Once Again, No Consequences for Prosecutorial Misconduct

On the morning of trial, the prosecutor finds out that the testimony provided by a police officer at the preliminary hearing was inaccurate. Although the prosecutor himself is not planning to call this particular police officer to testify… Read More

Enforcing Brady v. Maryland: Toward An “Open File” Discovery Requirement

A constitutional right without any way of enforcing that constitutional right is hardly any right at all.  That’s a pretty accurate description of the government’s obligations under the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution and Brady v…. Read More

Interpreting Arizona v. Gant’s “Reasonable Belief” Standard for Warrantless Car Searches

In Arizona v. Gant, the U.S. Supreme Court helped slow a continuing trend in the chipping away of Fourth Amendment protections. For years, most jurisdictions allowed police officers to search any car whose occupants had been arrested, even when… Read More

In Re D.M.: When Can You Dismiss a Juvenile Case for “Social Reasons”?

The problem with using a canon of statutory interpretation to justify a legal opinion is that you can usually find some other canon to arrive at the exact opposite conclusion. For example, to support its recent holding in… Read More

Still Brady v. Maryland

The prosecutor can hardly blame me for being skeptical.  I ask her about one of the counts that was dropped from the complaint, and she tells me it was because the complaining witness said a few things to… Read More

Clark v. U.S.: The Government’s Violation of a Plea Agreement

The defendant is charged with armed robbery.  He and the government reach agreement on a plea deal in which the government agrees to ask for no more than 10 years of incarceration. In a memorandum submitted to the… Read More

In Re W.R.: Warrantless Search During a Custodial Arrest

Jejomar Untalan has been busy.  I reported last week on his successful appeal in In re S.B.  This week the D.C. Court of Appeals issued yet another decision bearing Untalan’s name as the appellant’s attorney:  In re W.R.,… Read More

California v. Hodari D: A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Complaint

California v. Hodari D, 499 U.S. 621 (1991), is a lousy opinion. It used to be that a person was seized for Fourth Amendment purposes the moment his or her liberty was “restrained” by “some physical force or… Read More

SCOTUS on Flight: Alberty v. United States

“[I]t is a matter of common knowledge that men who are entirely innocent do sometimes fly from the scene of a crime through fear of being apprehended as the guilty parties, or from an unwillingness to appear as… Read More

“Jejomar Untalan Was On The Brief For Appellant”

You never want to find your name on the wrong side of the “v.” As in: United States v. [Your Name Here]. If it is a criminal case, it means that you have been charged with a crime…. Read More