Mr. Eaman has tried cases in state courts throughout the State of Michigan and in federal court. He has tried cases that were four months long (acquittal of his client), three months long (acquittal of all clients), six weeks long (acquittal of all clients), and shorter. He has tried cases successfully against the Strike Force (special prosecutors) of the United States Attorney’s Office in Detroit, the Criminal Tax Division of the Justice Department from Washington, and other prosecutors specially assigned to prosecute his clients. He has also represented clients being prosecuted in New York and South Dakota.
Ms. Gabbara has assisted Mr. Eaman in two federal trials and one state court trial throughout the last two years, gaining valuable experience that now permits her to represent clients at trials in both state and federal courts. Mr. Eaman supervises all her work in all her cases. Ms. Gabbara, in the opinion of three professors who graded her (including Mr. Eaman) was the best student in her trial skills class at Cooley Law School.
Mr. Eaman’s experience teaching trial skills to law students and other lawyers has resulted in his trial skills remaining sharp and growing. The teacher always learns as much as the student.
Many of Mr. Eaman’s cases have been high publicity cases, where the press dogs his trail for months and harasses his clients. He has become an expert at coping with media attention, and has lectured other attorneys on problems in high-publicity cases.
Trial work does not only mean representation of a client before a jury. It is a fact of the criminal justice system that most cases (usually about 85% of the cases in state court, 97% in federal court) result in a negotiated plea of guilty. Because prosecutors know Mr. Eaman will try any case, and can win a trial, he is able to negotiate favorable pleas in cases where trial is not an option. He has successfully negotiated pleas that were satisfactory to his clients in many cases. He knows the effects of a guilty plea can be long lasting, and he will attempt to negotiate a plea that may allow you to clear your record at a later date.
While Ms. Gabbara does not have the experience of Mr. Eaman, she has shown skill in negotiating pleas for her clients, where there is no defense, securing resolutions which do not leave her clients with a criminal record. As an immigration attorney, Ms. Gabbara is aware that for clients that are non-citizens, there may be deportation consequences to what seem like favorable dispositions of their criminal cases.
The first goal of representation in a criminal case is to avoid charges or seek dismissal of charges, so you can resume your normal life without the stigma of a criminal conviction. Where avoidance or dismissal of charges is not possible, the second goal of representation in a criminal case is to avoid a sentence of incarceration, or, where that is not possible, to minimize that incarceration. Trial representation must include effective representation at sentencing, either because of a negotiated plea of guilty, or because there has been a conviction at trial. Mr. Eaman and Ms. Gabbara have represented clients successfully at sentencing in both state and federal court. With Ms. Gabbara’s assistance, Mr. Eaman has obtained sentences for clients in recent cases that are half what the government is asking for. Mr. Eaman early in his career pioneered the use of a sentencing memorandum, filed with the sentencing judge to provide extensive background information as to the client and his or her situation. Both Mr. Eaman and Ms. Gabbara are familiar with the sentencing guidelines, both in state and federal court, which strongly influence the sentence you may face. They work with the probation officer who prepares the pre-sentence investigative report that is sent to the judge, which usually influences the sentence you receive. Mr. Eaman and Ms. Gabbara will prepare you for meeting with the probation officer, and for speaking to the court at your sentencing.