Second Chances in Virginia

March 5, 2011
Jefferson and Washington monuments

  Here, for free, is my simple legal advice: Whatever you do, don’t get arrested in Virginia. The Commonwealth is, as far as I can tell, one of the worst places to find yourself when facing criminal charges…. Read More

Notes on a Lost Trial

March 3, 2011

Eleven months of wrangling comes to this:  a two-day trial in D.C. Superior Court. The argument on pre-trial motions starts out well, and I find myself in the enviable position of sitting on the sidelines as the judge… Read More

Two Poems on Snow

February 23, 2011
Aerial view of DC

  Snow I wake, and think so this is how it comes, no thunder, wind, or windstorm’s violence to rend our lower nature, only a presence. Outlines are familiar: light was present yesterday. Without event the miracle is… Read More

On Making Life Easier for Police Officers

February 22, 2011
U.S. Capitol building

Of all the tricks used by police officers, one of the most devious – yet harmless – tricks I have heard is the ploy they use to take a DWI suspect into custody after deciding to make the… Read More

Confronting School Disciplinary Officials

February 21, 2011
D.C. skyline

Nick Stuban was 15-years-old when he committed suicide last month.  Once a “model student” and “quick-footed linebacker” for the football team at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax County, Stuban had been suspended from school for 10 days… Read More

The “Oopsie” Phenomenon and Other Problems with Urine Tests

February 17, 2011
Aerial view of DC

With the use of breath test machines temporarily suspended in D.C. because of calibration and accuracy problems, people arrested under suspicion of drinking and driving are currently being administered urine tests. Generally considered even less reliable than the… Read More

On Dentists and Monkeys: Fifty Years On

February 1, 2011

  This is four or five years ago:  I drive my father to the dentist.  My father has been going to this same dentist for 50 years. The dentist used to clean my teeth. Once, when I was… Read More

Blawg Review #296: Images From The Criminal Law Blawgosphere

January 30, 2011

A professional photographer and artist once told me the story about trying to photograph his mother. He had hoped for a candid shot, and was initially resistant when she insisted on fixing her hair and putting on makeup… Read More

After The Snow

January 27, 2011
Aerial view of DC

  On Twitter, we can hear Mirriam Seddiq swearing for five hours because she is stopped in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the beltway.  It’s because of the snow.   “3 miles,” she writes.  “Haven’t come across a lot to leave… Read More

On The Terminology and Fiction of Juvenile Justice

January 21, 2011
American flag

As a public defender in Philadelphia, I did a brief stint in the Juvenile Division representing young people accused of committing a crime. People told me before I started the rotation that I would either love working with… Read More