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.

Category: Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

United States v. Crabtree, 11th Circuit, filed 1/3/18: Fraud and Double Jeopardy Clause, Dismissed Juror, Jury Charges

January 23rd, 2018
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

Defendants’ conviction of Medicare fraud was upheld, after finding that an acquittal of one crime did not necessarily elicit a finding of acquittal for other charges, nor was this a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause. The court also upheld the adequacy and appropriateness of evidence and failed to find any procedural impropriety in dismissing a juror or issuing jury charges. Health Care Solutions Network, Inc (HCSN) was

US v. Castaneda-Pozo, 11th Cir., filed 12/19/17; Sentencing Issues for Fraud Convictions; Intended Loss and Substantial Financial Hardship

January 2nd, 2018
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

The Eleventh Circuit finds not-entirely-credible testimony of co-defendants sufficient to support making defendant entirely liable for intended loss, and substantial financial hardship applies even when victims don't have to sell their Rolexes.  The appellant in this case, Mr. Castaneda-Pozo appealed two aspects of his sentence.  First, he argued that the district court erred in finding him responsible for the scheme's entir

United States v. Blue, 4th Cir., filed 12/12/17: Vacate and Remand on Sentencing Issue; Judge did not adequately consider Blue’s non-frivolous arguments in favor of downward departure

December 13th, 2017
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

The Fourth Circuit finds sentence procedurally unreasonable when district court did not adequately address a defendant's nonfrivolous arguments that he should receive a downward departure.   Blue pleaded guilty to armed robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.  Probation prepared its usual presentence report (PSR) and recommended a sentence of 188 to 235 months' imprisonment for the robbery, and a consec

Burgess v. United States, 11th Cir., filed 11/6/17, Court Vacates §2255 Denial When Judge Sua Sponte Raises Procedural Bar

November 16th, 2017
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

The 11th Circuit holds that Court cannot invoke a procedural bar, on its own accord, to deny a petitioner's claim in a federal post-conviction action. The petitioner here pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.  As part of this plea agreement, he did what every other defendant is unfairly forced to do-- he waived his right to appeal, which also included his right to collaterally challenge his conviction (except as

US v. Vergil George, 11th Cir., filed October 6, 2017: Defendant entitled to resentencing when district court failed to allow him to allocate before imposition of sentence.

October 16th, 2017
Elizabeth Franklin-Best

The Eleventh Circuit remands for re-sentencing when the judge did not provide George an opportunity to speak on his own behalf before it imposed its sentence. The appellant here, George, raised several issues for the Court’s consideration, but I’m focusing on the one issue that entitled him to a new sentencing hearing-- the judge’s failure to provide George with an opportunity to address the Court before he was