Henak Law Office, S.C.
  Criminal Appeals, Post-Conviction Remedies, Federal Habeas Corpus

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316 N. Milwaukee St., #535
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414)283-9300
Fax: (414)283-9400
Experience. Creativity. Integrity.
Federal Decisions - Robert R. Henak

Attorney Robert Henak has represented people charged with crimes on post-conviction motions throughout Wisconsin and on appeal in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, as well as in a number of federal district courts and circuit courts of appeals. To date, his cases have resulted in nearly 100 published decisions and a much larger number of unpublished decisions.

Attorney Henak did all or a significant part of the briefing for a party or amicus in each of the following Federal published cases:

Starkweather v. Smith, 574 F.3d 399 (7th Cir. 2009)

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

Simonson v. Hepp, 549 F.3d 1101 (7th Cir. 2008)

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

Samuel v. Frank, 525 F.3d 566 (7th Cir. 2008) Court of Appeals agrees with petitioner that Wisconsin Supreme Court applied the wrong standard for assessing whether witness statements are voluntary and thus admissible under the Due Process Clause. Court nonetheless holds that statement by fifteen year old witness inculpating petitioner in sexual assault was adequately reliable under Due Process Clause despite the fact it was extracted from her by taking away her newborn child.

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

Malinowski v. Smith, 509 F.3d 328 (7th Cir. 2007) Court of Appeals holds that the state court's exclusion of evidence from complainant's; school counselor regarding complainant's general credibility problems and the fact she had emotional difficulties that negatively impacted her ability to perceive and relate the truth was not contrary to or an unreasonable application of controlling United States Supreme Court precedent, and therefore did not permit federal habeas relief.

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

Lo v. Endicott, 506 F.3d 572 (7th Cir. 2007) Court of Appeals holds that federal habeas claim was untimely, even though it was filed within one year of chargeable time following the state Supreme Court's decision that first gave rise to the legal right asserted.

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

Goodman v. Bertrand, 467 F.3d 1022 (7th Cir. 2006) Court of Appeals reverses district court and grants federal habeas relief on the grounds that petitioner was denied the effective assistance of counsel at trial. Court of Appeals holds that state court's contrary conclusion was an unreasonable application of Strickland v. Washington, 466 US 668 (1984), because the cumulative effect of trial counsel's errors gave rise to a reasonable probability of a different result on a retrial. (Charges ultimately dismissed prior to retrial in state court).

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

Eckstein v. Kingston, 460 F.3d 844 (7th Cir. 2006) Court of Appeals affirms district court's denial of federal habeas petition alleging ineffectiveness of counsel. Court applies novel standard for deficient performance, evaluating counsel's overall performance rather than the reasonableness of the specific errors alleged by the petitioner. As a result, the Court conflates the deficient performance and resulting prejudice prongs of the Strickland test.

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

Martin v. Grosshans, 424 F.3d 588 (7th Cir. 2005) Court of Appeals reverses denial of federal habeas relief on grounds that multiple errors of trial counsel denied petitioner the effective assistance of counsel. Court also holds that the state court of appeals' analysis of resulting prejudice was contrary to controlling Supreme Court standards. (Charges ultimately dismissed prior to retrial in state court).

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

Walker v. Litscher, 421 F.3d 549 (7th Cir. 2005) Court of Appeals affirms denial of federal habeas relief on the grounds that the exclusion of evidence reflecting the complainant's motive to falsely accuse the defendant of sexual assault did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him.

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

U.S. v. Mayes, 370 F.3d 703 (7th Cir. 2004) On direct appeal from federal drug conspiracy conviction, the Court of Appeals agrees that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of anonymous threats to a witness, but nonetheless finds the error harmless. The Court does reverse the sentence of Henak Law Office, S.C., client Raphael Clayton, on the grounds that the sentencing court misapplied the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in determining his role in the offense. (Life sentence without parole ultimately reduced to 25 years on resentencing).

Clayton Separate Opening Brief
Joint Reply Brief
Clayton Separate Reply Brief

U.S. v. Johnson, 335 F.3d 589 (7th Cir. 2003) Court of Appeals rejects argument that Supreme Court's decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 US 466 (2000), applies to the calculation of drug quantity under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, barring consideration of drug quantities not found by the jury. Johnson's position ultimately was upheld by the Supreme Court in United States v. Booker, 543 US 220 (2005), albeit too late for Mr. Johnson.

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

U.S. v. Mitchell, 299 F.3d 632 (7th Cir. 2002) Court of Appeals rejects defendants' argument that the federal "felon in possession of a firearm" statute, 18 U.S.C. §922(g), is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause in that criminalized possession by felons of firearms that only previously traveled in interstate commerce.

Peete Opening Brief
Peete Reply Brief

U.S. v. Schuh, 289 F.3d 968 (7th Cir. 2002) Court of Appeals reverses Schuh's sentence and remands for resentencing based on district court's erroneous application of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines provisions regarding role in the offense. (19 year sentence reduced to 12 years, seven months on resentencing).

Opening Brief
Reply Brief

Braun v. Powell, 227 F.3d 908 (7th Cir. 2000) Court of Appeals reverses district court's grant of federal habeas relief, inventing a novel "di minimis" exception to the constitutional right to a public trial.

Response Brief

Washington v. Smith, 219 F.3d 620 (7th Cir. 2000) Court of Appeals affirms grant of federal habeas relief on the grounds that the cumulative effect of trial counsel's unreasonable errors denied Washington the effective assistance of counsel at trial. Court rules that state court of appeals decision was contrary to and an unreasonable application of the Supreme Court's Strickland standard for assessing resulting prejudice. (Charges ultimately dismissed prior to retrial in state court).

U.S. v. Ladish Malting Co., 135 F.3d 484 (7th Cir. 1998)

Kurzawa v. Jordan, 146 F.3d 435 (7th Cir. 1998)

U.S. v. Vitek Supply Corp., 144 F.3d 476 (7th Cir. 1998)

Liegakos v. Cooke, 106 F.3d 1381 (7th Cir. 1997)

Mainiero v. Jordan, 105 F.3d 361 (7th Cir. 1997)

Neumann v. Jordan, 84 F.3d 985 (7th Cir. 1996)

U.S. v. Gunderson, 55 F.3d 1328 (7th Cir. 1995)

U.S. v. Andersen, 45 F.3d 217 (7th Cir. 1995)

U.S. v. Knapp, 25 F.3d 451 (7th Cir. 1994)

U.S. v. Lechuga, 994 F.2d 346 (7th Cir. 1993)

U.S. v. Lechuga, 975 F.2d 397 (7th Cir. 1992)

U.S. v. Antzoulatos, 962 F.2d 720 (7th Cir. 1992)

U.S. v. Jewel, 947 F.2d 224 (7th Cir. 1991)

U.S. v. Lamon, 930 F.2d 1183 (7th Cir. 1991)

U.S. v. Shyres, 898 F.2d 647 (8th Cir. 1990)

U.S. v. Lov-It Creamery, Inc., 895 F.2d 410 (7th Cir. 1990)

Hernandez v. Wallace, 524 F.Supp.2d 1097 (E.D. Wis. 2007)

Warrichaiet v. Jansen, 441 F.Supp.2d 989 (E.D. Wis. 2006)

Braun v. Powell, 77 F.Supp.2d 973 (E.D. Wis. 1999)

Washington v. Smith, 48 F.Supp.2d 1149 (E.D. Wis. 1999)

Liegakos v. Cooke, 928 F.Supp. 799 (E.D. Wis. 1996)

U.S. v. Lechuga, 769 F.Supp. 1056 (E.D. Wis. 1991)

U.S. v. Hoffman, 677 F.Supp. 589 (E.D. Wis. 1988)
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