Lamp as Inanimate Object and Other Really Bad Analogies

D.C. skyline

The Washington Post held a contest a couple of years ago in which it asked school teachers to send in examples of the worst analogies they had ever encountered in grading student papers.  Below, with thanks to Ruth… Read More

What We Talk About On Our Way To A Crime Scene

American flag

It turns out that Wayne, my investigator, and I both do the laundry in our households. Apparently, neither of us has a wife who understands that you cannot put whites in with the colored clothes, set the dial… Read More

“Don’t Editorialize”

U.S. Capitol Building

Many police officers have a tendency to editorialize on the witness stand. It is not that the driver reached for the glove compartment after being pulled over so that he could have his license and registration ready for… Read More

Trial Transcript: A Brand New Prosecutor on Direct

U.S. Capitol Building

POLICE OFFICER:  . . . The defendants knew they were not allowed in the store. DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Objection. THE COURT:  Grounds? DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Your Honor, as to what the defendants knew, I’d object to that and move to… Read More

Amusing Trial Transcripts

Back when I was a public defender, my office mate used to come across me reading transcripts from court hearings I had done – from either a trial or a preliminary hearing – and kid me.  I thought… 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… Read More

On Trial Tactics — Intentional and Otherwise

D.C. skyline

  I am sitting in court waiting for trial to begin.  The charge is assault on a police officer. I have just been given a video recording in another case and I decide to use this time to… Read More

Jack Lambert and My Investigator

D.C. skyline

  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… Read More

Explaining the Rakofsky Defamation Suit on an Application

Filling out an application can be a painful process for anyone who has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. What specifically is being asked? What is an honest response? And how can I put this response… Read More

If You Can’t Afford a Lawyer, Just Pay the Fine

Aerial view of DC

Defense strategy of pro se defendant this morning consisted mostly of making faces during the police officer’s testimony.  Note to self:  Not real effective.  Surprisingly enough, the prosecutor still felt the need for argument.