By Susan McRae. Daily Journal Staff Writer
See the Article Here.
Michael Raab and Patrick Mahoney have announced the formation of Raab Mahoney, a two-lawyer criminal defense practice in Los Angeles.
Childhood friends, the pair, both 45, began their careers as criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of James E. Blatt.
Raab said the two had talked for years about forming their own firm, and late last year they decided “it was time to move on.”
Raab began as a law clerk at the Blatt firm while attending the University of LaVerne College of Law. He stayed after earning his degree in 1995 until leaving at the end of December to launch the new firm.
Mahoney, a 1997 graduate of Whittier Law School, also began his career clerking for Blatt’s firm. He left in 2000 to join the San Francisco County district attorney’s office. He rejoined the firm in 2008 after returning to Los Angeles to be near his father, who was in ill health.
“They are two excellent lawyers who decided at this stage in their lives to go out on their own and I’m confident they’ll do extremely well out there,” Blatt said.
Raab said one of his highlights at the Blatt firm occurred soon after joining. He wrote the briefs in U.S. v. Bajakajian, 524 U.S. 321 (1998) for the U.S. Central District Court in Los Angeles, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and finally the U.S. Supreme Court, where he said he sat at the counsel table while Blatt argued the case.
“I have the souvenir quill pens to prove it,” he said.
The case involved Hosep Krikor Bajakajian, who tried to leave the country with $357,144 without reporting the sum to customs officials. U.S. law requires reporting any sum in excess of $10,000. The government sought forfeiture of the entire amount. It was the first time the high court set a standard for the application of the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause in a criminal forfeiture. In a 5-4 vote, the court declared the forfeiture unconstitutional and ordered the return of the money, minus $15,000 that the defense had offered at trial to compensate the government for cost of the investigation. More recently, Raab was one of the attorneys of record for Jesse James Hollywood in his Santa Barbara capital prosecution and wrote the trial briefs addressing recusal of the prosecutor who assisted filmmakers in creating the movie “Alpha Dog,” based on Hollywood’s story. Though Hollywood was convicted, he avoided the death penalty.
As a deputy district attorney in San Francisco, Mahoney prosecuted a range of crimes, from narcotics offenses to attempted murder. For the past several years there, he was assigned to the sexual assault unit, where he prosecuted rape, sexual battery and sexually violent predator cases.