Checking the room for U.S. Marshalls

Jamison KoehlerD.C. Superior Court, Sentencing

Judges love to keep us in suspense. Before announcing a verdict or a sentence, they like to give us a detailed description of the reasoning behind their decision.  They say “on the one hand” and “on the other” quite a bit.  This is because they want to document that they considered all the angles. This can be excruciating.  After all, …

Photo of GRU

T.W. and the “jump out” cops in D.C.

Jamison KoehlerCriminal Procedure, Opinions/Cases

They are known on the street as the “jump out” cops. They cruise poor parts of town in unmarked cars, one car following the other.  There are 3 or 4 officers in each car.  They pull up and jump out at the slightest hint of criminal activity.  Sometimes they see a suspect walking with a lopsided gait or swinging only …

On searching a car after POCA arrest in Smith v. U.S.

Jamison KoehlerCriminal Procedure, Opinions/Cases

In Arizona v. Gant, the U.S. Supreme Court held that police may search the passenger compartment of a vehicle incident to a recent occupant’s arrest (and therefore without a warrant) under one of only two scenarios.  The first scenario is that officers have a reasonable belief that the arrestee might access the vehicle at the time of the search, thereby …

D.C. criminal defense lawyer

Trial Transcript: “Bad karma” and other deadly threats

Jamison KoehlerDomestic Violence, Trial Advocacy

BY RESPONDENT’S COUNSEL Q:     Okay.  And at some point – Mr. Jones is from Russia, right? A:      Yes. Q:     And at some point he came back to the United States and he sought to re-initiate his romantic relationship with you, right? A:      Yes. Q:     And – and you were not interested in, in resuming that romantic relationship, right? A:      Correct. …

On ineffective assistance of counsel in Dugger v. U.S.

Jamison KoehlerLegal Concepts/Principles, Opinions/Cases, Professional Responsibility/Ethics

It is always painful to see a criminal defendant replace a good public defender or court-appointed lawyer with an inexperienced one. Because you don’t value what you don’t pay for. This is what happened in Timothy Dugger v. United States, 295 A.3d 1102 (D.C. 2023), an opinion issued recently by the D.C. Court of Appeals. A smart and seasoned criminal …

Rest in Peace, Noah Clements

Jamison KoehlerD.C. Superior Court

Friend and former colleague Noah Clements died last night, just after 11:00 pm. According to his wife Caroline’s post on Caring Bridge, the two of them had just finished watching a movie together.  They were trying to move Noah when suddenly, despite all the oxygen, he could not breathe.  His lungs were too damaged.  She said it happened quickly. He …