Jennifer Branch and H. Louis Sirkin of Santen & Hughes were prepared to defend Judge Tracie Hunter in the six week trial when the State unexpectedly dismissed the charges.  Branch and Sirkin, a distinguished criminal defense and First Amendment attorney, had teamed up in October to defend Judge Hunter when, on the eve of trial, her first defense attorney withdrew.  With little time to master the case, Branch and Sirkin filed motions to dismiss, conducted discovery, and learned the week before trial that critical computer evidence had been destroyed.  Before jury selection was to begin, the State announced the charges were dismissed. “After two years of prosecuting Judge Hunter for crimes she did not commit, justice finally prevailed,” said Jennifer Branch.  The Supreme Court ruled that Judge Hunter will be free and not need to serve the six month jail term until it decides her appeal.

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