September 5, 2013: The Court of Appeals hands down State v. Schall. Shawn Wilkerson of the State Appellate Public Defender (SAPD) was arguing, and won a small but important victory. When the state claims a defendant committed a felony DUI requiring proof of prior DUIs, and some of those DUIs are from out of state, the state must show at the preliminary hearing that the DUIs from out of state are conforming convictions in terms of the law violated. DUI differs a bit from state to state, so this is important. The state, which merely needs to prove there is probable cause to believe the felony was committed, had argued the conviction which often says ".08 DUI" or something is good enough. The Court of Appeals said no, bring a copy of the law and argue it. Or lose.
State requested the Supreme Court look at it, and it granted the petition.
On August 20, 2014, the same day that Doug Phelps would argue Wulff to the Court and find that everyone agreed that McNeely likely killed implied consent (bless him)- this happened. Shawn Wilkerson, fresh from his win less than a year ago, strides to the platform and shows his mastery of the law and the Court of Appeal's opinion.
Oh no, no he doesn't. Actually, he flounders, freaks out, and shows a total lack of understanding of the law, the system, everything. He basically concedes that preliminary hearings are useless and he has no idea why we have them. What's the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor? He doesn't know.
Question: How did he win in front of the Court of Appeals? Probably this way.
Update: Having thought better of the negativity I unleashed, I have decided to remove the insulting section here, but my opinion of the SAPD is unchanged to the extent that I believe they do more harm than good currently and are violating the rules of professional conduct by not properly serving their clients.