Every Prosecutor Should Experience the Humiliation and Discomfort of an Arrest

Your client is charged with Leaving After Colliding – Property Damage.  This is the technical way of saying that he is charged with “hit-and-run” or “leaving the scene of an accident” as the offense is known in other… Read More

Solo Practitioners Don’t Have A Jackie Frankfurt

We had a tremendous support network at the public defender’s office in Philadelphia. There were social workers and mental health professionals. There were administrative staff focusing on probation, parole, and the expungement of criminal records. If you had… Read More

Court-Appointed Lawyers Who Are Too Busy Should Lighten Their Case Load

I will not take cases away from the Public Defender Service. How can I take someone’s money when that person is already getting top-notch legal representation for free? I am trying to make a living. But I also… Read More

Job Security is Not Always a Good Thing

Sour.  Unprofessional.  And extraordinarily slow at everything she does. That is my assessment of the woman who sits at the reception desk on the 10th floor of the Office of the Attorney General.  She reminds me of everything… Read More

On the Criminal Defense Attorney Who “Knows” all the Prosecutors

“I can get you a good deal because I know all the prosecutors.” This is what one of my competitors says to a potential client.  I know this because the client tells me.  She wants to know if… Read More

James Colt is Superman

I am a fan of D.C. criminal defense attorney James Colt.  It is not only his name, which sounds like it was pulled from a Harlequin romance.  It is also that he is a pleasant guy and, from… Read More

Watching Amy Phillips

She is assertive without being aggressive. She knows when to push and when to hang back. She is pleasant and well-spoken. She does her homework. She is committed to her clients while keeping a sense of humor. As… Read More

“Equal Justice Under Law”: Why Alec Karakatsanis Is Not Your Typical Smug, Humorless Public Interest Lawyer

One of the hazards of public interest work is that it seems to contribute to smugness.  I may be underpaid and overworked.  But at least I am doing the Lord’s work.  And that work is more important than… Read More

With Significant Drop in Crime, D.C. Reduces Size of CJA Panel

The list is finally out. D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Morin announced last fall that the panel of attorneys who are approved to represent indigent criminal defendants would be reconstituted. Everyone was required to re-apply. And, with the… Read More

Policy Shmolicy: Dealing With Junior Prosecutors

Occasionally you have a judge who tells it like it is. I am standing at the bar of the court. My client has successfully completed a diversion program. The clerk calls our case 15 minutes early, before my… Read More