RaquinMercer Law Offices
“The Defense Never Rests.”

Our Successful Post-Convictions

Justice is not always served by our criminal justice system. At least not initially. At RaquinMercer LLC, we offer representation from a post-conviction lawyer who can make things right for the convicted in Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Judge Bair, retired from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, Of Counsel at RaquinMercer brings 45 years of legal experience and 35 years of appellate and post-conviction practice.

Before joining the bench, Judge Bair distinguished himself in private practice as a partner and defense lawyer at Bennett & Bair for over seven years (2004-2012). The focus of his successful statewide practice included an extensive post-conviction practice in state court, as well as in federal habeas proceedings. His post-conviction practice included seeking modifications of sentence, challenging illegal sentences, and pursuing writs of actual innocence and coram nobis.

Judge Bair’s extensive knowledge and experience in the standards of professional responsibility and competence for criminal defense attorneys earned him recognition as an expert by Maryland state courts and the Office of Bar Counsel of the District of Columbia.

Read more about our post-conviction successes:

  • Case 1: In this post-conviction case, attorneys Steve Mercer and Isabelle Raquin obtained emergency relief for a client being held in ICE custody for deportation because a sentence for a State court conviction exceeded 364 days. The firm successfully secured relief for the client in state court from the sentence on an expedited basis. The client was promptly released from ICE custody.
  • Case 2: In this post-conviction case, attorneys Steve Mercer and Isabelle Raquin secured the release of a client serving a life sentence for murder. The attorney who represented the client at trial had jointly represented a co-defendant in the same case. Attorney Steve Mercer successfully argued that a presumption of prejudice due to the attorney’s actual conflict of interest required that the conviction be vacated and set-aside.
  • Case 3: In this post-conviction case, attorneys Steve Mercer and Isabelle Raquin secured the emergency release of a client who had been illegally sentenced to consecutive sentences that should have been merged at the client’s sentencing hearing.
  • Case 4: In this post-conviction case, attorney Steve Mercer uncovered a Brady violation in the police homicide file that revealed an eyewitness failed to identify the client as a suspect in a murder. As a result, the client was released from a life sentence.
  • Case 5: In this post-conviction case, attorney Steve Mercer challenged the reliability of medical evidence in a child sexual abuse case and persuaded the post-conviction court to award his client a new trial.
  • Case 6: In this post-conviction case, attorney Steve Mercer secured DNA testing of evidence still in the possession of the Medical Examiner that exonerated his client of murder and rape. Still, the prosecution retried the case which Steve fought at every step. On the first day of trial, the prosecution dropped all charges.

The importance of issue preservation for an appeal

Getting a guilty verdict in a criminal trial is a grim moment for a defendant. Nonetheless, the verdict does not necessarily doom a defendant to serving a sentence. To ensure justice, convicted defendants in Maryland and the District of Columbia have the right to...

How reliable is DNA evidence?

When it comes to criminal cases, courts consider DNA evidence as a reliable indication of a person's guilt or innocence. A technician will collect DNA samples at the scene of the crime, take them to a lab, and test them to look for a potential match. When there is a...

How do collateral consequences affect people?

A felony conviction can have a deep impact on people. Even after people fulfill a prison sentence, they may experience additional consequences. A criminal conviction is often accompanied by collateral consequences. The State of Maryland defines collateral consequences...

Appeals due to ineffective assistance of counsel

If you lost a trial and feel that your attorney did not do an appropriate job of defending you, you may be able to file an appeal due to ineffective assistance of counsel. As part of your right to have a fair trial, the actions of your lawyer play a role, whether the...