Dessa Curb Not Guilty in APS Cheating Trial   |  

Dessa Curb, Sandy Wallack and Curb's sister leave the courthouse after being acquitted in the APS cheating trial.

Dessa Curb, Sandy Wallack and Curb’s sister leave the courthouse after being acquitted in the APS cheating trial.

Retired Atlanta Public Schools special education teacher, Dessa Curb, with her defense attorney, Sandy Wallack, and sister, Aleesa Williams, leave the Fulton County Courthouse after Curb’s verdicts of not guilty on all charges in the APS cheating trial on April 1, 2015. (Photo credit: Brant Sanderlin/AJC and AP)

Interviews Since APS Verdict   |  

Dessa Curb and Sandy Wallack have been talking to quite a few reporters and getting a good deal of press coverage since the APS Trial verdict was read on April 1. Here are a few links to some of the most recent stories and interviews.

Business Radio X: Atlanta Legal Experts Interviews GA Top Trial Lawyers (Sandy’s interview starts at 44:15)

Business Radio X: Atlanta Business Radio (Sandy’s interview starts at 25:00)

WABE: Radio Interview

11 Alive: Dessa Curb never believed the jury would find her guilty of cheating (video interview)

AJC: Found Not Guilty – Dessa Curb (video)

Inside Edition: 11 teachers found guilty in biggest cheating scandal in U.S. history (video)

CBS Atlanta: Too Much Truth Exclusive: APS Educator Found Guilty Of Cheating Scandal (audio)

WSB TV: RAW VIDEO – APS teacher not convicted in cheating scandal speaks (video)

V103: Interview with Dessa Curb and Sandy Wallack after trial (audio)

AJC: Only APS defendant cleared feels ‘blessed,’ but sad for friends (photo/article)

Daily Report: The Only Winning Defense Lawyer in APS Trial Calls Victory ‘Bittersweet‘ (PDF)

News One Now: Interview with Attorneys J. Kevin Franks & Sandy Wallack (video)

AJC Get Schooled Editorial: Fulton DA Paul Howard is my friend but he was wrong in APS case (article)

Huffington Post: Accountability for Whom? (article) The Atlanta Schools Verdict – Sometimes The Judge Loses It Entirely (article)

Yahoo Finance: The Biggest Outrage in Atlanta’s Crazy Teacher Cheating Case (article)

The Progressive: Atlanta Trial – The Ultimate in Test-and-Punish (article)

The Grio: In the Atlanta Cheating Scandal, Standardized Testing is the Crime (article)


Only One of Twelve Found Not Guilty in Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Trial   |  

Atlanta criminal defense attorney Sanford (Sandy) Wallack successfully defends accused in Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial

ATLANTA – MAY 2015 – On March 29, 2013, 35 former Atlanta Public School educators were indicted for conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act and various other offenses including false statements and writings, false swearing, influencing witnesses and theft by taking.

Twenty-one of those charged pled guilty prior to trial through negotiated plea agreements. Twelve defendants proceeded to a highly publicized trial, which commenced with jury selection on August 11, 2014. On April 1, 2015, 11 of the 12 educators standing trial were convicted. Only a single one of those originally charged in the case was acquitted of all charges: Dessa Curb, represented by Atlanta criminal defense attorney Sandy Wallack.

“I had been given a handful of attorney suggestions through my union,” says Ms. Curb. “When I looked into Sandy and met with him, I knew he would do the best job. He promised me he would work hard to prove my innocence and do everything he could, and I could just tell he would.” Prior to and throughout the trial, Ms. Curb had Sandy by her side to help her understand everything that was happening. “There were so many confusing parts and sometimes I didn’t understand what was going on, but he was there to explain everything to me and help me understand. He was incredibly dedicated to helping me. He was my gift from God.”

Ms. Curb was equally impressed with the depth of Sandy’s legal knowledge. “He knew the law. In fact, there were several times where the other defendants’ attorneys would come to him for information and he was always prepared to assist them.”

Sandy is elated for his client. “We knew she was innocent of all charges, but given the media attention, we also understood that many would pass judgment without knowing all the facts,” says Sandy. “It was important that we clearly present Ms. Curb’s case so that the court would recognize she should not be judged based on the actions of others around her.”

Sandy Wallack Interviewed About His Use of Technology During APS Trial   |  

Nichole Black interviewed me about my usage of TrialPad in article titled, Today’s Tech: How A Criminal Defense Lawyer Uses Trial Presentation Technology, posted on Above the Law. Here’s a quote: “Not only did TrialPad streamline the trial presentation process — it helped Sanford stand out from the pack. “Because everyone else essentially relied on ELMO for trial presentation, it made me appear more organized and effective,” he says. “I had positive reactions from other lawyers and the witnesses. In fact, in one instance, when I did a call out on a document and it popped up on the screen, the witness said something to the extent that that was the coolest thing she’d ever seen!” To read the rest of the article, click here.


APS Cheating Trial Verdicts Delivered   |  

Dessa Curb, Sandy Wallack and Curb's sister leave the courthouse after being acquitted in the APS cheating trial.

Dessa Curb, Sandy Wallack and Curb’s sister, Aleesa Williams, leave the courthouse after being acquitted in the APS cheating trial.

After many long months of work and deliberations, I am pleased to report that my client, Dessa Curb, a teacher at Dobbs Elementary, was found not guilty on all charges when the final verdict was read. She is the only one of the 12 on trial that was found not-guilty and the remaining defendants were taken into custody immediately after the verdicts were read. See below for some of the early press coverage of the verdict.

WSB TV: Video of reading of verdicts (video/article)

News & Talk 1380: Radio interview with Sandy Wallack about APS trial (audio)

11 Alive: APS Verdict: The defendants and the charges (photos)

WSB TV: Guilty verdicts reached for 11 of 12 in APS cheating trial (article)

AJC: Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed and others react to APS verdict (article)

AJC: Acquitted defendant in Atlanta cheating trial: ‘I knew I was innocent’ (PDF)

11 Alive: APS Trial: 11 of 12 convicted of racketeering (video/article)

Fox Atlanta: 11 of 12 APS defendants found guilty of conspiracy, other counts (article)

Chicago Tribune: Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial verdict (article/video) 11 Atlanta educators convicted in test cheating scandal (article)

CBS News Atlanta: Too Much Truth Exclusive: APS Educator Found Guilty Of Cheating Scandal (article/audio)

Fate of those Accused in APS Cheating Trial Now in Jury’s Hands   |  

After 8 months of trial, the fate of the defendants in the APS cheating trial is now in the hands of the jury. Here are a few articles on this topic.

AJC: APS cheating trial, March 26: Fifth day of jury deliberations (article)

WSBTV/AJC: Deliberations continue in APS cheating trial (video)

AJC: APS deliberations continue (PDF)

AJC: APS cheating trial, March 19: Jury deliberations begin (photo)

Closing Arguments in APS Cheating Trial   |  

After 8 long months, the APS trial jury heard closing arguments in mid-March. Here are a few of the latest links to news coverage of the last portion of the trial.

11 Alive: Day two of closing arguments in the APS cheating trial (video)

WSBTV: Defense attorneys in APS cheating trial make closing arguments (video)

NY Times: Closing Arguments Begin in Test Cheating Trial of 12 Atlanta Educators (article)

AJC: Has good news about APS been lost? (PDF)

AJC: 2nd day of closing arguments (PDF)

AJC: APS trial’s closing arguments: Liars and cheaters to bear, oh my (PDF)

AJC: Defense in APS cheating trial- ‘Teachers? Racketeers? Really?’ (PDF)

AJC: Day two of closing arguments in the APS cheating trial (PDF)

AJC: APS cheating trial: Attorneys something to see (PDF)

News on Dr. Beverly Hall’s Death   |  

While Beverly Hall, former APS superintendent, was often discussed during the APS cheating trial, she was unable to stand trial due to her battle with breast cancer. As the trial was coming to a close, she passed away due to the disease on March 2. Here are some articles on that topic.

WSB-TV: Former APS superintendent Beverly Hall dies (video)

WSB-TV: Beverly Hall dies: criminal case – and her legacy – unresolved (article/video)

Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Trial Continues   |  

Yes, it’s still going on, but the end just might be in sight. Here are the latest headlines and stories…

AJC: Defense rests in APS cheating trial

AJC: APS cheating trial’s end in sight (PDF)

AJC: APS Cheating Trial: February 24, 2015

AJC: APS Cheating Trial: Defense attorney group photo

AJC: APS Cheating Trial: February 23, 2015

AJC: Judge considers requests to dismiss some charges in APS cheating trial

AJC: 3 APS defendants rest their case: 5 won’t testify

AJC: Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Trial: Week 18 (PDF)

AJC: APS Cheating Trial: Feb 10, 2015

AJC: Trial witness: APS took pains to hide evidence of cheating (PDF)


The Latest News on the APS Cheating Trial   |  

The media coverage of the trial has slowed to a trickle, but here are a few of the latest stories and photos from the trial.

AJC: Witness in APS trial: “I was a dead woman walking

AJC: Photos from January 14. 2015

AJC: Photos from January 13, 2015

AJC: Photos from January 8, 2015

AJC: Judge wants APS trial over – yesterday

WXIA-TV: APS Cheating Trial Resumes