posted 2015 | E.W. v. State (appeal)
Client was charged in career criminal court with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The client was represented by another lawyer and after a jury trial, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Mr. Forman was referred the case by his trial attorney who knew that Mr. Forman regularly handled criminal appeals. The trial attorney mentioned a few issues that she thought that Mr. Forman could raise, but she informed him that it “was a clean trial”. Mr. Forman was hired and completed his thorough “audit” of the record. As a result of his efforts, Mr. Forman found a hidden gem within the instructions read to the jury. Although neither trial counsel, the prosecutor, nor the judge observed the error, Mr. Forman recognized that the trial court used the word “and” instead of “or” while instructing the jury on self-defense. The Fourth District Court of Appeal agreed and reversed and vacated the client’s conviction and 30 year sentence! There is no substitute for an experienced criminal appellate attorney!