It’s a fairly niche practice area — not many attorneys have an understanding of the child psychology behind sexual abuse accusations or the medical literature pertaining to physical abuse. Nor do they have the time or the interest to study it.
She puts in the same time and effort when it comes to litigating complex legal issues and defending her clients’ constitutional rights. Simply put, when other attorneys consider an argument to be impossible to win, Molly digs in, develops the issue, and gets results. This skill is not something that can be taught. It is inherent.
For example, in 2017, Smith Blythe took a case in which a Michigan doctor was accused of performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on minor females as part of a religious rite. In the early 1990s, Congress enacted legislation criminalizing the practice, but no one had ever been prosecuted pursuant to the federal law. Molly came up with a legal strategy to attack the charges. When she told other lawyers about it, they said it would be “impossible” and a “waste of time.”
After months of diving into the legislative history and law concerning Congress’ power to enact such a law, Molly wrote a motion arguing that Congress overstepped the power of the states when it criminalized the practice.
She argued that the Constitution did not allow for this type of unlimited federal power, simply because lawmakers did not approve of the conduct at issue. And despite all the lawyers who told her it would be a waste of time, Molly was right.
The federal judge ruled in Smith Blythe’s favor, and the ban was found to be unconstitutional, leading to dismissal of all of the charges of female genital mutilation. Molly’s victory not only saved Smith Blythe’s client, but charges were dismissed for all eight co-defendants. This is only one example of Molly’s many accomplishments.
Molly spent hours upon hours with archival research and drafting and redrafting briefs. Seeing all her hard work come to fruition only reaffirmed Molly’s belief that the most important part of being a criminal defense attorney is to act as a check on an oftentimes overzealous system.