If you are found innocent after trial is the state required to pay your legal fees?
If the prosecutor engages in misconduct and a federal criminal defendant is found not guilty then yes indeed, the government may be required to pay legal fees to your law firm for defense counsel. However defendant will be required to have a law firm file legal pleadings to recover his legal fees. Defendant does not automatically get a refund for his attorney’s fees and legal costs. You need to retain a lawyer from a top law firm to recover this kind of money. Just walk down Wilshire Boulevard and into any law firm, show the nice lawyers your legal documents and say: “Show me the money!”
New Orleans attorney David Marks whose law firm’s mortgage fraud conviction was overturned due to government misconduct has now filed motions requesting an order that the government pay his defense legal fees in the amount of $215,000. Attorney Marks has accused the government lawyers of “prosecutorial misconduct, fabrication and perjury.”
In July of this year a federal appeals court threw out Mr. Mark’s bogus conviction after ruling that U.S. District Court Judge Philip Pro relied on a “scant record” and “inaccurate” information from prosecutors regarding the alleged immunity breach. Judge Pro sunk low and got it all wrong when he denied a defense motion to dismiss the case against Mark.
The Federal Court Ruled:
When the government promises not to prosecute a witness in exchange for his cooperation, it cannot then indict the witness unless it proves that he failed to cooperate.”
In 2013 attorney Marks was convicted of fraud and conspiracy charges in a landmark mortgage fraud case and sentenced to three years in federal prison. Marks contended in his trial and appeal that he was only indicted after federal prosecutors falsely accused Marks of violating an immunity agreement. The government lawyers wanted Marks to testify in open trial court against multiple defendants in the monolithic mortgage fraud Ponzi scheme. The government alleges that Marks “feigned memory loss” shortly before the federal trial. Marks proved that the Department of Justice “concocted” evidence to explain away their failure to live up to the immunity agreement.
The amazing thing is that after the government’s underlying mortgage fraud case was dismissed, the the Nevada U.S. Attorney’s office needlessly put Marks through the emotional trauma of a trial. Maybe the Department of Justice was just angry that it lost its fraud and conspiracy trial and decided to take it out on Mr. Marks.
Civil Litigation Legal Fees
In state and federal civil court cases these court forms and pleadings have names such as memorandum of costs and motions to tax costs. Legal fees are the litigation du jour in American Jurisprudence. Be careful who you name in your lawsuit because the defendant’s legal fees may become your financial responsibility if you lose at trial.