Self-Defense in a D.C. Assault Case

D.C. criminal defense lawyer

Self-defense is an affirmative defense to simple assault and other assault charges in D.C. Self-defense is the use of force to protect oneself, one’s family or one’s property from a real or threatened attack.  It is an affirmative… Read More

“Uh oh!”: Swearing-In Ceremony for the Virginia Bar

I was sworn into the Virginia Bar on Monday in Richmond.  I drove down with my friend and colleague Chris Guest, and also ran into Kathryn Pearlman and Tevenia Jacobs while there.  It was an impressive ceremony presided… Read More

On Asine And The Role of Luck At Trial

A couple of years ago I was attending a formal luncheon with my parents and found myself seated next to what turned out to be one of the nation’s preeminent experts on ancient Greece.  I should tell you… Read More

Attorney and Client, Passing In The Night

One of the major complaints clients had when I worked as a public defender was that, because the lawyers were shuffled around so much, the lawyer who ended up representing them at trial probably couldn’t have picked them… Read More

Flat Fees Versus Hourly Rates In A Criminal Case

There is no good way to charge for legal services, I am persuaded. Clients come in need. They are afraid and angry. They want a hero, a savior, a warrior. You offer them what you can. Most often… Read More

Six Months Into A Solo Criminal Law Practice

Mark Bennett and Brian Tannebaum both announced last week that they have been practicing criminal law for 15 years.  While I have nowhere close to this level of experience, I recently celebrated an anniversary of my own. As… Read More

Unlawful Entry, Bench Warrants and the Dilemma of a Foreign Defendant

My client is in town on a business trip.  He goes out to dinner with some colleagues and, even though he is not accustomed to alcohol, he has a few drinks. The next thing he remembers is waking… Read More

Why Do My Favorite Cops Always Turn Out To Be Crooked?

CPO without admission in D.C.

I am walking with my kids at the Reading Terminal, an eatery just a couple of blocks from the courthouse in Philadelphia, when we come across a group of narcotics officers sitting in the eating area.  We have… Read More

Starting Your Own Law Practice is a Leap of Faith

In another lifetime, I wrote short stories. Five or six of these stories eventually found their way into obscure literary journals, with one or two still floating around somewhere on the Internet.  The largest circulation of any of… Read More

On Michael Malone and the Jeffrey MacDonald Case

I have written a number of posts over the last couple of months about the Donald E. Gates case. As you will recall, Gates was convicted of a crime he did not commit and initially spent 16 years… Read More