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Only days earlier, in early July 2018, Deron had a major win in the Queen’s County Supreme Court when the judge agreed to throw out evidence against the defendant in a murder case after a pre-trial hearing. The District Attorney sought to introduce statements of the defendant made during an interrogation by homicide detectives. After carefully cross-examining the detective at the hearing, Castro was able to persuade the judge to suppress the evidence by citing past cases where similar evidence was tossed out. It is quite unusual for a judge to suppress a defendant's own statements, let alone to have them suppressed in a murder case. Few attorneys could accomplish such a feat in court. Deron was one of them.
In his honor, Halscott Megaro, P.A. will be hosting its Annual Essay Writing Competition, which is open to all current full-time and part-time enrolled students in an ABA accredited law school. One winner will be selected and will receive a $1000.00 scholarship award from the Deron Castro Memorial Scholarship.
Deron Castro, Esq. was a personal friend and colleague of Patrick Michael Megaro. Mr. Castro started his career at The Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, in Queens, New York as a public defender before going into private practice. Mr. Castro and Mr. Megaro also later cooperated criminal cases, such as the successful appeal in People v. Small (2011), see https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ny-supreme-court/1565846.html.
Mr. Castro was well-known and respected as one of the most successful and skilled criminal defense attorneys, securing acquittal after acquittal for his clients. A fearless advocate, he provided nothing but the highest caliber of representation to his loyal and dedicated clientele.
States Mr. Megaro, “If I or anyone in my family was charged with a crime, I would have hired Deron Castro. He was hands down one of the best trial attorneys in New York and in the country. Castro won with his skill, preparation, and fighting spirit. He was highly respected by other criminal defense lawyers and feared by prosecutors.”
Outside of the courtroom, Deron Castro was a loving and devoted father of three and caring husband. Always involved in his children’s activities, one could find Mr. Castro running from basketball practice to dance recitals at night and on the weekends. He was known for his kindness, generosity, and perpetual positive attitude which impacted all those around him.
This Scholarship is dedicated to the memory of one of the great lawyers in New York City, and the United States, to ever grace a courtroom with his presence.
The scholarship is open to all current full-time and part-time matriculated students in an ABA accredited law school.
How to Apply:
For applying the essay contest, the candidates must write a 1000 word or fewer essay on the following topic:
What makes the difference between a good and a great criminal defense attorney?
Deron certainly was one of those great attorneys, but what exactly makes a criminal attorney “great”? Here is a starting point. One criminal defenses attorney suggests that four qualities are necessary to be at least “good”: “ The single most important thing a criminal defense lawyer can do is over-investigate their case. It is the probably the biggest single difference in lawyers, how much independent investigation they do. ….  Everyone knows that criminal defense lawyers must be strong negotiators. … There are really only two factors that should be considered in negotiation: what does this person deserve and what is the likelihood of conviction if the case proceeds to trial (what is the strength of the case). …  Third, provide a technical legal defense. This is the kind of thing you learn in law books. Read the discovery. Read the law. Reread the discovery. Reread the law. There is usually something to argue about. …  In my opinion, the toughest skill, is being able to win at trial. Not many lawyers will take tough cases to trial. …” Robert King, “What makes a good criminal lawyer?”, see https://www.robertkinglawfirm.com/blog/2017/may/what-makes-a-good-criminal-lawyer-/ (2017)
Your essay must be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and must be in Word or PDF format. In the alternative, applicants may submit a 5-minute or less video essay. The video must be a closeup of the applicant, giving their essay as a lecture or speech, addressing the camera directly and must have a green screen in the background. Editing is permitted.
The essay must be submitted along with a short bio on the applicant, a passport-style photograph of the applicant, and a release permitting publication of the photograph and the essay (or video) by Halscott Megaro, P.A., its agents or assigns.
The $1000.00 scholarship will be awarded to the winning candidate.
Submission Deadline extended to September 15, 2018!
The winner will be announced September 30, 2018
Halscott Megaro, P.A. is a law firm dedicated to the pursuit of justice, focusing on criminal and civil appeals, post-conviction relief, criminal defense, clemency advocacy, and civil rights advocacy.
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**** Patrick Michael Megaro is a partner at Halscott Megaro PA. His primary areas of practice are criminal defense, criminal appeals, post-conviction relief, civil appeals, and civil rights litigation. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patrickmichael.megaro.9 - Attorney Profile: https://criminal-defense-attorney.squarespace.com/patrick-michael-megaro-esq/ - Attorney Profile at: https://solomonlawguild.com/patrick-michael-megaro; Attorney News at: https://attorneygazette.com/patrick-megaro%2C-esq#ab17a387-a757-4c0f-bc37-81f556fd15ea