The Coin, Rubbed Back To Newness

March 13, 2015 Miscellaneous

Our son is home from college. The front door opens and there he is:  Tall and slender, like Telemachus standing in the doorway of the shepherd’s hut. There is the pile of clothes in his bedroom, the groan of pipes as he turns off the shower every morning, and the male voice rumbling from the […]

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Eliminate Adverbs. Improve Your Writing.

March 8, 2015 Appellate Practice

We all have our pet peeves when it comes to the English language. I had an English teacher in college who offered a $1 million reward to anyone who could find a single instance in which use of the word “utilization” would be preferable to “use.”  As far as I know, this reward is still […]

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Court-Appointed Lawyers Who Are Too Busy Should Lighten Their Case Load

March 5, 2015 D.C. Superior Court

I will not take cases away from the Public Defender Service. How can I take someone’s money when that person is already getting top-notch legal representation for free? I am trying to make a living. But I also have to live with myself. The other day, for example, I got a call from someone seeking […]

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Saidi v. U.S.: No Special Findings in Defense-of-Property Case

March 3, 2015 Defenses to Criminal Charges

You are allowed to use a reasonable amount of force to protect property.  This is true “regardless of any actual or threatened injury to the property by the trespasser.”  Moreover, upon timely request with sufficient clarity for special findings under D.C. Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(c), “the trial judge must articulate findings specific to all […]

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Three Voices in Writing

February 25, 2015 Humor

                        H/T Ken White

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#Serial: No Miscarriage of Justice in the Adnan Syed Case

February 12, 2015 Current Events

Over at our private family page on Facebook, we have been having a lively discussion about Serial, the This American Life podcast that investigates the 1999 murder of Baltimore County high school senior Hae Min Lee. Lee’s former boyfriend Adnan Syed is currently serving a life sentence for her murder.  The 12-episode podcast investigates allegations […]

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I Thought You Might Try Harder If You Thought I Was Innocent

February 7, 2015 Defenses to Criminal Charges

When you go to a doctor for treatment, do you omit a critical piece of information about what is ailing you? Of course not.  The doctor’s diagnosis will only be as good as the information it is based on.  So why would you ever lie to your criminal defense lawyer?  Why would you tell her […]

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Gayden v. U.S.: Interpreting the “Resist” and “Intimidate” Provisions of D.C.’s APO Statute

February 7, 2015 Assault

In Cheeks v. United States, a case issued a couple of months ago, the D.C. Court of Appeals interpreted the “interfere” provision of D.C.’s Assault of a Police Officer (APO) statute.  (It is illegal under this statute to assault, resist, oppose, impede, interfere with or intimidate a police officer who is performing his official duties, […]

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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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