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Woman at center of 1961 Supreme Court case dies

•  National News     updated  2014/12/11 12:22


A woman who stood up to police trying to search her Ohio home in 1957 and ultimately won a landmark Supreme Court decision on searches and seizures has died.

Dollree Mapp died Oct. 31 in Conyers, Georgia. A relative and caretaker, Carolyn Mapp, confirmed her death Wednesday and said she died on the day after her birthday at the age of 91.

Mapp's Supreme Court case, Mapp v. Ohio, is a staple of law school textbooks and considered a milestone case on the Fourth Amendment, which requires law enforcement officers to get a warrant before conducting a search. The case curbed the power of police by saying evidence obtained by illegal searches and seizures could not be used in state court.

Mapp's path to the U.S. Supreme Court began on May 23, 1957, when three Cleveland police officers arrived at her home. There had just been a bombing at the home of Don King, who later became famous as a boxing promoter, and police believed that a person wanted for questioning was hiding in Mapp's home. The officers demanded to enter, but Mapp refused to let them in without a search warrant. More officers later arrived and police forced open a door, according to a summary of the case in the Supreme Court opinion.

When the officers confronted Mapp, one held up a piece of paper, claiming it was a warrant, and Mapp snatched it away. After a struggle an officer got the paper back, Mapp was handcuffed for being "belligerent," and officers searched her home. They didn't find the person they were looking for, but they did find some pornographic books and pictures. At the time, an Ohio law made having obscene material a crime, and Mapp was convicted, though she said the materials belonged to a former boarder. Prosecutors never produced a search warrant at trial.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court overturned Mapp's conviction in a 6-3 decision, ruling in 1961 that illegally obtained evidence could not be used in state court. The court had previously ruled that this was the case in federal court, but Mapp's case extended the "exclusionary rule" to states where the vast majority of criminal prosecutions take place, broadening the protection.

Orange County Forensic Accountant

•  Notable Attorneys     updated  2014/12/11 12:22


Expert witness Greg A. Raffaele, founder of CROSSCOR Valuations & Forensics Inc., has real-world experience and education that allows him to conduct forensic accounting and business valuations. He has given depositions and expert witness testimony in both business and family law cases. Greg's family law experience includes child and spousal support, as well as property division. In business cases he has done everything from shareholder and partnership disputes to business valuations and insurance claims. The courts themselves have even appointed Greg to deal with these and other such issues, such as breach of duty and fraud.

In addition to expert witness services, CROSSCOR Valuations & Forensics Inc. also deals with appraisals and valuations of businesses. These valuations determine the economic value of a business at a specific time. This information can be used for many legal purposes, such as in marital dissolutions and shareholder disputes. Estate planning, economic damage, and buy/sell agreements also use these valuations. This process is not a precise science, which can lead to varying opinions by the parties concerned. We acknowledge all the facts, and using our professional judgment, come to a reliable valuation. All of this is done in a manner that is simple for non-accountants and attorneys to understand.

Although it may never see a courtroom, we do everything possible to make sure our forensic accounting is accurate and suitable for court. This applies to both pending or existing legal issues. Forensic accounting is a specialty area of accounting, and we are experienced in all aspects of it.

RI court hears $60M dispute with Catholic order

•  National News     updated  2014/12/08 14:37


The niece of a woman who gave more than $60 million to a now-disgraced Catholic order is asking the Rhode Island Supreme Court to let her sue so the money can go somewhere more deserving.

The court is due to hear arguments Tuesday over lawsuits brought by Mary Lou Dauray against the Legion of Christ, whose founder secretly molested seminarians and fathered three children. Dauray's aunt, Gabrielle Mee, died in 2008 and left everything she owned to the Legion.

A Superior Court judge ruled in 2012 that Douray did not have standing to sue and threw out her lawsuits against the Legion of Christ and Bank of America, which Douray claimed breached its fiduciary duty as the trustee of Mee's estate.

When Judge Michael Silverstein issued that decision, however, he wrote there was evidence that the Legion had exerted undue influence on the widow.

The Legion was founded in 1941 by the late Rev. Marcial Maciel. Documents show Vatican officials knew about his abuse for decades but looked the other way as the conservative order brought in money and vocations. The Vatican took over the Legion in 2010 and launched a reform process which culminated this year with the election of a new government and approval of constitutions.

But priests and followers continue to leave the movement. The Legion announced in October that the college it owned in Smithfield, where Mee once lived as a consecrated member of its lay movement, would close next year.



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