Pignatelli Revisited


If, like Francis M. Pignatelli, you moved from Ohio under a cloud and started representing people in Colorado, you wouldn’t even have to read the rules in their entirety to find it; it’s right there in Rule 1.2(a) of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct:

In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client’s decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jury trial and whether the client will testify.

In fact, if you had read the Ohio disciplinary rules before getting accused of a criminal conspiracy, ratting out your clients, and moving to Colorado under a cloud, you would have found the same rule in the same place. Even if you hadn’t made it through the rules to Rule 1.6, Confidentiality of Information, you could have read Rule 1.2(a) of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct:

In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client’s decision as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive a jury trial, and whether the client will testify.

So why, after ratting out your clients in Ohio and moving to Colorado, would you jeopardize your chances of continuing to practice law (and, incidentally, finding more clients to rat out) by filing a motion to withdraw plea over your client’s objection (pdf)?


0 responses to “Pignatelli Revisited”

  1. HI Mark:

    Long time lurker here. On its face, this is a very strange motion. One would think the Court told the client the max he was looking at on a 922(g) conviction was ten years. Thus, even if ACCA and its 15 year minimum applies, the Court is going to have a hard time sentencing him to anything over the ten. However, if you successfully withdraw that guilty plea, you have opened yourself up to all those enhancments. Maybe there is a good trial defense, but why else would you withdraw the plea and raise your client’s exposure? Especially if the client does not want to withdraw it? I am sure there is more to the story and this motion, but it makes one wonder.

  2. My Boy friend is in Denver County Jail on a case and Frank Pignatelli was the attorney on the case until 01/27/09 when he fronted with this blog about his past the tried court room came to a stand still . Until today This family love you.

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