Recent Appellate Cases Handled by the Firm

Appeal: State of Washington v. J. H., Case No. 10-1-00109-7.

Prosecutor's Office Concedes Confrontation Clause Violation.

Thurston County Prosecutor's Office has conceded on appeal that the district court violated the defendant's Constitutional Right to confront witnesses where it allowed the State to admit into evidence a “proof of service” form alleging the defendant was served notice of a no contact order without testimony from the police officer who signed the form. According to Massachusetts v. Melendez-Diaz, a sworn statement offered to prove an element of a crime is “testimony,” and the 6th Amendment to the Constitution affords a defendant the right to question state witnesses who offer evidence against him at trial. On appeal, the prosecutor's office conceded its argument at trial was wrong, and that a defendant at trial must be able to question the person who alleges they served the defendant with a no contact order. This may possibly be the first ruling in the State of Washington to apply Melendez-Diaz to a “proof of service” form commonly used at trial as a substitute to live testimony. Particularly in Thurston County, this concession should substantially alter how the prosecutor's office prosecutes no contact order violation cases.

Practice area(s): Appeals

Court: Thurston County Superior Court

Ryan Robertson

Ryan is a creative and articulate advocate who limits his practice to criminal appeals and post-conviction relief including vacation, expungement, and sealing of records. He has worked exclusively in the criminal defense field since passing the Washington State bar exam in 1998. Ryan has been recognized as a Rising Star lawyer by Law & Politics Magazine.

Robertson Law

Ryan Robertson has a proven track record of creative and effective advocacy for clients throughout the state of Washington seeking petitions to vacate and requesting pardons.

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Ryan Robertson's practice focuses exclusively on high-quality creative post-conviction representation, including expungements, vacation of records, and petitions to seal, as well as petitions for pardons.