Results

The following are actual results from some of the firm’s cases. But no two cases are alike; each has its own distinguishing facts and therefore poses its own unique challenges. These results are thus not necessarily an indicator of future results and are obviously not a guarantee. Except in the case of published opinions, clients’ names have been withheld in the interest of privacy.

Jury Trials

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2015). Federal RICO prosecution of inmates in state prisons allegedly distributing narcotics within the prison system under the direction of a putative prison gang. After a three-week trial involving five codefendants, client was acquitted by a jury of the most serious allegations involving the distribution of methamphetamine.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2013). Federal RICO and VCAR (Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering) prosecution of several North County San Diego street gangs allegedly under the control of a putative prison gang. After a seven-week trial involving seven codefendants, client was acquitted by a jury of all substantive crimes of violence, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in furtherance of the alleged racketeering enterprise, as well as discharging and brandishing firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c) offenses), which would have carried a combined 35-year, mandatory-consecutive sentence.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2009). Department of Justice prosecution of 18 defendants charged with conspiring to use the internet to unlawfully distribute prescription drugs and launder money. The trial – which required special prosecutors from the D.O.J.’s computer-crimes unit, involved seven codefendants, and lasted more than three months – resulted in a hung jury and a mistrial. Before the retrial, client accepted the government’s misdemeanor plea offer with no jail time, no fine, and no criminal forfeiture.

United States v. an Individual, (C.D. Cal. 2008). Originally indicted as a federal death-penalty case, this was a complex prosecution of several gang members charged with murdering another inmate in a federal prison. After an eight-week trial involving five codefendants, client was acquitted by jury on all six felony counts, including first degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and assault with intent to commit murder.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2007). Narcotics-importation case; client was arrested at the port of entry as the single-occupant driver of a car containing 16.54 kilograms of marijuana. Case dismissed after a jury trial resulting in a hung jury.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2007). Narcotics-importation case; client was arrested at the port of entry as the single-occupant driver of a car containing 14.48 kilograms of methamphetamine and allegedly confessed to knowingly importing drugs. Case dismissed after two jury trials resulting in hung juries.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2006). Human-trafficking case; client was arrested at the port of entry as the single-occupant driver of a sport-utility vehicle containing a concealed undocumented alien. Client was acquitted after a jury trial.

 

If I hadn’t been blessed with the skills and expertise that my lawyer, John C. Lemon, brought to my capital murder jury trial, I believe that I would be serving my life in prison for a crime I did not commit. If it had not been for the diligence and hard work ethic of Mr. Lemon – who was appointed to my trial with a mere six months to prepare – never dropped the ball. More like a home run. While my codefendants in the same proceeding had a team of lawyers, with three years to prepare.

Appeals

United States v. Lloyd, 807 F.3d 1128 (9th Cir. 2015). Appeal after jury trial of conviction and sentence in complex, multi-defendant mail and wire fraud prosecution involving an alleged “boiler room” engaged in soliciting investments for “B” movies. Although the court of appeals held that the trial court’s erroneous evidentiary rulings did not affect the outcome of the trial, it reversed and remanded the sentence because of an error in the court’s sentencing-guidelines calculations. Client ultimately received a 60-month reduction in his sentence.

United States v. Maloney, 755 F.3d 1044 (9th Cir. 2014) (en banc). Appeal after jury trial of conviction for possession of over 100 kg of marijuana with intent to distribute by an unlicensed single-occupant driver of a commercial tractor. A panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction in a two-to-one opinion (reported at 699 F.3d 1130), which the court later vacated pending rehearing en banc. After the en banc argument, the U.S. Attorney conceded that the prosecutor committed misconduct, which denied the defendant a fair trial. The court then reversed the conviction and sentence in a published order. To read the en banc court’s order, click here. To watch the video of the oral argument, click here or watch below.

United States v. an Individual, (9th Cir. 2013). Successfully argued to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the district court erred in imposing sentence upon revocation of supervised release. Reversed and remanded.

Garcia-Aguilar v. United States District Court for the S. Dist. of California, 535 F.3d 1021 (9th Cir. 2008). Successfully argued to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the district court could not refuse to accept the defendant’s guilty plea even though, due to omissions in the charging document, the defendant would face a statutory maximum of “only” two years’ imprisonment, rather than 20. Client sentenced to probation on remand.

United States v. an Individual, (9th Cir. 2007). Successfully argued to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the deportation underlying an illegal re-entry conviction was defective. Conviction vacated and indictment dismissed.

United States v. an Individual, (9th Cir. 2007). Successfully argued to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the district court erred in calculating the defendant’s sentencing guidelines. Client sentenced to time-served on remand.

United States v. an Individual, (9th Cir. 2007). Successfully argued to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the district court erred in imposing a five-year mandatory-minimum sentence. Client sentenced to time-served on remand.

Pretrial Motions, Dismissals, and Settlements

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2016). Narcotics-importation case; client arrested at port of entry as the driver of a car containing 2.25 kilograms of cocaine. Case dismissed before indictment.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2015). Complex RICO prosecution of street gangs allegedly trafficking females for purposes of prostitution. All evidence and “fruits” obtained from search of client’s residence suppressed as a result of facially defective search warrant, which was not executed in good faith.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2011). Narcotics importation case (driver and registered owner of vehicle containing 48.54 kilograms of marijuana) dismissed before indictment.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2010). Narcotics importation case (driver and registered owner of vehicle containing 54.9 kilograms of marijuana) dismissed on the morning of trial.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2008). Narcotics importation case (pedestrian who confessed to importing 1.86 kilograms of marijuana, which was taped to his thighs) resulting in a plea to a misdemeanor.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2007). Narcotics importation case (front-seat passenger and registered owner of a vehicle containing 29.88 kilograms of cocaine) dismissed before trial.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2006). Narcotics importation and passport fraud case (single occupant driver of vehicle containing 7.98 kilograms of methamphetamine) dismissed before trial.

United States v. an Individual, (S.D. Cal. 2005). Successfully argued to federal district court that evidence of twelve undocumented aliens in a motor home should be suppressed because of an illegal stop and search. All charges dismissed.