A Letter of Apology After a Guilty Verdict

After finding my client guilty of simple assault, the judge orders my client to write a letter of apology to the complaining witness. I can understand an apology after a guilty plea.  After all, acknowledgment of remorse could… Read More

Brilliant Trial Lawyer or Simple Ass?

MR. KOEHLER:  Objection.  Relevance. THE COURT:  Mr. Koehler, you can sit down. MR. KOEHLER:  Your honor, this is absolutely ridiculous. MR. RIORDAN:  No, it’s not. THE WITNESS:  No, it’s not. MR. KOEHLER:  It is completely irrelevant. THE WITNESS:… Read More

Being Found Guilty After Pleading Guilty

If you plead guilty, there is a 100% chance that you will be found guilty. Or something like that. I read that on the Internet a few weeks ago and, while I can’t remember who said it for… Read More

Terry v. Ohio as a Seinfeld Episode

I have often said that you can explain everything in life through a Seinfeld episode. And while there is no single case that does for criminal law what Seinfeld does for life, Terry v. Ohio comes pretty darn… Read More

Why Police Officers Love the “Plain View” Exception

Police officers love the “plain view” exception to the Fourth Amendment requirement for a warrant. It is because this exception is so straightforward and understandable:  I didn’t need a warrant because I saw it with my own eyes. … Read More

The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful: Love Letter to a D.C. Law Enforcement Officer

I have a beef with a D.C. law enforcement officer.  I would be more specific, but I don’t want to embarrass my investigator.  He has to work with the guy. Dear Mr. Law Enforcement Officer: I understand you… Read More

Jack Lambert and My Investigator

Wayne, my investigator, thinks he is being subtle. He insists on escorting me out of a bad neighborhood whenever we finish a crime scene investigation, and he doesn’t realize I can see him lingering down the street as… Read More

On Prison Tapes: Eavesdropping on Your Client

I am dealing with a “hide-the-ball”-type prosecutor in Virginia. I have gotten spoiled from working with D.C. prosecutors; they are usually pretty upfront about what they have against your client.  There are no ambushes or surprises.  Your client… Read More

In Favor of a Virginia Jury Instruction on “Knowing and Intentional” Possession

My client is a convicted felon. He knows that it is illegal for him to possess a firearm. He lends his ex-wife his car.  She returns it to him after a couple of days but accidentally leaves behind… Read More

On Compensating A Wrongfully Detained Defendant

“My client had been held on no bond in the county jail for 25 months. Never once bitched about being in there or tried to rush me.” So says Chicago criminal defense lawyer Marcus Schantz on Twitter. A… Read More