D.C. Superior Court

Solo Practitioners Don’t Have A Jackie Frankfurt

March 26, 2015 Appellate Practice

We had a tremendous support network at the public defender’s office in Philadelphia. There were social workers and mental health professionals. There were administrative staff focusing on probation, parole, and the expungement of criminal records. If you had a question about a particular point of law or opinion, there was a whole group of appellate […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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, […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

“Equal Justice Under Law”: Why Alec Karakatsanis Is Not Your Typical Smug, Humorless Public Interest Lawyer

July 30, 2014 D.C. Superior Court

One of the hazards of public interest work is that it seems to contribute to smugness.  I may be underpaid and overworked.  But at least I am doing the Lord’s work.  And that work is more important than anything my higher paid colleagues with more prestigious jobs are doing. I encountered a little bit of […]

Read the full article →

With Significant Drop in Crime, D.C. Reduces Size of CJA Panel

May 24, 2014 D.C. Superior Court

The list is finally out. D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Morin announced last fall that the panel of attorneys who are approved to represent indigent criminal defendants would be reconstituted. Everyone was required to re-apply. And, with the number of criminal cases down 25% since 2008, Judge Morin warned that there would be major cuts. […]

Read the full article →

Policy Shmolicy: Dealing With Junior Prosecutors

March 8, 2014 D.C. Superior Court

Occasionally you have a judge who tells it like it is. I am standing at the bar of the court. My client has successfully completed a diversion program. The clerk calls our case 15 minutes early, before my client has arrived in the courtroom, so I offer to waive my client’s presence. We need two […]

Read the full article →

PDS Launches Criminal Law Blog

September 25, 2013 Criminal Law Bloggers

The Public Defender Service (PDS) has just begun a blog — the PDS Criminal Law Blog — that reviews recent D.C. Court of Appeals opinions.  With Samia Fam, Nancy Glass, Jackie Frankfurt, and a handful of other public defenders sharing responsibility for the writing, the blog will certainly have some heavy hitters behind it.  The […]

Read the full article →