Daphne Silverman’s Cases

FEDERAL COURT CASES

  • profile-daphnepattisonUnited States v. EW (name protected) – Federal prison sentence reduced by 5 years pursuant to Rule 35.
  • United States v. TE (name protected) – Federal prison sentence reduced by 36 months pursuant to Rule 35.
  • United States v. Ashley Richards and  Brent Justice BJ – In this case, Ms. Silverman represented non-profit Stopcrush.org. Congress passed a narrowly tailored statute to address the horrifying animal crush sexual industry. A District Judge found the statute unconstitutional. The United States appealed the ruling. Ms. Silverman filed an amicus brief in support of the United States’ position on behalf of animals worldwide that are being tortured and killed. The amicus brief can be read by clicking on the case name.
  • United States vs. Lionel Harris – Defendant charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States by submitting false claims to the government. All charges were dismissed. The ruling is available by clicking the case name.
  • United States vs. Mary Cuadros – Ms. C and several others were charged in a conspiracy to harbor aliens who illegally entered the United States. One of the aliens died in Ms. C’s  home, and Ms. C was accused of helping to dispose of the body. The government alleged that the death was related to the conspiracy and attempted to hold the conspirators accountable for the death. These allegations carried the potential for the death penalty. Death penalty decisions in federal cases are made in Washington D. C. Mrs. Silverman immediately researched the medical facts surrounding the death securing an affidavit from the government’s pathologist which supported the defense position. Then, she filed a Motion for Bill of Particulars in order to carefully define the issue. This motion was followed by a Motion to Dismiss the portion of the indictment that referenced the death of the alien. Copies of those pleadings are available by clicking the case name. Ultimately, the Judge found that the death was not connected to the conspiracy. Ms. C. plead guilty to harboring aliens without a death connection and was sentenced to 22 months in prison. This was an unheard of ruling on the death and an excellent sentencing result. Very few lawyers ever contest death connections in alien smuggling cases, and those who do generally lose the contest. Perseverance and attention to detail won justice for the day.  In addition, the sentence was incredibly light given several years of smuggling many aliens.

STATE COURT CASES

  • Richard Jamal Netherly v. The State of Texas – In summary, even when the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the
    trial court’s ruling, the officer did not reasonably suspect that criminal activity was afoot when he issued the warning citation.2 See id. Therefore, the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution forbade the officer to extend the traffic stop in order to conduct
    a canine sniff on Netherly’s truck. See Rodriguez, 135 S. Ct. at 1614–16. We sustain Netherly’s sole issue.
  • State vs. Caroline Callaway and Caroline Callaway. vs. City of Austin and Travis County
    Caroline Callaway found not guilty of DWI in Travis County, Austin, Texas. Caroline was accused of DWI and taken to the Travis County jail for a blood draw. In a horrific tale from the dark ages, Deputies with the Travis County Sheriff’s office and Austin Police Officers strapped Caroline to a restraint chair, put a hood over her head preventing her from seeing and making it difficult for her to breath, held her with their hands and a dirty boot. When all else failed, deputies choked her until she almost lost consciousness. Daphne argued that the violence used should have made the test results inadmissible. The Judge allowed the test result into evidence, but the jury by finding Caroline not guilty must have found the results to be unreliable due to contamination of the sample that occurred while Caroline was being tortured by the police. Daphne has sued the City of Austin and Travis County in order to change the draconian torture procedures used by law enforcement to draw blood and to recover damages for Caroline’s torture.Decision
  • State of Texas vs. Woodard – Client faced 2 felony charges and one misdemeanor in Austin, Texas.  All charges were dismissed based upon successfully litigated motion to suppress.
  • State of Texas vs. Jane Doe – Charges dismissed. The defendant was accused of interfering with the public duties of a police officer by involving herself in a traffic stop. The defendant bravely confronted an officer regarding his conduct in traffic stops. The statute states that it is an absolute defense that the interference is merely speech. Case precedent interpreting this statute confirms that even if the interfering speech delays the performance of the officer’s duties the conduct is still not a crim. Despite the number of years that the first amendment has been the law, securing this dismissal was a long hard fight that required a trial setting, trial motions and trial subpoenas to secure dismissal.
  • State of Texas vs. Mohamed Ahmed  – Muslim client Mr. M.A. and 2 other men had been arrested 3 years ago for charges of attempted sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping. Another attorney handled Mr. A’s case for a number of years and he was held with a high bond until Silverman Law Group entered the case. The first lawyer representing Mr. A never took the case to trial. A non-profit organization approached Daphne Silverman of The Silverman Law Group due to lack of action on the case. Silverman Law Group hired an expert witness on diabetes and an investigator and using their reports, convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the attempted sexual assault charge and reduce the kidnapping charge to a misdemeanor of unlawful restraint. The expert witness was able to show that Mr. A’s untreated diabetes made him unaware of circumstances surrounding the incident. Further investigation also revealed that the complaining witness was a prostitute under contract at the time.
  • State of Mississippi vs. Todd LaShawn Mitchell – Directed Verdict in armed robbery. Mrs. Silverman hired Dr. Robert Shomer, an expert in eye witness identification to educate the Judge and Jury about the complications with the eye witness identification process and eye witness testimony which can lead to wrongful convictions. After hearing the testimony of the expert witness and analyzing it in relation to the facts of the case, the Judge found that there was not enough credible evidence to allow the jury to examine the facts of the case.
  • State of Mississippi vs. Samuel Goudy, Jr. – Four cocaine delivery cases dismissed due to violation of constitutional right to speedy trial. Mrs. Silverman filed motions to dismiss two drug delivery cases that had been indicted. A copy of one of the motions and the judgment are available by clicking the case name. The Judge heard evidence from the parties on the reasons for the delay and the prejudice to the defendant. After hearing argument on the evidence, the Judge granted the motion to dismiss for violation of the constitutional right to speedy trial. This ruling is virtually unheard of in today’s legal world where a case tried 20 years after the crime was held to be constitutionally permissible. Mrs. Silverman filed the same motion for 2 unindicted drug transfer cases, and the prosecutor elected not to pursue the unindicted cases.
  • State of Mississippi vs. De Carlos Graham – Capital Murder dismissed because the Court ruled that the statements made by Mr. G.to police were inadmissible at trial.  The Judge held that police coerced Mr. G. to confess by telling him that he would be sentenced to the death penalty if he did not confess. Mrs. Silverman filed a motion to suppress Mr. G.’s confession, hearings were held on the facts, and then to provide the Judge with detailed guidance for his ruling, Ms. Silverman submitted proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. This document is available by clicking the case name. The Judge agreed with Ms. Silverman’s analysis. On August 16, 2002, the Judge convened all of the attorneys and defendants on the case in his courtroom. He was ready to make a ruling, but would not disclose it in advance. With all present and quite a few extra attorneys in the audience, the Judge read his ruling and shared his thoughts. The courtroom was completely silent. No one wanted to breathe. The Judge announced that the murder was brutal, but that the murder did not authorize the police to coerce confessions from the suspects. The coercion cast doubt on the validity of the confessions. He explained that this conduct violated the Constitution and that the Constitution was important. Mr. G. is an African American young man. Before this day, it was believed that no African American young man could be assured of justice in a courtroom in Mississippi. Everyone expected a hanging, but the Judge proved this fear wrong and overturned years of overwhelming prejudice. The Judge then turned to the shocked prosecutor and asked him if the prosecution had any other evidence. And here, again justice prevailed. The prosecutor said what was in his heart that there was other evidence, but that in his opinion it was insufficient for a verdict and he would dismiss all cases. This was also a monumental decision. So on August 16, 2002, justice was served and the United States Constitution honored with the granting of a Motion to Suppress and the release of young African Americans.
  • State of Mississippi vs. O.D. Smith – Capital Murder, jury verdict not guilty. Very few attorneys have one not guilty verdict on a capital murder. Mrs. Silverman has two. She believes it is a direct result of her philosophy in approach to defense of capital cases. Most defense attorneys who handle capital cases focus on saving the defendant’s life by investigating mitigating evidence and researching the Constitutionality of the death penalty. Mrs. Silverman believes capital cases should be investigated and researched in the same fashion as other criminal cases, that is that the defense should start with guilt/innocence. No stone should be left unturned in investigating the actual facts of the allegation and the law applicable to the specific facts. Mr. Smith was accused of killing a hotel maid after she saw the face of the defendants during a robbery. Mrs. Silverman tried the case with Donald Rafferty. Through attention to detail, the defense team was able to show that the State’s case had too many holes to support a conviction. Mrs. Silverman’s simple, thorough cross examination of the lead agent and insightful closing argument helped to win the jury’s understanding of the case.
  • State of Mississippi vs. Christen Stewart – Capital Murder, jury verdict not guilty. Ms. S. was accused of killing her own child by shaking the baby. Ms. Silverman tried this case with Donald Rafferty and again attention to factual details laid the foundation for the acquittal. Mrs. Silverman gathered all medical evidence and secured the assistance of Alabama state pathologist Dr. LeRoy Riddick to show problems with the medical aspect of the case. Mrs. Silverman then uncovered numerous charges pending against the co-defendant which it appeared were being dismissed in exchange for his testimony. At the last minute the State announced a jail house snitch would testify to a confession, Mrs. Silverman went to the jail and interviewed everyone in the cell block including guards in order to prove the unreliability of the jail house snitch. Mrs. Silverman disclosed so much evidence to discredit the jail house snitch that the prosecutor decided not to call the witness. Mrs. Silverman then did what most defense attorneys refuse to do, she put the client on the stand and guided her through her story. The final cincher was a magical closing argument which transformed the jury to the night of the murder and showed them the truth. By the end of the closing statement, no one had dry eyes. The prosecutor attempted to recover starting his rebuttal with a statement that he could not cry on command like the defense attorney. At that point, he lost any remaining jurors, because it was obvious to all that the tears were real. Ms. S. sent a thank you note. All it said was “thank you for saving my life.”
  • State of Texas v. Ivory Gipson – Charges of Burglary of Habitation dismissed. Mr. G.’s charges were based primarily on a dog scent line-up which allegedly confirmed that his scent was found in the location where the home was burglarized. Local investigators had been using scent line-ups to convict for several years. We love our dogs in Texas. Mrs. Silverman researched this purported science and helped to expose that it is not founded upon strong scientific principles. The Memorandum in Support of Motion to Exclude the testimony of the dog handler which resulted in the dismissal of the case is available by clicking on the case name.
  • Richard Hart v. State of Texas – Mr. Hwas convicted of aggravated assault on a family and sentenced to 8 years in prison. Mrs. Silverman appealed the conviction. Mrs. Silverman convinced the court of appeals that Mr. H should be permitted to file a Motion for New Trial outside of the deadline. Then, she filed the Motion for New Trial and convinced the Judge to change the sentence to probation. The Order granting the Motion for New Trial and the judgment of probation as well as the Motion to Abate the Appeal are available by clicking the case name. This result took creativity and careful reading of the law to accomplish.
  • State of Texas v. Wesley Fields – Mr. F was a true habitual accused of aggravated robbery. He faced 25 years to life in prison. Mrs. Silverman secured the appointment of an eye witness identification expert who reviewed the evidence and prepared to testify to the flaws in the identification process in the case. With a jury on the way to the courtroom, the State decided to reduce the allegations to misdemeanor attempted deadly conduct with a recommended sentence of time served. The Memorandum of Law supporting the appointment of the expert is available for review by clicking the case name. This is the critical document that ultimately led to the outcome of this case.

CIVIL COURT CASES

Mrs. Silverman has handled hundreds of civil cases throughout the over twenty years she has practiced law. In her entire career, she has lost only one civil case. Sample civil cases include:

  • Female Firefighter vs. City of Ocean Springs – Mrs. Silverman filed suit against the City of Ocean Springs on behalf of the first female fire fighter hired by Ocean Springs. The fire fighter suffered significant and dangerous acts of sexual harassment. The case was resolved by settlement.
  • Parents vs. Air Force Day Care – Mrs. Silverman represented the parents of a toddler who was pummeled into the ground by another child at a day care on an Air Force base. Rather than truthfully advise the parents of the cause of the injuries, the staff contacted the base equivalent of child protective services causing the parents to be accused of assaulting the child. Thorough investigation revealed an honest employee who witnessed the event and could not get to the child because of the design of the structure. The case was resolved by settlement.
  • Car accidents with State Farm and All State – in the 90’s, State Farm and All State developed a plan to try to curb the flow of attorneys accepting soft tissue injury car accidents. These two insurers decided to refuse to settle the cases so that lawyers would be forced to invest significant time and money trying to cases in front of juries. Mrs. Silverman did not let their game deter her. She just tried her soft tissue cases winning verdicts higher than would have been received in settlement negotiations.
  • Shiner Bock v. City of Austin – the Clerk to a Federal Magistrate once told me when assisting in the settlement of a claim I filed for a fire fighter that sometimes you just have to take on a cause and I am sure that you will do so again. In an effort to ensure that the City of Austin establishes policies to stop the needless shooting of animals by police and effectively trains the police officers on how to approach animals, Daphne Silverman files a claim against the city for shooting German Shepherd, Shiner Bock., for doing his job warning his owner about intruders. Watch Story on Keyetv.
  • Daphne Silverman assists artisan, Sarah Stollak in securing license to sell her work at the 23rd Street Renaissance Artists’ market. Daphne believes all humanity has a right to live in peace including making a living without government interference. Comment from one of Sarah’s friends, “Far out and can I have an amen to all of you. I make it a point to read the comments of Sarah’s friends… I find them uplifting every time. a) I think now is a good time for me to join the market -perhaps the best way to show one of the indirect impacts that Sarah’s public ordeal has had; and, b) I’m making note of the name Daphne Silverman and her role and kind words. I know people including myself who, on many occasions have chosen to acquiesce, to not stand up to the powers that be. Why? -for fear of losing?, -or being blacklisted or simply doing battle on too many fronts already. It’s nice to know we may have a champion out there. Thank you all”

This post is also available in: Spanish