Cert. request: Whether the pretrial restraint of a criminal defendant's untainted assets needed to retain the defendant's counsel of choice violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether it should review United States v. Luis, No. 13-13719, 564 F. App’x. 493 (11th Cir. 2014) on May 1st, 2015. In Luis, a three judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit determined that the Fifth and Sixth Amendments permit the pretrial restraint of a criminal defendant's untainted assets, needed to retain counsel of the defendant's choice, where probable cause exists to believe that the untainted assets will be forfeitable as substitute assets. The Supreme Court has previously permitted pretrial restraint of tainted forfeitable assets to hire counsel of one's choosing. See United States v. Monsanto, 491 U.S. 600, 616 (1989); Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd. v. United States, 491 U.S. 617, 631 (1989). 

Whether such pretrial restraint requires that assets be tainted and forfeitable or merely forfeitable is arguably unsettled.

Should the Supreme Court grant cert., AFR will consider filing--or partnering with another organization to file--an amicus curiae brief. 

 

 

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