For our subscribers

Subscribers to the Criminal Defense Resource Center’s online resources, found at, have access to more than 1,800 appellate pleadings filed by SADO Attorneys in the last five years.  The brief bank is updated regularly and is open to anyone who wants to subscribe to online access. On our site, briefs are searchable by keyword, results can be organized by relevance or date, and the pleadings can be filtered by court of filing.  Below are some of the issues presented in briefs added to our brief bank in the last few weeks. For confidentiality purposes, names of clients and witnesses have been removed.

NOTE: We are now identifying briefs in the bank by docket number (MSCxxxxxx for Supreme Court cases, COAxxxxxx for Court of Appeals cases), but you will also find the case you are seeking by entering the docket number alone. During our transition to the new identifying system, the docket number you enter may bring up unrelated briefs that include a matching number (for example, MDOC number or former “BB” identifier). We are working to minimize this consequence of the transition.

Defendant’s advanced intoxication from six times the normal dose of LSD, and the presence of nearly half the Shipley factors attendant to his custodial interrogation, precluded effective waiver of his Fifth Amendment Miranda rights, and his statements to a deputy should have been suppressed. Trial counsel was ineffective for failing to consult with or retain an expert in toxicology.


The trial court violated defendant’s federal and/or state constitutional rights to confrontation when it allowed the 16-year-old complaining witness to testify at trial by closed circuit video from another location. Defendant is entitled to a new trial.


Defendant’s right to a fair trial was violated by irrelevant and highly prejudicial other acts evidence indicating that he was in a gang, his friends were all felons, and the other individual involved in the altercation had already pled guilty to felonious assault. He was denied the effective assistance of counsel where his attorney did not object to this evidence or request any limiting instructions be provided. Accordingly, the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motion for a new trial.


Defendant was interrogated by police while in custody without being given Miranda warnings. The trial court committed reversible error in refusing to suppress defendant’s police statement.


The prosecution violated defendant’s right to due process when it argued he had a “motive to lie” simply because he was charged with crimes and on trial. Alternatively, trial counsel was ineffective when he failed to object to this improper argument. 


The trial court denied defendant a fair trial when it allowed the prosecutor to present evidence of nine other acts of alleged domestic violence against the complainant where the prejudice was insurmountable and greatly outweighed the probative value of such evidence.


The prosecution argument of facts not in the record about the connection between the horizontal gaze nystagmus test and motor vehicle operation was reversible error despite the absence of a contemporary objection; this Court should reverse.


The trial court abused its discretion when it denied defendant’s motion for mistrial after the prosecution improperly elicited testimony that defendant had a violent character.


Defendant’s right to a fair trial was denied where a witness testified about unnoticed other acts. A new trial is required.


Defendant was deprived of his state and federal constitutional rights to effective assistance of counsel where his trial attorney failed to request a proper mitigation instruction. He is entitled to a new trial.

Due process requires a new trial where the trial court failed to comply with People v Anderson and the court rules and thereby obtain defendant’s knowing, voluntary, and intelligent waiver of the right to counsel.


The circuit court substituted its judgment for the Board’s. This Court must reverse the circuit court and reinstate defendant’s parole.

John Zevalking
Associate Editor