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The San Diego UnionTribune: Cunningham’s day of reckoning Sentencing judge’s ‘extremely high standards of conduct’ cited

The deal Randy “Duke” Cunningham struck last fall in pleading guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion for accepting more than $2.4 million in bribes guarantees he won’t be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison. Whether the former congressman will get less than that today will be up to one man: a federal judge who was formerly a topnotch prosecutor experienced at handling highprofile
cases. U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns will be very analytical in making his decision, defense lawyer Robert Grimes said. “He was the best trial lawyer in the U.S. Attorney’s Office when he was in that office,” said Grimes, who faced off against Burns in court. Before becoming a federal prosecutor in 1985, Burns worked in the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office for six years. During his career, he prosecuted a minister who orchestrated the bombing of an abortion clinic; a woman who hired six Marines to kill her husband, a sergeant; and a car dealer who killed a salesman who sued him. “He has extremely high standards of conduct for people,” said Mario Conte, former head of San Diego Federal Defenders Inc., who also sometimes knocked heads with Burns. “Although he was a career prosecutor, I don’t get the sense that he, as a judge, has favored one side or another,” Conte said. “He also is willing to make tough calls.”

p-Fighter pilot’s day of reckoning

About Marc X. Carlos

Marc Carlos is a partner and co-founder of Bardsley and Carlos LLP. Mr. Carlos has been practicing criminal law since 1987. He has been a member of both the Los Angeles and the San Diego County Public Defender's office where he was a senior trial deputy focusing primarily on serious felony trials. Mr. Carlos has tried over 140 jury trials and represented thousands of clients in criminal matters. He has tried a variety of complex criminal matters ranging from fraud to murder, including death penalty cases.

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