“Check Out The Shoes My Lawyer Is Wearing”

Aerial view of DC

I used to buy my suits at Joseph Banks. When I started to put on weight, I switched to Brooks Brothers. Now I have my suits tailor made through J Peditto Apparel. But, until just a couple of… Read More

Managing Client Expectations

Indigent criminal defendants often have two simultaneous and potentially irreconcilable opinions of the lawyers who are appointed to represent them. On the one hand, they have absolutely no respect for the public defender or court-appointed lawyer. You aren’t… Read More

Get Out of My Office: A Hypothetical Interview With a Potential Client

U.S. Capitol Building

A woman and her son come into the office for a consultation. At the end of the hour, the woman turns to me and tells me that they have also met with a number of other criminal defense… Read More

I Am Not A Traffic Lawyer. Except When I Am.

D.C. skyline

When I first went out into private practice in 2009, I was tempted to take on traffic cases. After all, my wife and I may not know many habitual criminals, but we do know lots of people who… Read More

Second Careers: Law School After 40

U.S. Capitol building

I was 43 years old when I started law school. I’m sure my grades would have been much better had I gone to law school right out of college.  I was pretty intense back in college. I read… Read More

No Meetings for Criminal Defense Lawyers

D.C. skyline

  I went to my first meeting yesterday in over 10 years. Believe me, I know my way around a meeting.  During my first career in the government, I did nothing but meetings:  budget meetings, planning meetings, team… Read More

On Zealous Representation and Public Defenders

  I will remember this.  This is what the prosecutor promises you. In another context, she could be intending this as a threat.  As in:  I will get you back for this.  In this case, she is trying… Read More

A Solo Practitioner as Trapeze Artist

Jefferson and Washington monuments

  Years ago, back when the children were little and we lived in Arlington for the first time, we decided to go to the circus.  I drove over to the baseball field in Ballston earlier in the day,… Read More

Tardy Prosecutors, Gutsy Judges

American flag

  Judge Milton Lee of D.C. Superior Court takes the bench at 9:00 am. Promptly. Every morning. Without fail. One of my biggest complaints about the Office of the Attorney General in D.C. is that its prosecutors often… Read More

On Building a Support Network as a Solo Practitioner

U.S. Capitol building

One of the things I liked best about the Philadelphia public defender’s office – in addition to the camaraderie and sense of shared mission — was the support you got from other lawyers.  If you had a legal… Read More