From Law School to Law Practice: The Importance of Clinicals

Unless we were working in some capacity in which we were actually dealing with clients, everything we learned in law school was theoretical.  Maybe we motivated ourselves by imagining that some day we would be able to apply… Read More

Common Sense in Dealing with Court Staff

It is a foolish lawyer who offends court personnel. During my first year as a public defender in Philadelphia, one of my colleagues made the mistake of being less than respectful toward a court clerk in a preliminary… Read More

What We Learn About Our Colleagues

We feel like we know our colleagues. We know who the good ones are and we know who the bad ones are. But that is based mostly on reputation. We spend a lot of time together in the… Read More

You Have To Love The Law Books

I just treated myself to the entire Wayne LaFave collection:  3 volumes on substantive criminal law, 6 volumes on search and seizure, and 7 volumes on criminal procedure.  I had been coveting the criminal procedure set in the… Read More

Taking The Fall For A Client

If you work for the federal government, you have a boss. Depending on the structure and size of an organization, staffers normally work for a branch chief.  The branch chief reports to a division director who, in turn,… Read More

Busy, Busy, Busy

U.S. Capitol Building

Back when I worked for the federal government, there were some employees who were really, really busy.  You knew this because their offices were a mess.  Their telephones were no longer accepting messages.  They had that harried look. … Read More

Baltimore Won’t Have Me To Kick Around Just Yet

U.S. Capitol building

This whole “transitioning my practice to Baltimore” thing may be more difficult than I had been thinking. I met with my Maryland mentor last week.  It is great that the Maryland Professionalism Center offers this opportunity for people… Read More

Pet Peeves: On Prosecutors and Professionalism

Whenever you walk into a store, it doesn’t matter how busy the staff may be, the clerk should immediately acknowledge your presence.  Good afternoon, sir, the clerk should say.  I will be right with you. You forgive a… Read More

On The Morning Of Trial

Wayne my investigator is a worrier.  I am too. Wayne is an early riser.  So am I. This means I usually have company early mornings before trial. The two of us sit in our respective home offices on… Read More

On Giving My Cell Phone Number to Clients

U.S. Capitol Building

I have always given out my cell phone number to clients. In almost seven years of practice, I have never once regretted doing this. I even did this as a public defender when I had far more clients… Read More