Mar
05

An incompetent DUI lawyer only gets you so far

By Woodward's Friend


Comically strident DUI lawyer Daniel Hajji produced a legal brief so ridiculous that one might mistake it for the literary stylings of Otis Mathis. There’s a method to Hajji’s incoherent madness. His woefully inappropriate arguments convinced the Michigan Appeals Court to delay convicted felon Kwame Kilpatrick’s probation hearing, just in case there was some actual reason (unbeknownst to Hajji) to overturn Groner’s ruling. They threw away Hajji’s scribblings and figured out the case on their own.

Hajji’s maneuver, the legal equivalent of feigning injury in a World Cup soccer game, bought Kilpatrick an extra week or so of precious freedom to indulge in Chik-fil-a and the other delights of society’s upper echelons. Then the Appeals Court was like: Yeah, we looked into it and Kilpatrick is as asshole. Do your worst, Groner.

Not that this is any kind of surprise. Even Kilpatrick’s actual competent lawyer Michael Alan Schwartz (Wayne Jarvis to Hajji’s Barry Zuckercorn) said he expected this ruling. Besides, with Saint Karl “The Bull” Kado’s sentencing yesterday, the probation hearing should be the least of convicted felon Kwame Kilpatrick’s concerns. (Freep)


Categories : Big Important News

8 Comments

1

Speaking of Karl Kado, remind me to add him to my Death Pool 2010 list.

2

Vinny Gambini: It is possible that the two yutes…
Judge Chamberlain Haller: …Ah, the two what? Uh… uh, what was that word?
Vinny Gambini: Uh… what word?
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Two what?
Vinny Gambini: What?
Judge Chamberlain Haller: Uh… did you say ‘yutes’?
Vinny Gambini: Yeah, two yutes.
Judge Chamberlain Haller: What is a yute?
[beat]
Vinny Gambini: Oh, excuse me, your honor…
[exaggerated]
Vinny Gambini: Two YOUTHS.

3
Downriver's Friend
March 6th, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Jerry Gallo? Jerry Gallo’s dead!

4

The author of this BLOG is not being fair and is not only a Kilpatrick hater but also anyone affiliated with him, including his lawyer. Hajji’s work is to be commended. Had it not been for his motions, the court of appeals would never have stopped the arraignmemnt from going forward. Read for yourself.

The Court of Appeals denied to stay the proceedings on Februaray 19, 2010. On the morning of February 23, 2010, the circuit court Judge ordered Mr. Kilpatrick to appear for arraignement on probation violation criminal charges to be held on Friday, February 26, 2010. By late afternoon, Attorney Hajji filed a motion for immediate consideration to stay proceedings to the Court of Appeals.

(2 days later, the Court of Appeals stayed (halted) the circuit court’s proceedings where Mr. Kilpatrick was not required to appear for arraignment).

Within minutes of this Court’s decision denying Mr. Kilpatrick a stay of proceedings a news reporter asked, “What does this mean for your client?” Only a short time earlier a different news reporter had asked for a comment on the prosecution’s response to the motion. I downloaded the response from the internet, my office had not yet received anything. The prosecution’s response basically stated that the request was premature, until such time as consequences are imposed, citing People v Jackson, 483 Mich 271 (2009.) Within a short time of this Court’s decision the prosecution issued a statement indicating that it would be seeking a probation violation hearing, if the payment was not made. This case had already become a farce, yet here the prosecution adds another layer of absurdity.

Counsel had attempted to get this Court to just maintain the status quo, allow this Court time to examine the record, ensure that standards of due process are being met, so that when this case is finally resolved, the City of Detroit and its citizens can agree that the proceedings were handled fairly and justly. The realities of this case speak louder than the legal analysis. The entire purpose of the plea agreement in this case was to let the City of Detroit heal and move forward, to require Mr. Kilpatrick to pay for his mistakes, and also to allow him to move forward. Mr. Kilpatrick wishes to move on, even if the City of Detroit does not. He only asks that his family be left alone. When the tapes of his conversations with his wife, while he was incarcerated, were played at the hearings, Mr. Kilpatrick’s tears were real. He had not allowed his children to see him behind bars, he had brought shame and disgrace not only to himself but his family as well.

Yet Mr. Kilpatrick is not being allowed to move forward. And the divisiveness caused by the underlying case remains and grows. As counsel dodges reporters, at his office, at the Circuit Court, and at the Court of Appeals, he can hear the various opinions circulating among the populace. Viewpoints seem to vary concerning the situation, yet there are distinct divisions along racial lines. This is not good for the City of Detroit.

In addition, the trial court and the prosecution do not seem to be concerned with getting the restitution paid. The trial court has been antagonistic to the very undertakings that are necessary to fulfillment of the restitution payments. The trial court even disapproved of the manner in which Mr. Kilpatrick secured employment because it did not arise in the exact manner that Mr. Kilpatrick thought and represented it would. Undersigned counsel and legal experts would agree that it is unheard of a judge chastising a criminal defendant for the manner in which he secured employment. The trial court also disapproves of the assistance provided by friends and supporters of the Kilpatrick family. Indeed, Mr. Kilpatrick has reached out to friends and acquaintances for help; he has in the past borrowed to make the monthly restitution payments. The trial court appears to infer that it wants Mr. Kilpatrick to live a middle class existence, when such an existence is inconsistent with earning a sufficient amount to fulfill his restitution obligation.

The reality is that Mr. Kilpatrick would have to pay an average of $200,000 a year to fulfill the restitution requirement during the five years of probation. Now the trial court has shortened that period to within four-years from the time of the plea. Mr. Kilpatrick would have to average more than $250,000 a year, to fulfill the restitution requirement. It does not take a legal scholar or a rocket scientist to figure out that to clear an extra $250,000 a year Mr. Kilpatrick is going to have to function in the upper echelons of society. Yes, Mr. Kilpatrick has expended considerable sums to keep up appearances.

However, the clientele he must establish a rapport with are likely to be the privileged and the affluent. The deals he must close to fulfill the restitution obligation require considerable time and he is going to have to cater to sophisticated clients– Burgers and beer at the local bar is not going to be sufficient. In addition, the trial court’s scrutiny of a sales meeting during the restitution hearing, which Mr. Kilpatrick had to attend, is the very type of scrutiny that such clients are likely to avoid. If the trial court really wants the restitution paid, it should exercise a little common sense and at least try to not spoil any possible deals.

Yet, while issuing his opinion and order, after the much publicized restitution hearing, the derision and scorn is apparent, as The trial court tells the cameras that Mr. Kilpatrick had requested that his restitution payment be lowered to $6.00. The trial court goes on to state Mr. Kilpatrick is living in a mansion and driving a fancy SUV, even though he owes the City of Detroit a million dollars. The trial court states that Mr. Kilpatrick has been deceitful and hidden assets.

However, the truth, which the trial court so readily avoided, is that Mr. Kilpatrick did not request that his restitution be lowered. The trial court even acknowledged this during the restitution hearings. The pleading referred to only indicated that based on Mr. Kilpatrick’s current income from his employment versus his expenses, there is only $6 left over. Yet the trial court statements to the cameras subjected not only Mr. Kilpatrick to derision, ridicule and scorn, but his family as well.

And the assets were not hidden. The restitution hearings did not disclose any hidden slush funds, offshore accounts, or financial accounts under assumed names. Basically all the alleged hidden assets were in his wife’s name.

Why? Because they were his wife’s.

They were not hidden, they just had not been disclosed to the court’s satisfaction. Mr. Kilpatrick had explained that he had asked his wife about her finances. The essence of his testimony regarding those conversations was that she told him she was not giving him that information, conversation over. Is it hard to believe that Mrs. Kilpatrick might take that stance in this matter? She never wanted to be involved, still doesn’t want to be involved. The prosecution had wanted to know how come Mr. Kilpatrick had not sought a subpoena for her records. Wouldn’t such a requirement be contrary to the rational underlying the marital privilege doctrine? The prosecution was able to subpoena the documents, the information was available.

The hearings even disclosed that Mrs. Kilpatrick had an elective surgical procedure to repair some type of hernia that was caused by childbirth, and may have had some additional plastic surgery. This is more than undersigned counsel really cares to know about Mrs. Kilpatrick’s personal issues. While this may be appropriate fodder for tabloids, its significance is trivial in relationship the magnitude of the restitution obligation in this case. During the hearings the prosecution also attempts to refute Mr. Kilpatrick’s contention that Mrs. Kilpatrick handles the finances, and seems to try and portray Mrs. Kilpatrick as being unable to handle the finances. However, Mrs. Kilpatrick does not appear too dumb to handle the financials to undersigned counsel. She paid $71,500 for a one-year lease, and you can probably bet that the trial court is not going to throw her and the kids out in the street anytime soon.

Moreover, the allegedly hidden money was given specifically to her and the children to provide for her and the children. Mrs. Kilpatrick and the children were the intended beneficiaries of loan that was allegedly fraudulently conveyed to her. Even though the trial court seems to blatantly ignore her rights in this matter, she probably is not going turn over any of her assets, nor is she going to use gifts specifically given to her to pay Mr. Kilpatrick’s restitution. She still sends her children to summer-camp, she still tithes, donates to charities and carries on with as much dignity as she can.

Mr. Kilpatrick reiterates the foregoing, because that is what this appeal is primarily about, the rights and dignity of his wife and children. What must he do to protect them? Must he go to the extremes of a separation or even a divorce? Should he recommend such to her? Should that even be necessary or required? A family court would surely recognize that as his wife Mrs. Kilpatrick has claims to a share of the marital assets, and Mr. Kilpatrick has obligations to her and the family.

However, this appeal is also about a trial judge standing the law on its head, and making a mockery of the justice system. This case is about a trial judge who has repeatedly maligned Mr. Kilpatrick, and even vilified him to the press. This case is about a trial judge who has repeatedly insisted that he is not trying to set Mr. Kilpatrick up for failure, while at the same time issuing an order that the evidence clearly indicated could not be complied with. This case is about a trial judge who creates stipulations and agreements out of thin air, to infer additional terms in a plea agreement. A trial judge that orders Mr. Kilpatrick to pay a percentage of any gifts and benefits he receives towards restitution, then determines that Mr. Kilpatrick violated probation because his wife has received gifts and benefits. This case is about a restitution order that automatically adjusts upward to include any gifts or benefits Mr. Kilpatrick receives, and as far as we can tell even his family, within its determination of income. Yet the same order apparently requires a motion before the automatic adjustment can trigger a downward departure. Mr. Kilpatrick needs a psychic to properly advise him in this matter.

This case is about the prosecution requesting an order to appear for the Michigan Department of Corrections and the Texas Department of Corrections to appear and explain why they have not sought a probation violation warrant. The case is about a trial court transferring Mr. Kilpatrick’s probation back to the State of Michigan contrary to the rules and procedures of the Interstate Compact for the Supervision of Parolees and Probationers. This case is about a request by the prosecution to hold a restitution hearing, and to modify Mr. Kilpatrick’s restitution upward based on his ability to pay, even though there is no statutory authority for such a request.

Finally this case is about a sham restitution hearing, where Mr. Kilpatrick was ordered to take the stand, and informed that he did not have the right not to take the stand, because the hearing was civil in nature, and not a probation violation hearing. The restitution hearing was ordered to determine whether the restitution payments were appropriately set, based on the prosecution’s allegations that he could pay more based on his financial resources.

Yet the only determinations the trial court made were that Mr. Kilpatrick had violated the orders of probation. There were absolutely zero determinations made concerning Mr. Kilpatrick’s present ability to pay. And the trial court further ordered Mr. Kilpatrick to pay close to $80,000 within 30 days and an additional $240,000 within 90 days, despite the fact that the very evidence presented by the prosecution indicated that he does not have the present financial resources to comply with the order. Moreover, the trial court stated that it was not setting Mr. Kilpatrick up for failure, when the evidence clearly indicates that it did. The Prosecution’s response to the Motion for a Stay of Proceedings, claiming that it was premature was a specious attempt to elevate form over substance, because the first deadline has now passed, the order was not met, probation violation proceedings have begun.

The public interest and scrutiny of this case is intense. Counsel has not tried to be impertinent, but rather counsel is just trying to illustrate the character and significance of this case. The underlying victim in this case is the City of Detroit, it always was and it continues to be. The town is divided, with many of the opinion that Mr. Kilpatrick is nothing more than a darker version of Bill Clinton, many of the opinion that he was corrupt, and many of the opinion that this is just another giant fiasco that is accomplishing little more than giving Detroit another black eye.

Detroit is being re-victimized, and this time the trial court and the prosecution are lending a hand. It should come as no surprise to the City of Detroit, if Mr. Kilpatrick loses his job as a result of the scrutiny in this matter. And it should also come as no surprise if he fails to satisfy his restitution obligations, because the trial court does not want him to have sufficient financial resources to be able to work the crowd so to speak, and little more than six-months to be successful.

And there are valid and significant legal issues here that should be resolved. Counsel has yet to find a case that states that a wife and children cannot validly receive gifts or benefits from strangers whose husband owes restitution and that a wife and children cannot be the intended beneficiaries of a loan specifically arranged to provide for their support whose husband owes restitution.

Further, it would be antithetical to the very principles of due process to believe that the prosecution and the courts could save the expense of providing due process for a probation violation hearing, by allowing the prosecution to schedule a restitution hearing instead, forcing a probationer to testify concerning alleged violations, making determinations that probation was violated, and formalizing those findings at a later hearing.

Moreover, to allow a court to issue an order requiring a probationer to pay a significant sum almost immediately, that it clearly knows cannot be complied with, except by some purely imaginary means, is antithetical to the very principles and concepts embodied in the term “Justice.”

WHEREFORE, Defendant-Appellant, Kwame Kilpatrick, respectfully requests that the Court reconsider it order of February 19, 2010, and grant him a stay of proceedings pending leave to appeal.

Respectfully submitted,

Dated: February 23, 2010 Daniel D. Hajji, Attorney for Kwame Kilpatrick, Defendant-Appellant

5

The author of this BLOG would like to quote the Michigan State Court of Appeals:

First, Presiding Judge Karen Fort Hood, on the matter of staying Judge Groner’s hearing:

Although the instant pleadings are grossly noncompliant and inappropriate, in light of the time constraints, I join in the issuance of a stay.

And then, the Court’s actual ruling on DUI Attorney Daniel Hajji’s “grossly noncompliant and inappropriate” (Judge Hood’s words, not mine) pleadings:

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that the assets purportedly belonging to the defendant’s wife would be included in the determination regarding the proper amount of restitution payments.

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that the $240,000 transfer of the loan from the defendant to his wife constituted a fraudulent conveyance.

At the time of the transfer, defendant was aware of the court’s order regarding disclosure of all assets and gifts and knew of his outstanding obligation to pay restitution.

I wonder if DUI Attorney Daniel Hajji plans to threaten the Michigan Court of Appeals and Presiding Judge Karen Fort Hood with a defamation lawsuit as well?

6

Does Hajji get paid by the word? I want that gig.

7

OMG, that long “letter” is actually published on Hajji’s website. So is that his claim to fame as an attorney? What a strange thing to have on your opening page. So sad.

8
DUI Attorneys Florida
March 25th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

DUI Attorneys Florida…

Merely wanted to point out that your page is awesome….

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