Cheek v. U.S.: Interpreting the “Interfere” Language of D.C.’s APO Statute

November 20, 2014 Assault

The Assault on a Police Officer (APO) statute is so broad that the D.C. Court of Appeals has had to issue multiple opinions to interpret it.  In Edwin Cheek v. United States, an opinion it issued today, it interpreted that portion of the law that makes it illegal to “interfere” with a police officer while […]

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Testifying = Snitching?

November 18, 2014 Investigations

The witness refuses to testify. “I am not a snitch,” he tells my investigator Wayne and me. “But we am not asking you to snitch on anyone,” I reply. “We are just asking you to testify. To tell the truth about what you saw. We need your testimony for our defense.” When I was growing […]

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Watching Amy Phillips

November 8, 2014 D.C. Superior Court

She is assertive without being aggressive. She knows when to push and when to hang back. She is pleasant and well-spoken. She does her homework. She is committed to her clients while keeping a sense of humor. As an avid student of the law, she is always ready to talk things through with you. She […]

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Second-Guessing Your Lawyer

November 7, 2014 Law Marketing/Networking

The caller tells me he wants my professional opinion.  What he really wants is some free legal advice so that he can second-guess the lawyer he has already hired. But the caller has three problems.  His first problem is that I remember him.  I remember speaking with him not once but twice on the phone […]

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Sometimes I Think The Stenographer Is Out To Get Me

November 6, 2014 Trial Advocacy

I read every transcript I can get my hands on, including my own.  My office mate at the Philly PD’s office used to give me a hard time about that – he thought I was being vain. But he may have been giving me more credit than I deserved.  Sometimes you are proud of how […]

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“Shoplifters Will Be Prostituted”

November 4, 2014 Humor
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A Prosecutor Melts Down

November 2, 2014 Law Practice

We had at least one meltdown every year at the public defender’s office in Philadelphia.  Sometimes the meltdown was very public:  the PD throwing down her files and stomping out of the court room.  Other times it was a more private affair.  The defender would simply drop his files back at the office and leave, […]

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You Do Not Pronounce The “H” in Amherst

November 1, 2014 Miscellaneous

I grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts.  My mother and two of my sisters still live in the area.  And I take all of this very seriously:  You do not pronounce the “h”.  It may be “Am-HERST,” New York.  But it is “Am-ERST,” Massachusetts. I am always amazed to hear a graduate from one of the […]

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