A Massachusetts Yankee in Fairfax County Court: On Court-Appointed Cases in Virginia

I made my very first appearance in a Fairfax County court this past Wednesday, getting a felony charge dismissed at preliminary hearing. To prepare myself, I had planned on observing an afternoon of preliminary hearings in the same… Read More

Don’t Lie To Your Lawyer

I have always been a trusting (i.e., gullible) person, and I usually take what people tell me at face value.  This applies to my professional life as well.  I am thus always – and still — amazed every… Read More

So You Want To Be A Lawyer . . .

I loved law school. I love the practice of law. And I have encouraged my children, my nephews and nieces, and any other young person who will listen to me to consider a career in law.  At the… Read More

“No One Told You That Solo Practice Was Going To Be Like This”

Last year, while taking the first steps to launch my own law firm, I spent a lot of time on the ABA listserv for solo practitioners, Solosez. I followed the excited postings of other people who had just… Read More

David Baugh on Voir Dire

David P. Baugh was one of the speakers at a Virginia Trial Lawyers Association CLE I attended yesterday.  Baugh is perhaps best known for defending the free speech of a Ku Klux Klan member in a trial that… Read More

On Finding the Right Client for a Constitutional Challenge

Back in my days as a public defender in Philadelphia, there was a very defense-friendly case that we used to cite all the time in litigating a motion to suppress in a drug case. It was a fairly… Read More

On Bedtime Stories: How Criminal Defense Attorneys Explain Their Jobs To Their Children

D.A. Confidential did an amusing entry the other day in which he described talking with his still young children about his job as a prosecutor. While Mr. Confidential initially enjoyed the fact that his children think of him… Read More

Signs You Have Been Working Out Of Your Home Office For Too Long

Courtesy of the solo practitioners at the ABA listserv Solosez, here are the top 15 signs that you have been working out of your home office, by yourself, for too long. You look forward to your dentist appointment…. Read More

On Dealing With the Fallout From A Plea Bargain

In an ideal world, a criminal defendant would come to a decision on a plea offer based on nothing more than a calm, clear-headed, and dispassionate assessment of (1) the strength of the government’s case and (2) the… Read More

On Interrogation Techniques Used By Police

The “good cop, bad cop” routine has made for some pretty funny moments in film.  Think of Steve Martin in The Pink Panther trying to play both roles himself.  Or, to use a more recent example, think of… Read More