Munger, Tolles & Olson attorney Daniel B. Levin was quoted in the June 19 edition of the Criminal Law Reporter. He was interviewed for an article titled “Judge’s Participation in Plea Bargaining Can Be Harmless Error, Supreme Court Says.”
Mr. Levin co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in United States v. Davila. In this ruling, the Supreme Court held that a federal judge’s participation in plea negotiations in violation of Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 does not require vacating the guilty plea unless the record shows the defendant would not have pleaded guilty otherwise. In respect to this, Mr. Levin stated, “The court seems to acknowledge that, if a plea comes right after a judge gets involved in a plea discussion, then it’s reasonable to infer that the Rule 11 violation was prejudicial” for purposes of an assessment of harm under subsection (c). Mr. Levin concluded that “the opinion sends a clear message that it is improper for a judge to get involved in plea discussion.”
Mr. Levin’s practice focuses on complex litigation and appeals.