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Criminal Nuggets


Apr 21, 2017

Evan Parke made extensive use of Illinois FOIA requests in the defense of Curtis Lovelace. In Episode 320 (Duration 52:38) we look at how he did it.

Evan Parke

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About Evan Parke

Evan is from the same general area in Quincy, Illinois that Curtis Lovelace and his first wife, Cory, lived. Now he practices law primarily in Washington, D.C. where his firm ---Parke PLLC---handles complex and sophisticated white collar, civil and regulatory matters for companies and individuals.

In the Curtis Lovelace case, Evan performed extensive FOIA inquiries pro bono

At all times, his FOIA efforts remained independent of and were not influenced by the Exoneration Project defense team.

Curtis Lovelace Case

Here's a 3-minute summary of the Curtis Lovelace case:

  • Former star football player
  • Former prosecutor
  • First Wife Dies
  • Autopsy Inconclusive
  • Nothing Happens for 8 years
  • Remarries
  • Estranged second wife says Curtis killed first wife
  • Estranged second wife talks to police
  • New detective takes the case
  • New examiner gets involved
  • New cause of death determined
  • Homicide
  • First trial is a hung jury
  • First Defense team quits
  • Exoneration Project and Evan Parke join the defense
  • Undisclosed emails discovered
  • Appears detective was "coroner shopping"
  • Detective admits he destroyed emails
  • Curtis found not guilty

See Also...

Links & Resources

What's In This Episode

✓ Have you ever used the FOIA in a criminal defense case? FOIA rules don't prohibit it's use to strictly "civil" cases. Do you know what you can and what you can't get through FOIA?  (Go to 4:33)

The one government agency that's excluded from the FOIA and the weird little exception to this exception. Plus, the number one reason agencies cite to avoid having to comply with a FOIA request. (Go to 6:08)

✓ Why sometimes in a FOIA request you actually don't want the agency to tender documents and you'd much rather prefer they claim a certain exemption. (Go to 8:08)

How a Federal Communications Commission investigations attorney gets involved in a state murder trial that doesn't smell right. (Go to 10:40)

✓ How do you start a FOIA request? What are its goals? Who can execute them? What do you ask for? (Go to 14:13) & (Go to 46:11)

The most typical and common response you'll get in a FOIA request and how not to react to it. (Go to 15:42)

✓ An extremely simple practice tip that's going to maximize your FOIA results and arm you with powerful weapons you can use to squeeze what you need from the agency in question. (18:17)

Evan Parke discovered what the lead detective was really thinking and was able to uncover things the detective wanted buried and kept far away from the lead defense team. (Go to 19:42)

✓ The crazy things, never disclosed to the defense team, that Evan uncovered about one key prosecutorial witness. (23:10) & (Go to 32:43)

 This is one of the main things you're looking for in your FOIA requests. When you got this you know you're in business. (27:22)

✓ The tipping point that caused Evan to go all in on the Quincy Police Department and what made him just ask for the mother load. (31:00)

Evan: "We all were thinking: 'there's some there there.'" (Go to 31:44)

✓ Evan: "But I was not expecting what I received a couple weeks later." (Go to 34:23)

Lead detective caught red handed in an email admitting he deleted other emails. (Hint: the defense team was not suppose to ever read this email) (Go to 35:09)

✓ Perhaps the most damning emails to the prosecution's case was the back and forth between the detective and the pathologists that made it clear and obvious the detective was "coroner shopping" (Go to 36:32)

How these FOIA requests affected this trial. (39:46)

✓ More practical tips for criminal law attorneys. These tips are wise, prudent activities to be followed in non FOIA settings. (Go to 42:02)

FOIA ain't for sissies. They are labor intensive and require real legal work and pressure. If you go down this track prepare to roll up your sleeves and expect friction. A lot of friction. (43:18)

✓ When you need to find yourself a FOIA "buddie". (Go to 47:37)

See Also...

Episode 334 With Curtis Lovelace - What Criminal Law Lawyers Need To Know About The Curtis Lovelace Trial With Curtis Lovelace

Before You Go…

Case law mastery is crucial to zealous and effective advocacy.

I've come to believe that steady, persistent attention the cases can take any attorney to the next level. 

If you're interested in taking the first step towards mastering your Illinois criminal courtroom then hit the link below.

Are You Ready To Consistently Outmatch & Outgun Your Criminal Litigation Opponent?

Samuel Partida, Jr. Case Law NinjaHow do you get a judge to do what you want and dominate your courtroom?

Show Me The Secret

Show Me The Secret.