In a notable victory for his client, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in United States v. Julius Cerdes, a case in which Stephen Haedicke is representing Mr. Cerdes in his efforts to have a 2006 federal drug conviction vacated based on the misconduct of now imprisoned ex-DEA Agent Chad Scott. Mr. Haedicke had filed a Petition for a Writ of Coram Nobis for Mr. Cerdes–which is an extraordinary and rarely granted request to have old convictions vacated–but the District Court denied the Petition as untimely. The Fifth Circuit reversed in a strongly worded opinion, noting that Scott had used abusive tactics to coerce Mr. Cerdes into pleading guilty and that Mr. Cerdes was reasonable in waiting to file the Petition until the Government became aware of Scott’s misconduct. The case has now been remanded to the District Court, and the Government has filed a notice that it will no longer oppose Mr. Cerdes’s Petition. This is an extraordinary and well-deserved win for Mr. Haedicke’s client.
The Fifth Circuit opinion can be read here: