Second Fiddle at a Jury Trial

It is not easy sitting second-chair at a trial when you are used to running the show yourself. Recently appointed as a provisional member of the panel to represent indigent criminal defendants in D.C., I need to second-chair… Read More

A New Perspective on Representing Indigent Criminal Defendants

Three months into my court-appointed work in D.C., I now have a completely different perspective on representing indigent criminal defendants. At the time I quit my job as a public defender in Philadelphia after a three-year stint there,… Read More

Joining the Adult CJA Panel in D.C.

I have just been appointed to the D.C. Superior Court panel for adult court-appointed cases. I was one of three lawyers appointed on a “provisional” basis. (Three other lawyers were promoted from the provisional panel to the full… Read More

D.C. Panel of Court-Appointed Lawyers for Juveniles

The 2015 list of lawyers eligible to accept court appointments in juvenile cases is now out. Chief Judge Lee F. Satterfield issued the order approving the list on October 23. The list will be good for the next… Read More

Keeping Score in Room 113

If ever I fancied the notion of becoming a judge, I changed my mind after spending another day in domestic violence court last week. The judge in Room 113 of D.C. Superior Court – where civil protection orders… Read More

“You Look Thinner In Real Life”

If ever I thought a person’s vanity might diminish with age, I have proven myself wrong: I am every bit as vain today as I have ever been. The problem is that the vanity now leads mostly to… Read More

Funeral Service for Louis Barnett to be Held April 21

Louis Barnett died on April 13, 2015 of a pulmonary aneurysm. My understanding is that Barnett and his wife were in the midst of a home renovation when his wife found him at the bottom of the basement… Read More

Every Prosecutor Should Experience the Humiliation and Discomfort of an Arrest

Your client is charged with Leaving After Colliding – Property Damage.  This is the technical way of saying that he is charged with “hit-and-run” or “leaving the scene of an accident” as the offense is known in other… Read More

Solo Practitioners Don’t Have A Jackie Frankfurt

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… Read More

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

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… Read More