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Ex K&L Gates Lawyer Willie Dennis For Oct Trial Got Subpoenas But Now 2 Quashed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTROOM, Oct 7 – In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on November 19, 2021 a detention proceeding was held by Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang on a defending brought in from the Dominican Republic the night before.

Willie E. Dennis, formerly a lawyer at K&L Gates, was charged with cyber stalking. At first the US Attorney's Office was OK with his release, but them things switched. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:

Willie E. Davis is currently in FBI custody in 290 Broadway. He has been assigned a Federal Defender, who has spoken 3 or 4 times today with Dennis by phone.

Judge Wang: Why is this not in person? AUSA: He arrived from outside the US, we don't know his vax status.

 US says: "DENNIS, a U.S. citizen, was arrested this week in the Dominican Republic... He engaged in a campaign of harassment, intimidation, and threats against multiple individuals, including other partners, who worked at the [K&L Gate Law] Firm."

Dennis owns a multi-family building, and property in the Dominican Republic, but he has debts. He is being given a publicly-funded Federal Defender.

AUSA: He was arrested in the Dominican Republic on Nov 16 and arrested in the US yesterday. Judge Wang: You are charged with four counts of cyber-stalking.

Judge Wang took a break and returned, to rule: "I am accepting recommendation he be detained until fitted with a bracelet or co-signers can sign the bond."

Jump cut to August 15, 2022 when the case, reassigned to Judge Jed S. Rakoff, had on short notice a phone conference that pointed to an in-person one: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jed S. Rakoff: Telephone Conference as to Willie Dennis held on 8/15/2022. Present were the defendant and his consulting counsel, Anthony Cecutti and Kastine Thiele, AUSA Rushmi Bhaskaran for the government and a court reporter. The Court sets a conference in courtroom 14B to consider the defendant's application to relieve consulting appointed counsel and substitute in new consulting assigned counsel."

But not so simply: Dennis has to pay: "ORDER as to Willie Dennis: The Court had originally scheduled an in-court conference for August 17, 2022, to consider various issues raised by pro se defendant Willie Dennis. Mr. Dennis expressly confirmed that he would attend the conference in person. However, on August 15, 2022, Mr. Dennis requested that, for personal reasons, the conference be moved to August 18, 2022 and that he be permitted to participate remotely. The Court agreed to his request and gave Mr. Dennis the option of appearing telephonically at the Court's expense or appearing by videoconference at his own expense. He elected the latter. Accordingly, the Finance Department of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York shall invoice defendant pro se for the cost of this videoconferencing. All other conference participants will attend in person at Courtroom 14-B, 500 Pearl St., New York, NY."

Inner City Press went and live tweeted it here:

OK- K&L Gates lawyer Willie Dennis charged with stalking is appearing before Judge Jed S. Rakoff by Zoom. He moves his laptop to show his mother lying down next to him. 

[For most of the Zoom, the camera was on Dennis' face, at an angle. But at the beginning and end he turned the camera down, to show his sick mother on a bed - or perhaps so that she could see the courtroom participants and gallery?

Dennis is reading a statement by shaky Zoom, attacking Judge Rakoff. "I have been unemployed two years." Trial in 6 weeks?

 Dennis: I face a judge who has reprimanded me...I want to show 1000s of K&L Gates emails before the jury. Judge: What do you seek?

Dennis: A sidebar with my CJA, to see if they are acceptable. Judge: No.

Dennis: Appointment accepted! Mr Dennis would like to subpoena the management community of K&L. Gates. Judge: Let's move trial to Oct 11. Dennis: How about earlier?

Dennis: My communications are not being received. I have a memo. Judge: You can file that. Convene a joint phone call.

Notes: Judge Rakoff will be issuing a written order granting Dennis his phone, over the Government's objection.

Judge Rakoff also dismissed the AUSA's request to test Dennis' competence, or have the now-fired stand-by lawyers testify about Dennis. The AUSA said these counsel had already provided the Government will some information. One expected Dennis to object by Zoom, but he did not. Yet.

On October 7, two subpoenas were quashed: "Present for Lawrence Pratt was counsel Hadassah Waxman. After argument, attorney Waxman's motion to quash the subpoena for her client is granted. Present pro se was Michael Mueller, counsel for defendant Willie Dennis's ex-wife. After argument attorney Mueller's motion to quash the subpoena is granted."

This case is US v. Dennis, 20-cr-623 (Rakoff)



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