Iron Man Acquitted… Superman Belt Buckle is Back

Mark Rollins Criminal Law

So I rarely talk about my trials in blogs but I can’t resist because my colleagues teased me about losing my case in United States v. Iron Man(client’s actual name withheld).  I wore my superman belt buckle which has not lost a trial.  I don’t always wear the superman belt buckle but when I do I have never lost.  The batman belt buckle is another story (several losses).   So why is it called United States v. Iron Man.  Here’s the reason:

Back on Halloween, my client went to a costume party dressed as Iron Man.  There were other Iron Men or person’s dressed as Iron Man at the party.  Apparently, there was a bad Iron Man at the party distributing drugs.    Police conduct an undercover buy/bust operation.  The bad Iron Man sold an undercover police officer drugs.   Thereafter, my client, the good Iron Man was arrested for mistaken identification (that was our position).

The case went to trial and unfortunately, the Jury convicted my client, Iron Man, of one count of distribution of drugs.   However,  prior to jury deliberation, I made a motion for judgment of acquittal based on the chain of custody of evidence.   Under our chain of custody law, the prosecutor has to establish that the evidence police seized from the defendant is the same evidence offered at trial.  In my case, the evidence went through 5 officers’ hands.  Only 3 of those officers testified at trial.  Initially, the Judge denied my motion.    The Jury convicted my client.    Several months later after getting the trial transcript (I had to request leave to file a reconsideration motion for judgment of acquittal).

On the day of sentencing, the Judge reversed himself and found that the government did not meet the chain of custody and he dismissed the case.   Iron Man is acquitted and Superman belt buckle is back on its winning streak!

So you ask yourself why does a lawyer use a lucky charm during a trial.  Every industry (especially sports) where there is a winner or loser, there are things people do that they believe help win.  I had lost faith in my lucky charm after that trial because I really thought I should have won.   So yes it may sound silly but if you see the superman belt buckle in court, there is a good chance that there is about to be a win.

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