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Lisa Henderson Mattern

Lisa Mattern’s Answers

112 total

  • How do I go about getting a different lawyer to represent me in my drug possession case in Torrance, CA?

    I do not want the public defender that was appointed to me during my arraignment to represent me. However I do not have the financial ability to pay for a lawyer.

    Lisa’s Answer

    If you want to choose your lawyer, you have to hire one. If you don't have money to hire counsel, you will get the Public Defender. You don't get to interview the Public Defenders to see if they are acceptable to you.

    The Law Offices of the Public Defender assigns you an attorney (it is a law firm). If your Public Defender is out sick or in trial, you may speak with another attorney that day. From what you wrote, there is no basis for a Marsden motion. Even if you brought the motion, it probably would not be successful.

    Don't assume that because an attorney is retained that they are knowledgeable or competent. There are no basic requirements that attorneys must meet to advertise as "criminal defense lawyers." Many hang out a shingle after leaving law school. IMHO, most of the best lawyers have worked for the state at some point. Good luck.


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  • Credit card

    Hello I didn't pay on a credit card now the credit card has filed a claim in court but was done on Aug 4th I was not notified by mail just kept getting collection notices anyway just got the summons today Sept 25 th by mail what do I do?

    Lisa’s Answer

    This is not a credit card fraud question. I will try to change the practice area for you.

    It's important for you to file a timely answer. If you don't, the other party may be able to get a default judgment against you. You can do it yourself, but you probably will want to hire a lawyer to make sure that it's done properly. Click on the Find a Lawyer tab to find a lawyer near you. Good luck.

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  • How should I write a letter to judge before sentencing? What should I include in it?

    Are there certain phrases or details I should include? Can someone give me a general outline of one...... Or send me a link to a helpful webpage. Thanks

    Lisa’s Answer

    We need more facts about your relationship to the case before giving you an answer. If you are the defendant, then no. You should speak with your attorney about what it is you want to convey so that he can do it for you, if he feels that it's appropriate.

    If you are a complaining witness or a witness, the content is more important than using a particular form. Speak with the prosecutor about whether you should write a letter. If you are a family member or friend, talk to the attorney representing the defendant to see what he feels would be most helpful.


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  • Is there anything my brother can do being that he was convicted of 1st Degree murder?

    My brother is 26 years old he was arrested when he was 23 for murder, he was one out of 5 other men accused. He was just recently convicted in April and although they know he wasn't the shooter and they know who did take that mans life I understan...

    Lisa’s Answer

    When he was convicted, the attorney should have filled a Notice of Appeal on his behalf. Since he is incarcerated, they will provide him with appellate counsel. He should talk to the appointed attorney about the issues for appeal.

    Did you try to provide him with clothes for trial and were refused? I'm sure that it was difficult for you to see him at trial that way. Regardless, neither that nor the fact that he was seen in restraints will probably be enough to get his conviction overturned.

    There's no way that any attorney here on AVVO can tell you if he's coming home. I seriously doubt that even the appellate lawyer is going to be able to tell you this. Hopefully he and the attorney can work together towards finding successful grounds for appeal. Good luck.


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  • Is it legal for a judge in dependency court, in Los Angeles, to deny a parent's request to hire a private attorney for herself?

    My fiance is an attorney, not a dependency law attorney, and the judge in dependency court told me I cannot have him be my attorney. Is that allowed in that court?

    Lisa’s Answer

    Yes, it is "legal" for the judge to do this. He is trying to help you out. With all due respect, that is more than I can say for your fiancé.

    Dependency is a very specialized area of the law. I have had some experience appearing in that court myself. Many judges will not even let attorneys appear in that court unless they can show that they are proficient in this area. This seems to be what happened with your case. Your fiancé does not practice dependency law. Therefore, it is not a good idea for you to have him represent you.

    In my experience, sometimes a client will tell me that a family member or friend who is an attorney (who practices in another area) tried to help them with their case. Inevitably, it leads to disaster. Would you pay money to have someone represent you who has no idea what they are doing? If not (and I hope that you wouldn't), then why have your fiancé do it? And further, why would he try to represent you in an area he has no experience in? He should know better. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

    The county has five firms within it to handle dependency matters. They will assign you an attorney to represent you. Chances are even the least knowledgeable and diligent among their numbers can still run rings around your fiancé in the dependency court. Good luck.


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  • My brother was wrongfully convicted of 1st degree murder.He was 23 when he was arrested does he qualify for sb261 even with lwop

    My brother was convicted of 1st degree murder, he was one out of 5 guys that were arrested and charged, the court and DA know that he was not the shooter but need not reduce his charge. Hes a father of 2 girls and they need him home.... I need mor...

    Lisa’s Answer

    Proposed SB 261 has been passed by the California State Senate and Assembly. If Governor Brown signs the bill, it will become law. According to the proposed amendment, the defendant would have had to be under the age of 23 when the crime was committed. Your brother was 23 when he was arrested. If he was 23 when the crime was committed, he would be ineligible because he was not under the age of 23.

    As the law currently stands, the defendant must have been under the age of 18 when the crime was committed. Your brother is ineligible as the law currently stands (but you knew that). I hope that this helps.


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  • Can I sue my former employer if I am given criminal charges due to the nature of our work?

    I did volunteer work for a medical marijuana dispensary in California. The owner claimed that the business was Prop-D compliant and that all the necessary paperwork was in order and that everything was 100% legal. Sometime this year, we got raided...

    Lisa’s Answer

    This is not a criminal defense question. I will change the practice area for you. Good luck.

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  • Can i revoke my own probation?

    I was charged for possession for sale. sentence was 1 yr county jail time and 3 yrs probation.on a 1 yr county jail time, I served 40 days. on the day of my release i went to see my probation officer. I have been in compliance all along. when can...

    Lisa’s Answer

    I don't think you want to revoke your probation. Maybe to want to terminate your probation early? When did you enter your plea? Talk to your lawyer if you have been on probation for at least eighteen months and if you have completed all the terms of probation. Good luck.

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