“He does not see the bend, behind, that will take him from view”

Jamison Koehler Juveniles

“Davon” is dead. This is what his former social worker tells me. I don’t ask for details. That would be rude. Besides, I am pretty sure I already know the answer. Davon was 13 years old when I first represented him. He and his mother, a woman who referred to herself as “Danger” on her voice mail, moved across town …

I Will Miss The Kids

Jamison Koehler Juveniles

As I transition out of doing court-appointed juvenile cases, I realize how much I will miss the kids. * * * * * “Darrell” was my typical client. Like all of my clients, he was my favorite. When this is over, Darrell told me one time, you are going to take me out for dinner. You can bring your wife. …

Joining the Adult CJA Panel in D.C.

Jamison Koehler Appellate Practice, D.C. Superior Court, Juveniles, Law Practice

I have just been appointed to the D.C. Superior Court panel for adult court-appointed cases. I was one of three lawyers appointed on a “provisional” basis. (Three other lawyers were promoted from the provisional panel to the full panel.) Those of us on the provisional panel need to serve a two-year probationary period before we can start doing felonies. To …

Everything is Calm. Everything is Civilized.

Jamison Koehler Juveniles

The two young men have been in the same place at the same time before.  I have seen it on the video recording. The first meeting – captured by a surveillance camera at the back of a D.C. metro bus — – involved a violent altercation in which they exchanged blows.  The kid getting the worst of it – my …

Thank You For Your Vote Of Confidence

Jamison Koehler Juveniles

Dear Juvenile Client: You must think I am one really, really good lawyer. Why else would you violate every condition of your pre-trial probation — knowing that this would result in your being locked up until forever — unless you were absolutely convinced that I was going to beat the case? You are the boss. Consider me as yourself but …

The Government Wins Every Time

Jamison Koehler Juveniles

Years ago I went to the Playland amusement park in Rye, New York with some friends. We were walking by the “Guess Your Age or Weight” booth when I noticed that the proprietor had stepped out, temporarily turning the business over to his daughter. This will be easy, I thought. There is no way this little girl – who looked …

My Client Is Going Home Today

Jamison Koehler Investigations, Juveniles

My client – a juvenile — is going home today. I am working with one of my favorite prosecutors on the case. Although hard-line, she is straightforward and ethical. There is no hiding-the-ball with her.  She has a light touch. She also has a good sense of humor. The prosecutor waits until I have checked in with the clerk. Then …

Why Juvenile Cases Should Be Tried

Jamison Koehler Juveniles

When I was a public defender, a major challenge was the client with a lousy case and a good offer on the table who nevertheless insisted on taking his case to trial.  He didn’t trust his lawyer to provide good legal advice.  And he often had some zany idea about what he thought was going to win the case. (In …

Jefferson Memorial

He is 12 Years Old

Jamison Koehler Juveniles

As soon as I have the signed order in hand, I head to the “at-risk” cell block to make sure my client is released. My client’s mother, waiting in the hallway, is mad at me. She thinks her son is out-of-control and needs to be locked up, and we have been working at cross-purposes throughout this case. He comes and …