• Jeffrey D. Barrar P.S. | Vancouver Defenders

    Jeffrey D. Barrar P.S. | Vancouver Defenders

  • Jeffrey D. Barrar P.S. | Vancouver Defenders

    Jeffrey D. Barrar P.S. | Vancouver Defenders

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Jeffrey D. Barrar P.S. has grown to become the largest criminal defense firm in Southwest Washington. The firm has public contracts to represent indigent defendants in felony and misdemeanor cases and also represents privately retained clients.

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New on the Barrar Law blog...

Rape conviction overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct

A Vancouver client’s 2017 conviction for raping his wife have been thrown out by the Court of Appeals.

In a 3-0 ruling, appellate judges cited prosecutorial misconduct as grounds for reversal, including a Clark County deputy prosecutor’s comments about anal sex she made during closing argument.

The client, who was represented at trial by attorney Neil Anderson, was convicted of second-degree rape and third-degree rape and sentenced to 12 years in prison. After his wife called 911 to report she’d been raped, responding police officers asked the client whether the sex with his wife had been consensual. The client said his wife didn’t say yes or no and “just laid there” but said it was normal for his wife to not actively participate.

At trial in Clark County Superior Court, the deputy prosecutor asked the client a lot of questions about whether it was hygienic to have anal sex before vaginal sex without cleaning himself in between.

The client said he was unaware it was not hygienic and that he and his wife had done it before.

During closing argument, the deputy prosecutor told the jury the defendant’s sexual practices were “not normal” and “gross.”

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Prosecutor fails to "strike out" Kauffman's client

Katie Kauffman’s client, who was facing a life sentence under the state’s “three strikes” law, was sentenced this week to eight years in prison.

With time off for good behavior, he will be out in about five years.

It was a big win for Kauffman’s 32-year-old client. His criminal history includes two convictions for robbery. Those are strike offenses under Washington’s Persistent Offender Accountability Act, which was approved by voters in 1993. The law mandates that convictions on a third strike carry life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Last year, the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office charged Kauffman’s client with burglary in the first degree (domestic violence), felony violation of a no-contact order, theft of a motor vehicle (domestic violence) and residential burglary (domestic violence.)

First-degree burglary counts as a strike.

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Kauffman named Trial Attorney of the Year

Katie Kauffman was honored as Trial Attorney of the Year at the Clark County Bar Association’s Barrister Ball on March 2 at Warehouse ’23.

Jeff Barrar presented the award, which was voted on by members of the bar association.

Barrar said Kauffman, who started working for his firm in 2012, had a very busy and successful year in court in 2018. She won acquittals for a client charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, and another client charged with indecent liberties.

For a client facing life in prison under the state’s “third strike” law, she did so well at trial that the prosecutor failed to win a conviction; the trial ended with a hung jury. Kauffman subsequently negotiated a deal for her client, who received a substantially lighter prison sentence.

Recently, Barrar said, Kauffman co-chaired a murder trial with him, and the client was convicted only of a lesser charge of manslaughter.

In addition to those serious felony cases, Kauffman won acquittals for four clients charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, Barrar said.

“If I were to list two of her qualities most responsible for her success, they would be confidence and compassion. Her confidence comes from the years of preparation and hard work, the compassion we can all thank her parents for,” Barrar said.

“I’d like to close with one final thought,” he said. “The next time someone comes to you and says they have a son or daughter or another loved one charged with a crime and they were appointed a public defender, what should they do? You tell them that in 2018 a public defender was recognized by her peers as being the best trial attorney in the county.”

Barrar, Kauffman convince jurors fatal shooting was accidental

Attorneys Jeff Barrar and Katie Kauffman successfully defended a client charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife. On Dec. 6, a jury agreed with the defense that the shooting was not intentional and convicted the client on a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter.

Jurors also acquitted the client, Todd Marjama Jr., on a charge of first-degree assault. That felony charge was because the client’s young daughter had been with her mother when her mother was shot behind a closed bathroom door.

There was no evidence the client knew his daughter had been in the bathroom.

Trial began Nov. 26 in Clark County Superior Court. Jurors heard from 28 witnesses over seven days of testimony.  The 12 jurors deliberated approximately five hours on Dec. 6 before reaching a verdict.

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Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.: Vancouver Defenders Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.
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