Job Security is Not Always a Good Thing

February 5, 2015 D.C. Superior Court

Sour.  Unprofessional.  And extraordinarily slow at everything she does. That is my assessment of the woman who sits at the reception desk on the 10th floor of the Office of the Attorney General.  She reminds me of everything I didn’t like when I worked for the federal government many years ago. I complain about the […]

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Accountability

January 29, 2015 Juveniles

My client’s grandmother stands next to me at the bar of the court.  She complains to me about the probation officer, about the education attorney, about the prosecutor, and about the judge.  I am sure that when I am not there, she is complaining about me too. The entire system has failed her grandson. My […]

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Police Officer as Expert at DMV Hearing

January 26, 2015 DUI and Driving Offenses

Q:  You are certified to administer the standardized field sobriety tests? A:  Yes. Q:  So you are familiar with the science behind the standardized field sobriety tests? A:  Yes. Q:  And you are aware that the tests have never been peer-reviewed? A:  Um.  I was not aware – HEARING EXAMINER:  What is the relevance of […]

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Refreshing Recollection at a DMV Hearing

January 22, 2015 DUI and Driving Offenses

DEFENSE COUNSEL:  Objection. HEARING EXAMINER:  Basis? DEFENSE COUNSEL:  I would ask that the officer testify from memory and not read from his report. HEARING EXAMINER:  Officer, are you testifying from memory or are you using the report to refresh your recollection? OFFICER:  I am using the report for recollection. HEARING EXAMINER:  Okay.  And are you […]

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On the Criminal Defense Attorney Who “Knows” all the Prosecutors

January 19, 2015 D.C. Superior Court

“I can get you a good deal because I know all the prosecutors.” This is what one of my competitors says to a potential client.  I know this because the client tells me.  She wants to know if I can get the same results for her. There are three things wrong with this statement. First, […]

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On the Satisfaction of Doing Criminal Appeals

January 10, 2015 Appellate Practice

During the second semester of my senior year in college, I submitted a paper for my English class that was three-quarters of a page long. It was my last assignment for a class I was taking pass/fail and I already knew I was going to pass. But I had to turn in something — anything […]

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Amherst, Massachusetts

January 4, 2015 Miscellaneous

A Poem by Emma Brush Z – Here lies my grandfather, whom (this is important) you have never met.  He once called a boy “unnaturally tall,” and I’m sure he would have said the same about you.   But then again, I have sat at his desks – they are a many – and he […]

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Everything is Calm. Everything is Civilized.

December 11, 2014 Juveniles

The two young men have been in the same place at the same time before.  I have seen it on the video recording. The first meeting – captured by a surveillance camera at the back of a D.C. metro bus — – involved a violent altercation in which they exchanged blows.  The kid getting the […]

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When it Comes To Self-Defense, it is the Immediacy of the Response Needed, Not the Immediacy of the Threat

December 7, 2014 Defenses to Criminal Charges

Words in the law do not always mean what their dictionary definitions say they mean. With respect to a prior consistent statement, for example, it is not really, as suggested by the rule, that such a statement must be offered to rebut a charge of “recent fabrication.”  Instead, it is “only that the alleged contrivance […]

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James Colt is Superman

December 3, 2014 D.C. Superior Court

I am a fan of D.C. criminal defense attorney James Colt.  It is not only his name, which sounds like it was pulled from a Harlequin romance.  It is also that he is a pleasant guy and, from what I can tell, a very good lawyer. Now there is this:  I am standing by the […]

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