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Sawyer v. United States, 2017 WL 4700089 (7th Cir, unpublished, 10/20/17): Evidentiary Hearing Required Even If Petitioner’s Claims Are Self-Serving.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

SEC v. Kahlon, 5th Cir., filed 10/16/17: Court Upholds Lower Court’s Penalty of Permanent Injunction from Trading Penny Stocks.

The Court held the Appellants violated SEC regulations by improperly selling and trading penny stocks in Texas, a state with...

United States v. Skelos, 2nd Cir.,filed 9/26/17: Reversal for Erroneous “Official Acts” Jury Instruction.

Applying the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in McDonnell, the Second Circuit vacates convictions of two co-defendants based on...

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.

The Eleventh Circuit remands for re-sentencing when the judge did not provide George an opportunity to speak on his own...

Gray v. Ballard, 4th Cir., filed 2/8/17: When Newly-Discovered DNA Evidence is “Timely” for Tolling under AEDPA. Not Good News for Habeas Petitioners

The State’s successful suppression of Brady material in connection with a scandal in the West Virginia State Police Crime Laboratory...

United States v. Cedric Hayes, 7th Circuit, filed October 3, 2017: Enhancement Due to “Altered or Obliterated” Serial Numbers on Firearms

This opinion addresses the extent to which a serial number on a firearm must be altered so that the 2K2.1(b)(4)(B)...