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The Right to Counsel in a Criminal Case

right-150x150Ollman Lopez was in jail in Pennsylvania. He was charged with possession and sale of illegal drugs. Detectives from the state of New York went to Pennsylvania and interviewed him in jail. The New York detectives did not make an inquiry as to whether Ollman was represented by an attorney regarding the Pennsylvania criminal charges.

Ollman Waives His Right to Counsel

At the time of the interrogation, Ollman waived his right to have an attorney present. He then made statements which implicated him in a robbery in Staten Island that took place in 2002. A store clerk died during the course of this robbery. Mr. Lopez was convicted in New York state regarding the Staten Island robbery. His attorney appealed. His attorney argued although Ollman did not have an attorney representing concerning on the New York criminal charges, he was already represented by an attorney on the Pennsylvania criminal charges.

Conviction Overturned

The New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York, in overturning his conviction, stated a defendant who has an attorney even in an unrelated criminal case can not waive his right to counsel unless the attorney is present to advise him regarding this matter.

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo represents individuals charged with crimes or who are being investigated for crimes. We are experienced in representing individuals charged with computer and internet crimes, violent crimes, white collar crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, driving while intoxicated (DWI), shoplifting, burglary, juvenile offenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, drug offenses and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

Father Not a Danger to His Children

James C. was convicted in 2007 of patronizing under age prostitutes. As a result of this conviction, a Dutchess County Social Worker and Family Court Judge had him removed from his home in Poughkipsee for a period of three years.

James, he spent a year in jail. After spending a year in jail he plead guilty in New York County to second degree rape of a 14 year old. He also pleaded guilty to patronizing a seventeen year old prostitute.  The Appellate Division (an Appeals Court) reversed the Family Court ruling in 2010 that prevented him from seeing his children. By that time his wife and four children had moved to Canada.

New York Court of Appeals

James C. told New York’s highest court that he did not present a danger to his children. He argued that the County Officials were mistaken when they reached a conclusion that allowing him to return home from jail would constitute child neglect by him and his wife.

James is currently waiting for a decision from the Court of Appeals as to whether he can see his children.

Fathers’ Rights Attorneys in New York

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been protecting father’s rights for more than thirty years. We litigate divorce proceedings, orders of protection, child abuse and child neglect cases, ACS and CPS child abuse allegations and we actively litigate all types of child abuse defense work.

We also represent our clients in no-fault divorces, regarding paternity issues, child custody, child visitation, child support and spousal maintenance (alimony) issues. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

Canadian Gay Marriage Valid, Partner to Inherit in Probate Court


The Appellate Division in New York held in February of 2011, in the matter of the Estate of H. Kenneth Ranftle, that they recognize as valid the Canadian marriage of H. Kenneth Ranftle and J. Craig Leiby. The late Kenneth Ranftle named Craig as “surviving spouse and sole distributee” in his will. The court found that the recognizing of the Canadian marriage, for purposes of extending the partner of the deceased inheritance benefits, was not in violation of New York public policy.

The court said, “the legislature’s failure to authorize same sex couples to enter into marriage in New York, or acquire recognition of validly perform out of state same sex marriages, cannot serve as an expression of public policy for the state.” The decision was unanimously made by the Appellate Division of the First Department.

Obama Administration to No Longer  Defend the Defense of Marriage Act

The decision was rendered on February 24, 2011. This was the same day that the Obama Administration in Washington formally announced that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act. This law defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman under federal law.

Prior Marriage in 2008

Mr. Ranftle and Mr. Leiby married in Quebec, Ontario, in June of 2008. Mr. Ranftle lived together for a period of five months after their marriage. His will left the large majority of his estate to Mr. Leiby. Mr. Leiby was also designated his executor.

Mr. Leiby submitted a probate petition in New York County Surrogates Court. In it he claimed he was the surviving spouse and only distributee of the estate. One of Mr. Ranftle’s brothers brought a proceeding to set aside the probate petition.

Same Sex Marriage Not Valid in New York

The New York State Court of Appeals has previously ruled that same sex marriages are not valid if entered into in the state of New York. However, the court does recognize marriages in foreign countries and in other states where same sex marriages are considered legal.

During his administration, Governor David Patterson instructed state agencies to consider same sex marriages entered into in foreign countries and other states where they are considered legal, to be excepted in New York State.

Mr. Ranftle’s brother had argued in the Surrogates Court, “recognizing same sex marriages is a fundamental legal claim that cannot occur in the absence of legislative authority.” His argument was not accepted by either the Surrogates Court in New York County or the Appellate Division, First Department.


New York Divorce Lawyers

For more than thirty years, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has been handling divorce proceedings in New York. We represent individuals in same sex relationships. We negotiate pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. We protect both mothers’ rights and fathers’ rights. We negotiate separation agreements on behalf of our clients. We litigate issues involving orders of protection, family law, child custody, child abuse and child neglect. Call us should you need a matrimonial or family law attorney within the Metropolitan New York area. Our phone numbers are 718-350-2802, 516-561-6645 or 1-800-344-6431.

Innocent Bystander Shot by Police Can’t Sue NYC

police.bmpRichard Gooding was engaged in a shoot-out with the police in the City of New York. During the course of the gun battle, he was killed. Tammy D. Johnson was in the area of the police gun battle. Upon hearing the shots being fired, she dove behind a parked sport-utility vehicle. She watched the gun battle take place. During the course of the gun battle, she was hit in her right elbow by a bullet fired by one of the police officers. Her 19 month old daughter was also grazed by a bullet fired by the police.

Ms. Johnson Sues The New York City Police Department

Ms. Johnson sued the New York City Police Department for her injuries. Susan Paulson, the assistant New York City Corporation Counsel representing the City of New York on this case, stated “The police officers’ split second tactical decision to use deadly force is protected from second guessing where, as here, the police properly followed established police guidelines.”

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly also made a statement regarding this incident. He said, “The decision reaffirms the New York City Police Department’s existing practices and comes after examination of police-involved shootings last year that showed that the police department reached an all time low in the number of times officers resorted to deadly force and in the number of bullets fired.”

Court of Appeals Dismisses Case

The New York Court of Appeals, the highest appeals court in the State of New York, rendered a decision on this case that stated: “the officers clearly had probable cause to fire their weapons at the suspect. They were in pursuit of an armed individual who opened fire on them on a public street, endangering the lives of the officers and the public”.

At the time of the trial, the police officers testified that they had a clear view of the suspect. They were unaware that there were any bystanders in the area. They also testified that they followed police procedures to minimize any potential of injuries to the general public.

Legal Services Provided by Our Firm

Our office represents families who are confronted with wrongful death cases. We have extensive experience in handling auto accident cases. Slip and fall cases in residences, on side walks, in buildings and other structures are also aggressively litigated by our law firm. Should you, a friends or family member be injured, contact a personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. You can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

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