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The importance of federal pre-emption in criminal defense

Apr 26, 2011 The importance of federal pre-emption in criminal defense

At first blush, plenty of prosecutions can look grim for defendants. Criminal defense lawyers, of course, must transcend the first blush for ways to win.

For instance, Paul Williams got prosecuted under state law in Illinois state court for allegedly pirating music. However, he got his conviction reversed on appeal, with Illinois’ Supreme Court ruling that federal Congressional action on copyright law pre-empted the Illinois state copyright anti-pirating law. Ill. v. Williams., 235 Ill. 2d 178, 876 N.E.2d 235 (2009).

Thanks to a colleague who posted about this Williams case.

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