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Shapiro, Cognata win DV trial

Attorneys Micah Shapiro and Amber Cognata won a trial Nov. 30 in Clark County District Court for a client charged with criminal trespass-domestic violence.

A jury deliberated approximately 45 minutes before acquitting the client of the charge, a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

The client, a divorced father of four, was arrested in July after his ex-wife called 911 to report that he came into her apartment while trying to pick up the children for a scheduled visit.

According to the ex-couple’s parenting plan, the parent picking up the children should wait outside.

The client was scheduled to pick up his three youngest children, and when he arrived at his ex-wife’s apartment one of the three children said he didn’t want to go. The door to his ex-wife’s apartment was unlocked and the client went in to get his son. He’d been in the apartment before, as his oldest child testified at the trial.

The client testified that he didn’t call police for assistance because he felt they had better things to do.

His ex-wife testified that he was trying to talk to her about the parenting plan and she didn’t want to talk to him and she told him to leave and he wouldn’t, so after about 10 to 20 minutes she called 911.

It took officers about 40 minutes to arrive, and by that time the son who had been resisting had agreed to go with his dad.

During closing argument, Shapiro emphasized that this was just about a father picking up his kid who was misbehaving. His client went into the apartment to get his son and asked his son’s mother for help, and she refused despite the fact that their parenting plan required her to help.

The ex-wife went nuclear and called police, and the client said fine, thinking the officers would enforce the parenting plan, Shapiro said. After his ex-wife called police his client waited in the parking lot for officers, and even called 911 himself to ask if the officers were still coming since it took so long.


Shapiro also made sure the jurors understood that the crime was labeled “domestic violence” because it involved a former couple and that nobody was afraid, threatened or harmed during the incident.

Tags: not guilty, domestic violence, Clark County, District Court, Micah Shapiro, Amber Cognata

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