A Probation Officer Should Be A Client’s Best Friend

March 15, 2010
American flag

It is amazing to me how many clients spend more time in custody than they need to.  The sad fact is, violating the terms of probation is frequently a major cause of people going back to jail when… Read More

My Career as a County Prosecutor

March 5, 2010
American flag

Unlike many of my colleagues in the criminal defense bar, I would have no moral qualms about working for the prosecution. In fact, during the summer after my first year at law school, I interned at the U.S…. Read More

Finding The Right Name For A Criminal Law Blog

February 25, 2010
Jefferson Memorial

Scott Greenfield of Simple Justice wrote a complimentary piece about this blog earlier this week. While I was very flattered to be described as “one of the newest and brightest additions to the blawgosphere,” Greenfield continued to encourage… Read More

The Virginia Bar Exam: How Much Studying Is Enough?

Aerial view of DC

One of my favorite episodes from the old T.V. show Taxi included the scene in which the Reverend Jim Ignatowski, the character played by Christopher Lloyd, accidentally burns down the apartment of Louie DePalma, the character played by… Read More

Surviving the Virginia Bar Exam: Reflections After Day One

February 24, 2010
Jefferson and Washington monuments

Norfolk, Va. — Before starting law school, I read a number of books on how to survive your first year.  One book dealt with law school etiquette.  Top among its rules was not to discuss an examination with… Read More

On Rushed and Ill-Considered Guilty Pleas

February 12, 2010

Last summer, my 19-year-old daughter decided that she wanted to come see me in court.  I had just given notice of my intention to resign from the Defender Association of Philadelphia effective at the end of the month,… Read More

A Public Defender with a Sense of Humor

February 10, 2010
Jefferson and Washington monuments

A couple of weeks ago, I complained about the lack of criminal law blogs done by women.  I also bemoaned the fact that, with a few exceptions, there do not seem to be many public defender blogs that… Read More

Hamilton Burger on the “Jury Trial Tax”

February 2, 2010

A good friend of mine, a former prosecutor in Massachusetts and Virginia, has criticized my blog for its defense-centric viewpoint.   The actual words he used, if I recall correctly, were “criminal apologisms.” Since I will be need to… Read More

Philadelphia: Where the One-Eyed Man is King

January 30, 2010
Jefferson and Washington monuments

My wife does not read this blog.  I understand.  She’s busy.  Friends or family will tell her they enjoyed something they read on the blog and she will smile and thank them, but she really has no clue… Read More

Preparing for the Virginia Bar Examination

In 24 days I will be sitting down to take another bar, this time in Virginia.  The idea, which seemed like a pretty good idea when I came up with it last fall, is that I will be… Read More