This month I report on a wonderful
new Palm program which gives you
scads of information about the
sentences for criminal offenses.  I also
discuss podcast link sites.  And I
discuss the West cd-rom for the new
plain English jury instructions.


      I have to begin this section with a
disclaimer.  I am friends with Adrienne
Elenteny, who is an attorney with the
Alameda Public Defender’s Office.  
That said, Adrienne has an awesome
product you should seriously consider

      Wouldn’t it be great if you could
use your Palm (or any Palm-based
handheld PDA) as a Penal Code?  I’ve
actually downloaded the California
Evidence Code into my Palm.  The
problem, of course, is searching it to
find anything.  Anyway, here’s what
Adrienne has done, and it only took her
two and a half years.  She has created
a Palm program called Crime IQ.  You
select Health and Safety Code or Penal
Code.  From the home screen you type
in the code section of a substantive
crime.  You then get an amazing screen
with tons of information, all on that one

      The screen tells you the sentence
range for the crime, any minimum
sentence term, relevant enhancement
sections, credits, probation/no
probation, fines, and whether a
defendant convicted of that crime has
to register.  There’s even a button for
immigration consequences.

      Adrienne created a row of buttons
on each screen.  One button lists all
serious felonies on the Penal Code
section 1192.7, subdivision (c), list.  
Another lists all violent felonies on the
Penal Code section 667.5, subdivision
(c), list.  Another button lists various
immigration issues.  Yet another button
lists priorable offenses and probation
limitation offenses.   There is a button
for registrable offenses, including sex
offenses, drug offenses, gang offenses,
and arson offenses.  The final button
generates a list of offenses.  Adrienne
even included various code sections
and court rules governing time limits for
filing various motions.

      Although I am not trying cases
these days, I can see the use of this
program for trial lawyers.  I get an awful
lot of questions that this program would
answer.  My most frequent calls are
whether a crime is on the violent felony
list, thereby triggering the requirement
that the defendant must serve 85% of
the sentence.  I get a lot of calls on
whether something is on the serious
felony list.  It is obviously very
cumbersome to lug around the huge
Penal Code book, or a laptop, just to
have the list you need.  But which list
will you need?  What you need is a
quick reference guide.  This is precisely
that guide, in a program you can carry
around with you all the time in your

     You can buy this program online,
for $150, at
html.  You can go to that site and see
screen captures of what your Palm
screens will look like.  I highly
recommend this program, which I think
is fabulous and extremely useful.  It is
so easy to use that there is no learning
curve.  You just load it into your Palm,
install it, click on it, type in your code
section or click on your button, and you’
re done.  Be the first in your courthouse
to show how cool you are by being able
to rattle off sentences, alternative
lessers, and other consequences with
the touch of your stylus.