Elizabeth Franklin-Best

Criminal Appellate Attorney

Elizabeth Franklin-Best is a criminal appellate lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina whose practice is focused exclusively on criminal appeals in both state and federal courts.

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

Defendants’ conviction of Medicare fraud was upheld, after finding that an acquittal of one crime did not necessarily elicit a...

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

The Eleventh Circuit finds not-entirely-credible testimony of co-defendants sufficient to support making defendant entirely liable for intended loss, and substantial...

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

The Fourth Circuit finds sentence procedurally unreasonable when district court did not adequately address a defendant’s nonfrivolous arguments that he...

US v. Diaz, 9th Cir., filed 12/6/17: The Limits (or Not!) of Expert Witness Testimony in White Collar Criminal Case

I find this opinion disturbing because I think too often government expert witnesses are allowed too free rein in their...

US v. Elliot, et al., 6th Circ., filed 11/30/17, Honeycutt Remand on Forfeiture Issue

Abolishment of joint and several liability for forfeitures pursuant to §853(a)(1) of the Comprehensive Forfeiture Act of 1984. The defendants...

United States v. Pleitez, 5th Cir., filed 11/22/17: Increase in Restitution Award Without the Assistance of Counsel Reversed; Restitution Increase “Critical Stage” of Criminal Proceeding.

This is an interesting case addressing the fundamental right to an attorney at all “critical stages” of a trial proceeding....

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

The 11th Circuit holds that Court cannot invoke a procedural bar, on its own accord, to deny a petitioner’s claim...

United States v. Walton, 7th Cir., filed 11/3/17: Honest Services Fraud, and Enhancements for Sensitive Position and Vulnerable Victims

This appeal arises from the conviction of two men who were part of a larger scheme to sell properties owned...

United States v. Palin, 4th Cir., filed 10/30/17: A Case Addressing Materiality in Light of United Health Services, Inc.

The Fourth Circuit rejects claim that Universal Health establishes a “new standard of materiality” but finds that even if it...

Sawyer v. United States, 2017 WL 4700089 (7th Cir, unpublished, 10/20/17): Evidentiary Hearing Required Even If Petitioner’s Claims Are Self-Serving.

This case serves as a very good reminder of a petitioner’s burden in a habeas petition, and the Court’s proper...