Case Results

At Jaffe, Hanle, Whisonant & Knight, P.C., our Birmingham criminal defense attorneys are renowned for their commitment to clients. Using a team approach, we utilize our extensive experience and comprehensive knowledge to construct well-argued cases. We are the only firm in the county to free three men from death row through new trials. Learn more about the other victories we have claimed on behalf of our clients by reading on.

  • O.M. v. State

    Juvenile Crime

    595 So.2d 514 (Ala.Crim.App. 1991)

    In a Landmark case, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals held that juveniles have the right to exercise their constitutional rights during hearings on whether the juveniles should be transferred from juvenile court to circuit court to be tried as an adult.

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  • Sphere Drake Ins. P.L.C. v. Shoney's Inc.

    Sex Crime

    923 F.Supp. 1481 (M.D.Ala. 1996)

    In interpreting a general business insurance policy, the United States District Court held that a liability insurer had to defend and possibly indemnify insured restaurateurs and their employees against sexual harassment and other claims by female employees. This case was a major victory for the female employees because there was concern about the employees receiving adequate compensation for their injuries due to insurance coverage issues.

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  • Lancaster v. Monroe County, AL

    Criminal Defense

    116 F.3d 1419 (11th Cir. 1997)

    A jail detainee died from complications due to alcohol withdrawal. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held the sheriff and his jailers were not entitled to qualified immunity on claim that their deliberate indifference to the detainees medical needs violated his civil rights

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  • Ex parte King

    Criminal Defense

    23 So.3d 77 (Ala.Crim.App. 2009)

    Just before the trial started, the filed a motion requesting that the trial court issue an order barring the defendant from introducing at trial any evidence relating to part of her defense. When the motion was denied, the State appealed to the Court of Appeals, which granted the State's petition for a writ of mandamus directing the trial court to vacate its prior order. In response, we filed a petition for a writ of mandamus directing the Court of Criminal Appeals to vacate its order granting the State's petition for a writ of mandamus.

    The Alabama Supreme Court granted our motion and held that the State lacked authority under the law to appeal from an adverse pre-trial ruling in the criminal case when the criminal trial court was acting within its lawful authority. Accordingly, the Court held that the State was not entitled to seek mandamus review of the pretrial denial of its motion in limine.

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  • Ex parte Sanders

    Criminal Defense

    612 So.2d 1199 (Ala. 1993)

    In this case, we wrote a friend of the court (amicus) brief concerning when a criminal defendant is deemed to be indigent. The Alabama Supreme Court held that a defendant whose relatives or friends retain the services of counsel may still be considered indigent for purposes of receiving funds for expert, investigative services, or other legal needs when those funds are necessary to the defense. That is because the assets of friends and relatives, not legally responsible for the defendant, are not considered assets for determining whether the defendant is indigent.

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  • Quick v. State

    Federal Crime

    825 So.2d 246 (Ala.Crim.App. 2001)

    Indigent capital murder defendant who was given the death penalty at trial was given a new trial due to the State failing to give the defendant a free copy of the transcript from his first trial that ended in a mistrial.

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  • Ex parte Hamm

    Criminal Defense

    785 So.2d 1126 (Ala. 2000)
    An indigent defendant's family hired our law firm to represent the defendant on his appeal. The Alabama Supreme Court held that the defendant was entitled to be declared indigent for other than attorney's fees so the defendant was able to get a free copy of the transcript of his appeal.

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  • Ex parte McCombs

    Violent Crime

    24 So.3d 1175 (Ala.Crim.App. 2009)

    Defendant charged with murder. He was acquitted of the murder charge when the jury returned a verdict on the lesser-included offense of manslaughter. The defendant was then granted a new trial based on effective assistance of original trial counsel. The State sought to re-prosecute the defendant with the original murder charge but the appellate court held that any retrial on the original charge of murder violated the Double Jeopardy Clause.

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  • United States v. McIntosh

    Drug Crime

    580 F.3d 1222 (11th Cir. 2009)

    Defendant pleaded guilty to drug and firearm charges, but before sentencing the government discovered the indictment alleged a wrong offense date, obtained a second indictment, and moved to dismiss the first indictment. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama granted that motion. Defendant's motion to dismiss the second indictment as barred by Double Jeopardy was denied. He conditionally pleaded guilty and appealed.

    On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that a second conviction for the same offense violated the Double Jeopardy Clause. The judgment of conviction was vacated and the case was remanded with instructions to dismiss the second indictment.

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  • Merrill v. State

    Federal Crime

    741 So.2d 1099 (Ala.Crim.App. 1997)

    The defendant was given death penalty at his trial. His family hired our firm to do appeal. We successfully had the case remanded for new sentencing hearing, and the client was given a life without parole sentence

    United States of America v. Rebecca Kay Morgan, Virginia Valentine, Angela C. Ayers, Cathy C. Edwards and Emery Harris, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Case Number 03-16408 (Unpublished decision)

    Our law firm and several other law firms represented five of the HealthSouth managers. The Government was unhappy with the fact that only one of the managers had been sentenced to prison time and the Government was unhappy that the court did not order the managers to pay restitution. On appeal, the Government argued that (1) the district court clearly erred in finding the defendants withdrew from the conspiracy in August 2002; (2) the district court clearly erred in calculating the amount of loss attributable to the defendants; (3) the district court erred in failing to order the defendants to pay restitution; (4) the district court erred by not allowing the government to present additional testimony after the court issued its findings of fact; and (5) the district court erred in failing to apply several sentencing enhancements and clearly erred in awarding Ayers, Edwards, Morgan and Valentine minimal-role reductions.

    Our firm played a key role in writing the appellate brief in opposition to the Government's arguments. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently affirmed the managers' sentences in all respects, except the Court vacated the district court's calculation of the amount of the loss and the district court's failure to give Harris a managerial-role enhancement and remands this case for re-sentencing consistent with this opinion. The case was sent back to the district court where the managers were given the same sentences.

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  • Lyons v. Walker Regional Medical Center

    Criminal Defense

    791 So.2d 937 (Ala. 2001)

    Alabama Supreme Court held that a genuine issue existed as to whether the hospital's alleged breach of the standard of care proximately caused the patient's death from ketoacidosis due to diabetes mellitus.

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  • Mordecai v. State

    Violent Crime

    858 So.2d 993 (Ala.Crim.App. 2003)

    Client was not allowed to put on a self-defense case nor obtain self-defense jury instructions due to the fact that the client used a pool stick in order to defend himself and consequently poked out the victim's eye. The client was given twenty years in prison and then hired our law firm to handle his appeal.

    Normally, a person cannot claim self-defense when they use deadly force against an unarmed aggressor. However, when there is a great disparity between the two parties such as height, weight, etc., and there are other factors favoring a self-defense claim, a person can use a weapon against an unarmed aggressor.

    After the client obtained a new trial, he made a best interest plea with the consent of the alleged victim, the prosecution, and the court, and he received probation.

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