- Mass Casualties
- Natural Disasters
- Financial Crisis
- Food Borne Diseases
- US Recall News
- Class Action Lawsuit
- Recent Outbreaks
- Railroad Law
- Court News
- Legal Insight
- Court Watch
- Supreme Court hearing case about online sales tax collection
- Question of sales tax on online purchases goes to high court
- Michigan Democrats back Nessel for state attorney general
- Court: Man can't be retried for murder after mistrial ruling
- Bolivia takes sea access dispute with Chile to world court
- French court issues mixed ruling in Facebook nudity case
- Trump administration backs PLO in victims' high court appeal
- Large Midwest energy project turns to ex-Missouri governor
- Arizona court to hear arguments on immigrant tuition case
- Cambodian court denies opposition leader release on bail
The Dec. 20 Supreme Court ruling left in place a five-year suspended sentence given to Lionel Scott Ellison in 2009 for an October 2007 fire that damaged a woman's car.
Ellison in 2008 entered a no-contest plea to arson on the advice of his attorney, Jeffrey Michael. Pleading no contest means a person admits no guilt for the crime, but the court can determine the punishment.
Ellison then changed his mind and his attorney, having Herbert "Chuck" Watson file a motion to withdraw the no-contest plea, contending Ellison didn't enter it knowingly or voluntarily. But a District Court judge rejected the request, and in May 2009 Ellison received a five-year suspended sentence.
He appealed the District Court's decision, and the Montana Supreme Court in November 2009 sided with the lower court.
In February 2011, Ellison filed for post-conviction relief, arguing the arson statute only applied to property valued at over $1,000. He said that because the damaged vehicle was worth less, there was no factual basis for his no-contest plea. He also argued that Michael and Watson provided ineffective counsel for allowing him to enter a plea for a charge that had an insufficient factual basis and that Watson didn't use those grounds on appeal.
Legal News Media
Legal News is the top headline legal news provider for lawyers and legalprofessionals. Read law articles and breaking news from law firm's across the United States to get the latest updates. We reserve the right, at our discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of the site at any time. Your This site is solely for your personal use. You are, of course, welcome to print or otherwise copy material from this site for your personal use. However, you may not distribute, exchange, modify, sell or transmit anything you copy from this Site, including but not limited to any text, images, audio and video, for any business, commercial or public purpose. Any unauthorized use of the text, images, audio and video may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity and civil and criminal statutes.