19) State v. Carl Grant, 254 N.J. Super. 571 (App. Div. 1992): Mr. Saykanic represented Carl Grant, and the felony-murder conviction for which the defendant was given a life sentence was reversed by the Appellate Division (Judges O’Brien, Havey and Conley) and a new trial was ordered due to jury misconduct.
20) State v. Nicholas Kontakis; Kontakis v. Beyer, 19 F.3d 110 (3d Cir. 1994): The defendant was convicted of murdering his wife by shooting her in the head three times in broad daylight in the center of Franklin Township in front of numerous witnesses, including the chief of police. Mr. Saykanic represented Mr. Kontakis on his habeas petition and in 1993 the Honorable Garrett E. Brown, U.S.D.J., granted the petition based upon an unconstitutional jury instruction. The State appealed, and the Third Circuit (Judges Greenberg, Roth, and Pollak), reinstated the conviction.
The Third Circuit, however, wrote: “The court notes that the district court appointed John Vincent Saykanic, a member of the New Jersey bar, to represent Kontakis in this case and that he ably has represented Kontakis in both the district court and this court in the finest traditions of the legal profession.” 19 F.3d at 120.
21) State v. DeLuzio, et al. (Superior Court, App. Div. Opinion decided June 8, 1993, published as State v. DeLuzio, 274 N.J. Super. 101 (App. Div. 1993)), affirmed by the New Jersey Supreme Court on June 27, 1994, at 136 N.J. 363 (1994)): This case involved the appeal of convictions for gambling and theft based upon a complex pyramid scheme. Mr. Saykanic represented Theodore Watley on appeal (Mr. Watley received a four-year prison sentence, but was granted bail pending appeal). The Appellate Division (Judges Gaulkin, Havey and Stern) held (and the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed), that the convictions for gambling could not stand since the pyramid scheme did not constitute a lottery. Also, a remand was required to determine whether Watley had been deprived of effective trial counsel due to repeated absences. The indictment was dismissed.
22) State v. John Tell (unpublished Appellate Division opinion dated December 2, 1994): Mr. Saykanic represented John Tell, who was convicted of the “drug kingpin” statute (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-3), and received a mandatory life sentence. The Appellate Division (Judges Gaulkin, Baime and Kestin), reversed the drug kingpin conviction based
upon an inadequate jury instruction.
23) R.E. v. R.E. (unpublished Appellate Division opinion dated April 23, 1996): Mr. Saykanic represented the ex-husband R.E., who appealed from the child support provisions of a judgment of divorce. The Appellate Division (Judges Pressler and Wefing) held that R.E.’s income was insufficient to allow him to comply with the lower court’s directive and reversed the case.
24) State v. $3,000.00 In Currency, 292 N.J.Super. 205 (App. Div. 1996): In this forfeiture case, Mr. Saykanic prepared the brief on behalf of the claimant. The Appellate Division (Judges Pressler, Keefe and Wefing) found that the claimant should have been given the opportunity to present proof that the Porsche automobile and cash found were not the proceeds of criminal activity.
25) State v. J. P. (Appellate Division unpublished opinion decided August 13, 1998): Mr. Saykanic worked on this case with Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. The defendant was convicted of theft by deception and received a 270-day jail sentence. Two of the Appellate Division Judges (Petrella and Steinberg), in a split decision, affirmed. However, Judge Skillman, in a dissenting opinion, held that “the trial judge’s extensive questioning of defendant ‘suggest[ed] disbelief’ concerning the truthfulness of his testimony …, and consequently deprived him of a fair trial. Therefore, I would reverse defendant’s conviction and order a new trial.” Since there was a dissent, there was an appeal as of right to the New Jersey Supreme Court. In consideration for dropping the appeal to the Supreme Court, the defendant was re-sentenced to straight probation and served no jail time.
26) D.M. v. A.M. (unpublished Appellate Division Opinion dated November 30, 2001): In this child support appeal, the Appellate Division (Judges Wefing and Parrillo) found that the trial court must review its award of child support.
27) State v. Hugh Quinn (App. Div. Docket No. A-3404-01T2): Defendant, who had three prior drunk driving convictions, pleaded guilty in Hasbrouck Heights to drunk driving and was sentenced as a second offender. The State appealed, arguing that the defendant should be sentenced as a third or fourth drunk driving offender. Mr. Saykanic represented Mr. Quinn in the Appellate Division, and following oral argument, on March 24, 2003 (before Judges Petrella and Bilder), the State withdrew its appeal and the defendant was sentenced as a second DWI offender.
28) State v. Mohammed El-Atriss; In Re Release of Sealed Transcripts in the Matter of Mohammed El-Atriss, (Passaic County Docket No. L-917-03): In this case, the defendant El-Atriss, accused of selling forged identity papers to two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, was held in jail on $500,000 bail based upon “secret evidence”. Mr. Saykanic assisted Mr. Feinstein with the interlocutory appeal and the Appellate Division ordered a remand. The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office then offered Mr. El-Atriss a plea offer to time served (five months), which was accepted. The case received national attention due to Mr. El-Atriss being incarcerated based upon the “secret evidence.”
29) State of New Jersey v. Richard Morales, (Appellate Division unpublished opinion decided on May 21, 2004): In this triple homicide case, the defendant Morales was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit robbery, for which he received a 20-year sentence with a 10-year parole disqualifier. The Appellate Division (Judges Fall, Parillo and Hoens) reversed the sentence and ordered both convictions to be merged, resulting in a 10-year sentence. Mr. Morales has been released from prison.
30) State v. A.K. (Passaic County Municipal Appeal No: 4357): The Honorable Edward V. Gannon, J.S.C., reversed the defendant’s conviction for harassment (based upon his alleged sending of fake anthrax to an ex-girlfriend) and entered a judgment of acquittal based upon insufficient evidence.
31) State v. R.P. (Passaic County Municipal Appeal No. A-23-03T3): The Honorable Garry S. Rothstadt, J.S.C., reversed the defendant’s conviction for DWI (second offense) and leaving the scene of an accident due to the failure of a proper English translation (the defendant is Ukrainian).
32) State v. Myers, 357 N.J. Super. 21 (App. Div.), certif. denied 175 N.J. 548 (2003): The Appellate Division reversed Judge Gannon’s order suppressing the heroin seized.
33) State v. Acker, 265 N.J. Super. 351 (App. Div. 1993): Mr. Saykanic prepared the brief for William J. DeMarco, Esq.; the Appellate Division held that the prosecutor’s summation was so egregious that a new trial was warranted.
34) Granata v. Parole Board, 237 N.J. Super. 630 (App. Div. 1990): Mr. Saykanic represented Anthony Granata. The Appellate Division (Judges Michael, Cohen and Brochin) held that the issue of whether the Parole Board had improperly refused to release the defendant on his first eligibility date due to his alleged “Mafia” ties was rendered moot when the defendant was subsequently released from custody due to illness. R. 3:21-10(b)(2).
35) Matter of Iulo, 115 N.J. 498 (1989): Mr. Saykanic argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court, which held that a criminal conviction for misapplication of entrusted funds warrants disbarment.
36) State v. James Cecil, 260 N.J. Super. 475 (App. Div. 1992): The defendant was convicted of terroristic threats for entering a courtroom in Union County, claiming that he had a bomb in a briefcase, and demanding that President Bush be brought to the Court House. Judges Antell, Dreier and Skillman held that the defendant had been competent to stand trial, and affirmed.
37) State v. M.J.K, 369 N.J. Super. 532 (App. Div. 2004): Mr. Saykanic worked on this appeal with John R. Klotz, Esq. The defendant was convicted of third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and third-degree criminal restraint. The Appellate Division agreed that the defendant was not competent to stand trial and reversed the convictions.
38) State v. Ebert, 377 N.J. Super. 1 (App. Div. 2005): In this drunk driving appeal, the Court found that the State had proven operation beyond a reasonable doubt and that the defendant’s admissions were not inadmissible.
39) State v. Blazo Maksic, (Passaic County Municipal Appeal No. MA-4552): The Honorable George F. Rohde, Jr., J.S.C., reversed defendant’s convictions for DWI (second offense) and Refusal due to a lack of probable cause for the defendant’s arrest, and ordered the complaints dismissed.
40) State v. Richard D. Henry (App. Div. Docket No. A-6208-03T4; decided on June 30, 2006): the Appellate Division (Judges Wefing, Wecker and Fuentes) reversed defendant’s conviction for selling crack cocaine to an undercover detective for which he was sentenced to 8 years in prison. The Appellate Division found that the trial judge committed reversible error by barring the use by the defense of the grand jury transcript during the cross-examination of the State’s witness, a police detective.
41) State v. Luz Cardenas (Passaic County Municipal Appeal No. MA-4552; decided on June 30, 2006): The Honorable Ernest M. Caposela, J.S.C., reversed defendant’s conviction for simple assault due to a deficient plea allocution.
42) State v. T.L.L. (Passaic County Municipal Appeal No. 4597; 2006): Mr. Saykanic prepared the brief along with John R. Klotz, Esq. The Honorable Raymond A. Reddin, J.S.C., reversed defendant’s conviction for refusing to take the breathalyzer test on the grounds that she was physically unable to take the test.
43) State v. Marcos Patino Cabrera, 387 N.J. Super. 81 (App. Div. 2006): Mr. Saykanic prepared the appellate brief with Miles Feinstein, Esq. The Appellate Division, in a published opinion, held that the defendant’s rights under the Vienna Convention were not violated, and affirmed the conviction for aggravated sexual assault.
44) State v. Arthur Lee Bond (Passaic County Law Division, 1991): Mr. Saykanic worked on this murder case with Jay V. Surgent, Esq. The defendant was charged with murder for throwing the victim off of a balcony, but after winning several of the pretrial motions, the defendant was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter and received an eight-year prison sentence.
45) State v. Rosendo D. DeDios, (Passaic County Municipal Appeal No.: 4518): In an unpublished opinion filed December 21, 2005, the Honorable Ralph L. De Luccia, Jr., accepted the argument that the defendant, a third-time drunk driving offender, should be permitted to serve his entire 180-day County Jail sentence on consecutive weekends (so that he could work during the week and support his family). Mr. DeDios successfully completed his entire 180-day jail sentence on consecutive weekends.
46) State v. C.D. (Law Division unpublished opinion decided June 15, 2007): Judge DeLuccia dismissed the defendant’s drunk driving conviction due to a violation of defendant’s speedy trial rights.
47) In the Matter of J.M., (Law Division May 7, 2007 Order): Judge Freedman ordered the inmate confined pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act released from the Special Treatment Unit to a nursing facility.
48) State v. Ernest Spell, 395 N.J. Super. 337 (App. Div. 2007) (effective October 1, 2007, officers must read an additional paragraph of the refusal form when a defendant refuses to immediately take the breathalyzer exam), reversed, 196 N.J. 537 (2008).
49) State v. J.P. (Watchung Municipal Court; 2008): Judge dismissed drunk driving and refusal charges due to delay in prosecution.
50) United States v. G.S.: On December 23, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated the judgment of sentence and remanded for resentencing because, after defendant was convicted of conspiracy to commit credit-card fraud and mail fraud, the district court improperly added a two-level enhancement to his offense level.
51) State v. G.A.
(Law Division; decided April 14, 2010): after three years of litigation and evidentiary hearings, the Honorable Marilyn C. Clark, P.J.Cr. granted defendant’s post-conviction relief application (and vacated his conviction) on the ground that he had not been properly advised as to the immigration consequences of his plea.
52) J.U. v. United States, (United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; 607 F.2d 318 (2d Cir 2010) Docket No. 09-3398-op; Opinion filed June 14, 2010): the Second Circuit accepted the argument that petitioner’s application was not a “second or successive” motion to vacate the conviction and reversed the Southern District Court’s ruling dismissing the habeas petition.
53) State v. S.V. (Law Division; decided April 29, 2009): the Honorable Donald J. Volkert, Jr., P.J.S.C., reversed defendant’s conviction for resisting arrest and entered a judgment of acquittal.
54) State v. G.P. (Law Division; decided June 8, 2010): The Honorable Jared D. Honigfeld, J.S.C., reversed defendant’s hunting violation convictions and entered judgment of acquittal due to the illegality of the State’s search and seizure.
55) State v. M.J. (Law Division; decided in September 2010; with Jay V. Surgent, Esq.): Judge Honigfeld reversed defendant’s drunk driving conviction and entered a judgment of acquittal.
56) State v. E.O. (Unpublished Appellate Division Opinion decided August 12, 2009; with Miles Feinstein, Esq.): the Appellate Division reversed an Order denying the motion to withdraw the guilty plea and remanded for further proceedings.
57) State v. Y.N. (Law Division; with George J. Abdy, Esq.): the Honorable Lois Lipton, J.S.C. reversed defendant’s convictions for obstructing justice and all motor vehicle charges and entered judgments of acquittal.
58) State v. K.K. (Hawthorne Municipal Court): On October 9, 2008, Judge Meola dismissed assault and trespassing complaints against the defendant.
59) State v. G.H. (Jersey City Municipal Court): In June 2008, the Jersey City Municipal Judge dismissed all motor vehicle charges against the defendant.
60) State v. Bernard Laufgas (unpublished Appellate Division Opinion decided March 16, 2010; Mr. Saykanic represented Mr. Laufgas pro bono with Anthony J. Randazzo, Esq.): Judges Rodriguez, Reisner and Yannotti upheld Mr. Laufgas’ contempt conviction for sending alleged poison-pen letters to a public official. However, the 6-month jail sentence was reduced to 45 weekends in a medical facility.
All opinions/briefs in the above cases available upon request.