Thursday, August 26, 2004

Lawyers Turn Sentencing Commission Down in Favor of their White-Collar Criminal Clients

Another funny part of the article we quoted from in our previous post is that it relates that the Sentencing Commission (in the judicial branch, don't you forget) could not even get the law firm they inintially selected to represent it as amicus in Booker and Fanfan.
The commission turned to several top Supreme Court advocates in private practice seeking help in drafting its brief, but they turned down the work, not wanting to upset white-collar criminal clients who would probably like to see the guidelines struck down.

The commission then hired James Robinson, partner in the D.C. office of New York's Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, to finalize the brief, which is due Sept. 1. Robinson was assistant attorney general in charge of the Criminal Division in 2000 when the high court issued Apprendi v. New Jersey, the precursor to Blakely that first called into serious question the role of judges in sentencing.
When was the last time you heard of the judiciary not being able to get the help of BigLaw when it asked for it? Well, it is true that if they had criminal defendants as clients they could not properly accept this work, but it goes to show how favored the guidelines are!