How Quiet In This Room That Holds Us Both

“It is what it is.” The detective says this many times throughout the two-hour interrogation of your client.   It is a phrase with no meaning, a verbal tic; a space-filler you throw in there in the guise of… Read More


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… Read More

Everything is Calm. Everything is Civilized.

The two young men have been in the same place at the same time before.  I have seen it on the video recording. The first meeting – captured by a surveillance camera at the back of a D.C…. Read More

Thank You For Your Vote Of Confidence

Dear Juvenile Client: You must think I am one really, really good lawyer. Why else would you violate every condition of your pre-trial probation — knowing that this would result in your being locked up until forever —… Read More

The Government Wins Every Time

Years ago I went to the Playland amusement park in Rye, New York with some friends. We were walking by the “Guess Your Age or Weight” booth when I noticed that the proprietor had stepped out, temporarily turning… 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

Why Juvenile Cases Should Be Tried

When I was a public defender, a major challenge was the client with a lousy case and a good offer on the table who nevertheless insisted on taking his case to trial.  He didn’t trust his lawyer to… Read More

He is 12 Years Old

As soon as I have the signed order in hand, I head to the “at-risk” cell block to make sure my client is released. My client’s mother, waiting in the hallway, is mad at me. She thinks her… Read More

“My Lawyer Told Me Not To Talk To Anyone About This Case”

One of the reasons I accept court appointments in juvenile cases – but not adult cases – is that the juveniles generally listen to you.  Even then, you can’t always take that for granted. It was thus very… Read More

Awareness Campaign for Juvenile Justice Issues in D.C.

One of the cardinal rules in environmental protection is that it is far more expensive to clean up an environmental problem after it has happened than it is to prevent the pollution from happening in the first place. … Read More