Showing posts from August, 2013

Weak, Inconclusive Evidence of Defense may not Require an Instruction

State v. Taylor (August 2, 2013) Background. Pamela Taylor was charged with theft in the second degree and unauthorized practice of law. It was alleged that Taylor acquired $7,000 from Mariko Bereday as a retainer for legal services thereby committing theft by deception. At trial, Bereday testified that she heard that Taylor was a lawyer from a friend and went to see her. Bereday said that Taylor told her she used to be a federal public defender and was now working at a 35-person law firm. Taylor asked for a retainer of $30,000, but Bereday could only afford $7,000. Taylor received a check for $7,000 and she tried to cash it. Bereday asked why she tried to cash it and Taylor said she had to ensure that the check was “good.” Bereday got suspicious and went to the bank where she learned that Ismael Serna Lara was on the payee line, not Taylor. She also learned that Taylor was not a lawyer and confronted her about it. Taylor brought her back a check for $7,000, but according to Bereday, it…