michael Henderson share the ins and outs of the Bureau of Prison's Pre-Release Program in this article published in Criminal Justice, Winter 2017. Click to read the full article.