Testifying = Snitching?

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… Read More

My Client Is Going Home Today

My client – a juvenile — is going home today. I am working with one of my favorite prosecutors on the case. Although hard-line, she is straightforward and ethical. There is no hiding-the-ball with her.  She has a… Read More

What We Talk About On Our Way To A Crime Scene

It turns out that Wayne, my investigator, and I both do the laundry in our households. Apparently, neither one of us has a wife who understands that you cannot put whites in with the colored clothes, set the… Read More

The Gold Standard in Witness Credibility

My investigator Wayne Marshall gets an A+ for his testimony yesterday at trial. Of course, I am biased. Marshall is everything you could want in a witness: He knows his stuff. He is well-spoken, direct, straight-forward. He answers… Read More

Confronting the Complainant Before Trial

If you want to get a complainant to speak with you before trial, ask the complainant about his or her injury. People love to talk about how they have been wronged. The floodgate opens. My investigator Wayne and… Read More

On “Constructive Venting” And Wayne My Investigator

Seth Godin writes about a friend of his, a middle school teacher, who avoided the teacher’s lounge because “he couldn’t bear the badmouthing of students, the whining and the blaming”: Just about every organization, every on-line service, every… Read More

Ode to My Investigator

I botched the investigation. I went to the store on Upper Wisconsin Avenue in which my client was alleged to have committed a robbery.  While there, I neglected to look for a critical piece of evidence:  whether or… Read More

On Hoopties and Shell Stations: The Benefits of Visiting a Crime Scene

Yet another benefit to private practice – as opposed to being a public defender – is that you have more time for investigations. Wayne, my investigator, actually handles most of my on-scene investigations.  As a former cop, he… Read More

On Working With An Investigator

One of the frustrations of being a public defender was the need to deal with sometimes unrealistic expectations.  You don’t always value what you don’t pay for, and clients would sometimes have unrealistic expectations about what an investigator… Read More