Learn-do-teach describes the theory that the highest level of comprehension of complex skills is attained through the use of a three phased approach.  A traditional learning process, followed by performance of newly learned skills, followed by an attempt to share or teach the skill to another individual.  A number of academics believe this cycle provides the greatest level of comprehension and greater competence.  To that end, this page is an effort to share information about various tasks, information and skills related to Criminal Defense in New York State Local and State Courts.

This is not intended as a public resource. This page contains information and links to be shared with legal professionals.

This page is a repository for various articles and other items of interest for attorneys that practice criminal defense in Western New York. The items on this page are not intended as legal advice, nor should anyone rely upon the various items that may be linked here. They are nice starting places and resources for admitted attorneys who may use them to develop their practice with further research on the topics listed. I do not claim ownership of any of the information contained in these links, and they are posted for the sole intention of providing educational materials to other lawyers and legal professionals, who are encourages to purchase source materials cited therein.

First Post: 1/21/2014.   Last Updated: 1/21/2014.
Using Google to Search NY Case Law. You can filter a search to limit a search in Google Scholar with effective results. Here’s an example.

Here’s a blank example of a 190.80 motion in PDF:  190.80 Motion (blank)

Client Relations

Attorney Client Relations: What the law says about the decisions made during a criminal case, and who is responsible for making them.

Professor Brunetti on Division of Labor (Courtesy of Hon. M. Pietruszka)

Use the Fifth Amendment.  Making Statements to the Police: It’s just not a good idea. Sometimes clients refuse to believe they should not talk to the police, and in spite of our best efforts, they talk to Police Officers. Here’s the best source I have seen on why you should never talk to a police officer, even if you’re innocent!

Finding a client in Custody: Where is my client detained?

In Erie County, the Sheriff’s Department lists its guests at either facility here.

Outside Erie County, you may want to try Vine Link.

In a New York DOCS facility, you can use DOCS inmate look up to find people in State Prisons.


The DCJS website is a treasure trove of standard forms and data that comes up in our practice.  For example, here’s a blank DWI supporting deposition form.

New York DMV’s drinking driver program brochure.

Find an OASAS approved evaluator, here.

Cross Examination / Impeachment

Here is a great outline from the Federal Defender’s Office by Mary Kennedy. This link is to the Defender’s website where the document is stored.


Criminal Trial Jury Instructions, here.

Erie County Commissioner of Jurors, website.

Search and Seizure

Street Encounters (DeBour): Chart on levels of police intrusion: 2012 DEBOUR CHART Debours Four Levels

Street Encounters (DeBour): Outline of DeBour case law:  Debours Four Levels


When a client is interviewed by the Probation Department, what factors will the Officer consider when making a recommendation regarding sentence?  Becoming familiar with COMPAS and other Risk Assessment Tools may be valuable. Here’s a  presentation from Georgia that may be a good starting point .Brennan – Risk Needs Assessment Enters the Court.

The PSI, a history.  Here’s a broad discussion of the Pre-Sentence Investigation that can provide a bit of comprehension on the significance and content of a PSI.

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