A June Update on Michael Devlin; Corlija Draws Former Client’s Wrath

Nothing has hit the airwaves recently regarding Michael Devlin or any of his cases in Franklin, Washington and St. Louis counties in Missouri.  But I take that as good news, since it means everyone is keeping their mouths shut and getting down to business.

Devlin’s next court appearance will come next week, on Thursday, June 21, when his attorneys file an appearance before their fairly newly appointed judge in Franklin County, The Hon. Stanley Dale Williams.  (I noted the change in judges and a few other minor updates last month.)

The appearance hearing should be fairly quick, but  I imagine Mr. Ethan Corlija will present his Defendant’s Request for Change of Venue and perhaps others.  We’ll see.

Speaking of Mr. Corlija, he has apparently raised the ire of a former client.  In a lengthy post three days ago (June 12th) to RipoffReport, “Lisa” titles her complaint, “Ethan Corlija …lawyer will lie and deceive to take your money, then provide little or no defense Clayton Missouri.” 

As they say, “Hell hath no fury…”

Just in case that page mysteriously disappears, allow me to offer it here, in its entirety, for posterity’s sake:

“…

Ethan B. Corlija of the law offices of Hogan, Sokolik, Corlija And Kielty located in downtown Clayton missouri practices fraudulent and deceptive practices by making false promises regarding criminal defense cases. He will lie about the ‘connections’ he has in the Saint Louis County Court system by name dropping and using his prior employment at the facility as a selling point to attempt to steal your money. DONT BUY INTO THIS!

He was a level 4 prosecutor in Saint Louis County, the lowest in existence. He only worked there for approximately 1.5 years and has no pull with the staff whatsoever. He will accept a small retainer for his services and if, on your date in court, you do not have the remanding balance he will tell you to ‘get it now, or I will go tell the judge I want off your case’.

He will lie to you about your release date/probationary period end date by knowingly incorrectly informing you of the Missouri DOC parole schedule and/or the County Jail’s ‘Good Time’ system.

For instance, he told me that on a 120 day shock sentence that I would be out in 90 days. Untrue, you must do the whole 120 days. He told me on a 3 year backup that I would be paroled in 6 months. Untrue, on an assault charge you must do 33% of your sentence or 1 year at a minimum. He stated before my court date that ‘you aren’t going to jail, I don’t make money by having incarcerated clients’. Untrue, most of his clients are in jail or have had to do some period of incarceration.

If you want a good lawyer you would be well advised to call the offices of RSRG. I had to do so just to have the mess Mr. Corlija got me in cleaned up. It cost me ten’s of thousands to do so.
Lisa
University City, Missouri
U.S.A.

…”

Personally, I think this gal is a Class A spook.  She is obviously enraged that she couldn’t walk away from her “assault charge” and has blamed Corlija in witless detail for having to serve her full sentence, which she clearly understands was mandatory as noted above in her own words.  A lot of attorneys attract the ire of clients when things don’t go as well as the clients hoped.  But most clients are not stupid enough to post such a long and easily identifiable rant as Lisa has done.  Of course, committing an “assault charge” could be fairly strong proof of that, with the disclaimer being I know nothing whatsoever about her case.

If anything she has written is not true, moreover not provable…

Lisa, meet libel per se:  “broadcast or written publication of a false statement about another which accuses him/her of a crime, immoral acts, inability to perform his/her profession, having a loathsome disease (like syphilis) or dishonesty in business.  Such claims are considered so obviously harmful that malice need not be proved to obtain a judgment for “general damages,” and not just specific losses.”   (Emphasis mine.)  Yet malice is obvious in her post.

Mr. Corlija and his team are likely up to their hair follicles in trying to defend Devlin against citations in three Missouri counties and the Feds, as well.  So this one may have escaped his radar, but I doubt it.   I’m sure Lisa’s rant is the least of his concerns right now.

I readily admit I feel for this fellow and his firm.  They landed a business coup with the Devlin case, but unless Devlin has a benefactor, Corlija is expending huge sums in operating capital from his firm and may or may not recoup.  He is up against a fifty-foot wall of tough evidence, tough prosecutors, a set of very tough state statutes, even tougher opposing resources, overwhelming public preconviction of his client, and near insurmountable victimization by Devlin of what will be the two star witnesses at trial in Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby.  Corlija’s only possible strategy is to attempt to discredit overwhelming evidence, while trying to evidence that Devlin is less of a monster than we all believe him to be.  That takes a lot of money…

In my opinion, the trade-off that Corlija, et al, hope for will come in the future if they are able to gain any compromise or (miracle required) somehow manage to reduce Devlin’s legal exposure.  If he can do that, his name (and the tremendously enhanced reputation of his firm) among criminal law circles will be written alongside the greats in history.  After all, thirteen years later, who doesn’t recognize the names, “Johnny Cochran,” “Robert Shapiro,” and (my favorite) “Barry Scheck.  I can personally guarantee you the quip, “Scheck Happens!” is still stated regularly in law firm war rooms.

Personally, every cent of my money is on the cadre’ of multi-jurisdictional prosecutors.  And I wish them God Speed.

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3 responses to “A June Update on Michael Devlin; Corlija Draws Former Client’s Wrath

  1. I appreciate your clear & factual updates on this very disturbing crime. “Scheck Happens!” too funny, too true! Keep up your honest reporting!

  2. I decided to Google this Corlija character after reading about his “defense” of Devlin in the local paper. Devlin is almost certainly guilty, but the one guy that should not be admitting to that is his attorney (ever heard the phrase “zealous defense of the client”).

    I tend to think this Lisa chick you reference above is actually on to something. I really could not tell which side he was on, from reading his various media quotes.

    EHeavenlyGads: Thank you for your comment, Gregory, and please accept my apology for the delay in posting same while I have been out of town.

  3. Robert Stevenson

    I thought it wound be worth mentioning that someone else has decided to post a comment on the “ripoffreport” website regarding Corlija’s services.

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