Mayhand v. U.S.: “A Statement is Not an Excited Utterance Unless the Declarant is Manifestly Overcome by Excitement or in Shock.”

D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Catharine Easterly writes what I think. The difference is that she finds the words that elude me. And the words she writes impact D.C. law. Her impact continues in Antoine Mayhand v. United… Read More

Teneyck v. U.S.: What is Significant Bodily Injury Under the Felony Assault Statute?

The D.C. Court of Appeals has issued a number of opinions over the last couple of years in which it has refined the definition of “significant bodily injury” under D.C.’s felony assault statute. In Nero v. United States,… Read More

Koonce v. D.C.: Stationhouse Videos in DUI/OWI Cases Are Discoverable

And sometimes the D.C. Court of Appeals gets it just right. For years, the Office of the Attorney General in D.C. has argued that stationhouse videos of suspects in DUI/DWI cases are not “discoverable”; that is, that they… Read More

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

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… Read More

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

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… Read More

Cheek v. U.S.: Interpreting the “Interfere” Language of D.C.’s APO Statute

The Assault on a Police Officer (APO) statute is so broad that the D.C. Court of Appeals has had to issue multiple opinions to interpret it.  In Edwin Cheek v. United States, 103 A.3d 1019 (D.C. 2014), an… Read More

Worthy v. United States: The DCCA on Prior Consistent Statements

Just because you repeat something over and over does not make it true.  Nor are you permitted to “bolster” your own witness. A “prior consistent statement” – a witness’ previous statement that is consistent with something the witness… Read More

Judge Easterly Lets The Facts Speak For Themselves In Damning the Government for Brady Violations

You suspect it happens all the time:  the prosecutor withholds exculpatory information from the defendant, thereby preventing the defendant from mounting an effective defense.  The problem is that, with the government in sole possession of all the information,… Read More

Williams v. U.S.: Brandishing Knife in Self-Defense Not Excessive

You have the right to use a reasonable amount of force in self-defense assuming that (1) you actually believe that you are in imminent danger of bodily harm and (2) you have reasonable grounds for that belief. The… Read More

Holmes v. United States: Video-Assisted Testimony Not Hearsay

It was a creative argument.  But, not seeing it go very far, I was frankly surprised that the D.C. Court of Appeals devoted an entire opinion to it in Holmes v. United States, 92 A.3d 328 (D.C. 2014)…. Read More