Professional Responsibility/Ethics

Bronx Prosecutor Castigated for Withholding Exculpatory Evidence

April 8, 2014 Criminal Procedure

According to the New York Daily News, a prosecutor in the Bronx failed to turn over exculpatory information to the defense in a rape case.  The evidence in question was an initial statement by the accuser that the sex had been consensual. The statement was not disclosed until after the defendant sat in jail for […]

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Lawyer Advertising: “Thanks Dan!!!”

March 7, 2014 Law Marketing/Networking
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When Police Officers Shade Their Testimony

March 1, 2014 Professional Responsibility/Ethics

“Runner!” This is what one police officer yells to the other two officers, and all three officers take off in pursuit of a suspect who has decided to flee. According to the officer’s testimony at trial, the officers are 20 feet behind the suspect and “closing fast” when the suspect suddenly comes to full stop.  […]

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Taking The Fall For A Client

October 11, 2013 Law Practice

If you work for the federal government, you have a boss. Depending on the structure and size of an organization, staffers normally work for a branch chief.  The branch chief reports to a division director who, in turn, reports to an office director.  The office director works for an undersecretary or an assistant secretary, and […]

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Thank You For Not Coaching Your Witness

October 2, 2013 Professional Responsibility/Ethics

We should be able to take it for granted that the other side will not coach its witnesses.  But this is not an ideal world.  A couple of years ago, for example, police officers in D.C. accused prosecutors from the Office of the Attorney General with having asked them to lie on the stand in […]

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Busy, Busy, Busy

September 17, 2013 Law Practice

Back when I worked for the federal government, there were some employees who were really, really busy.  You knew this because their offices were a mess.  Their telephones were no longer accepting messages.  They had that harried look.  And they always talked about how busy they were, especially when you came in to give them […]

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These Are The Prosecutors I Respect

September 6, 2013 Professional Responsibility/Ethics

The prosecutor emails me one evening during trial to let me know that one of her witnesses has just conveyed exculpatory information to her.  This is the third time in just a couple of days that the prosecutor has contacted me with this type of information. Although this is my first case against this prosecutor, […]

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Pet Peeves: On Prosecutors and Professionalism

August 28, 2013 Law Practice

Whenever you walk into a store, it doesn’t matter how busy the staff may be, the clerk should immediately acknowledge your presence.  Good afternoon, sir, the clerk should say.  I will be right with you. You forgive a lot once these words have been spoken. Please, you respond graciously.  Take your time.  And you mean […]

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Court-Appointed Cases Forever

January 27, 2013 Law Practice

You learn a lot about your colleagues when you work with them on a case. I am now working on two court-appointed appeals, and in both cases, I contacted the trial attorney to discuss the case with them and to get the trial file. Both attorneys were pleased to hear from me; both were pleasant […]

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On Getting Your Own Witness Locked Up

November 19, 2012 Assault

I put our star witness in jail. I have heard about prosecutors being slammed for doing this. One of my adjunct professors in law school – a prosecutor in Philadelphia – ended up on someone’s list of the top ten worst prosecutors in the country for having one of her witnesses in a murder case […]

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