On the declaration of a mistrial in Walker v. U.S.

Jamison KoehlerOpinions/Cases

A mistrial, the Court held, cannot be declared over defense objection unless “manifest necessity” requires it.  A hung jury is one example of manifest necessary. The interruption of trials that were underway when the pandemic first hit was another. 

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. …

Rest in Peace, Noah Clements

Jamison KoehlerD.C. Superior Court

Friend and former colleague Noah Clements died last night, just after 11:00 pm. He leaves behind his wife and their three children: Wiley, Eric, and Elise.

Winter came

Jamison KoehlerMiscellaneous

This is why we say goodbye.  Letting go is what it comes to.

Baltimore graffiti

I told you so

Jamison KoehlerTrial Advocacy

Sometimes you need to exercise your right to remain silent. Sometimes you should take your lawyer’s advice.

Lindsey road

Forever houses

Jamison KoehlerMiscellaneous

My wife has a history of agreeing to rent or buy the first place we visit whenever we are looking for a place to live. This is great, she says. We’ll take it.

Jefferson Memorial

On working with indigent criminal defendants

Jamison KoehlerLaw Practice

Five tips for representing indigent criminal defendants: (1) never push a plea, (2) don’t defend the system, (3) never contradict your client, (4) a light touch often works best, and (5) a thick skin will prevent burnout.

Photo of GRU

Cross-examining a GRU officer

Jamison KoehlerTrial Advocacy

I won a motion to suppress in a drug case yesterday.  The win was particularly gratifying in that it involved the notorious gun recovery unit (GRU) from the Metropolitan Police Department.   One of the lead officers for the GRU testified for the government, and he was a difficult witness:  He would not concede a thing. I usually begin with some innocuous questions. …

criminal defense attorney

Meet Bob

Jamison KoehlerInvestigations

Meet my new investigator Bob. I think you will like him. Because every defendant deserves a good defense.

art work

I don’t want to be that guy

Jamison KoehlerHumor, Miscellaneous

I have to be careful — as I grow more experienced and continue to age –that I don’t turn into the stereotype of the cranky old criminal defense lawyer.

Trump at Resolute Desk

On character and grace

Jamison KoehlerCurrent Events, Evidence

Donald Trump’s problems go beyond a lack of manners or character. He is also a sociopath. He does not learn. He has no shame. He is driven only by immediate self-interest.

Body worn camera

Violation of BWC policy –> case dismissed

Jamison KoehlerDiscovery

Body worn cameras have forever changed criminal prosecutions. On balance, I think they help the defense. No longer do we need to simply take the officer’s word on things.

Trump as tragic hero

Jamison KoehlerMiscellaneous, Politics

Like Oedipus, the classic tragic hero who was felled by his excessive pride and self-righteousness, Trump has been done in by his own personal failings. I am convinced, for example, that but for the fallout from Trump’s narcissism, he would have gone down in history as a successful two-term president.

Nonnie Moore painting

MAGA hat

Jamison KoehlerMiscellaneous

A close relative — someone I have admired my entire life — is photographed wearing a red MAGA hat. It is one of the most upsetting photographs I have ever seen.