Elizabeth Franklin-Best

Appellate lawyer

Elizabeth Franklin-Best, a criminal appellate lawyer seeking freedom for her clients.  Focused exclusively on criminal appeals in both state and federal courts.


What NOT to post on Facebook a/k/a Raub v. Campbell, No. 14-1277 (4th Cir. 2015).

May 1st, 2015
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

The 4th Circuit just this past week has published another qualified immunity (QI) case that addresses the protection afforded law enforcement officers who involuntarily commit someone they suspect is cray-cray.  Brandon Raub is a former Marine who made, what some may consider to be, "provocative" Facebook posts; to wit, "This is revenge.  Know that before you die","I know ya'll are reading this, and I truly wonder if you know what's about to ha


March 1st, 2015
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

The Fourth Circuit issued an opinion at the end of January that is really remarkable.  And it's remarkable because, in an age where citizens are getting somewhat (and unfortunately) used to invasions of their privacy, the 4th Circuit clearly puts the kibosh on this kind of police-creep.   Covey v. Ohio County, 2015 WL 309598 (published January 26, 2015) is a very welcome case for those of us practicing in the circuit. The case came be

Goodwin v. Metts, 885 F.2d 157 (4th Cir. 1989), cert denied 494 U.S. 1081.

February 18th, 2015
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

An oldie but goody! This case is notable for the simple reason that it's out of Lexington County where these sorts of things seem to happen more frequently than elsewhere. Interestingly, though, in this case, the elected Solicitor, Donnie Myers, did NOT prosecute the case because he perceived it as weak. However, that didn't stop a private prosecutor from going forward. Here are the facts: Officer Maxwell and Sheriff Metts were found gu

Victory for Truth and Justice!

May 28th, 2014
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

Today the South Carolina Court of Appeals issued its fantastic opinion in State v. Kevin Tyrone Bennett (Appellate Case No. 2012-207559).  It's a fantastic opinion because the issue raised here-- sufficiency of the evidence-- is an incredibly difficult claim to win.  It is, however, so important to our bedrock ideas of criminal justice; that is, what constitutes enough evidence to justify taking a person's liberty?  Here, Mr. Benne

District Attorney Behaving Badly

May 22nd, 2014
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

This past week the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Charlotte, NC federal judge who granted summary judgment to a District Attorney who fired a subordinate (then running for judge) based on statements he made about, of all things, a defensive- driving course.  Smith v. Gilchrist, No. 12-2503 (4th Cir. 2014). Smith, the assistant district attorney, told his boss ("Boss") he was running for judge.  At first Boss told him he would have

United States v. Garcia

May 15th, 2014
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

Hot off the presses, a new 4th Circuit Court of Appeals case vacates and remands the convictions against "Donny" Garcia, a unlucky defendant who the Government prosecuted for drugs.  Bunches and bunches of drugs. Heroin, to be precise. Hence, the Google Images picture of a poppy field. Clever, huh?  To secure its conviction, the Government used an FBI agent, Agent Dayton, to testify to the "coded language" used in the voluminous wiretaps

Oh, South Carolina

May 13th, 2014
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

It really isn't easy to win civil rights cases in South Carolina, and here's a good example of why.  Horton v. City of Columbia was decided just this past February 26, 2014 by our Court of Appeals.  Ms. Horton, who apparently lived up in Marlboro County, had the sad misfortune of having a fingerprint that looked similar, according to law enforcement, to one that was found on the exterior of a recently burglarized Roly Poly

Private Prison Health Facilities

May 11th, 2014
Elizabeth Franklin-Best


An interesting, but open question in the Fourth Circuit is whether a privately owned company, doing business with say, a detention center, can be subject to a civil

Tolan v. Cotton

May 10th, 2014
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

This past week SCOTUS issued the above decision which addresses the elementary legal issue of the standard for granting summary judgment in civil cases. The dissent makes exactly this point. Nothing new here, move along. But for those of us with summary judgments right around the corner, it comes as a pleasant surprise as it seems clear the Court is reminding lower courts not to toss these cases out of court. As the Court reaffirms, all of th

And in the beginning…

May 10th, 2014
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

... I started a blog.  I'm brand new at this, but committed to making the technology work for me and anyone who's interested in what I do. I'm a lawyer in South Carolina, and dedicated to capital, appellate, and civil rights litigation. So, let's see how this works out.