Self-Defense in a D.C. Assault Case

U.S. Capitol Building

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

Flat Fees Versus Hourly Rates In A Criminal Case

Jefferson Memorial

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

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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

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

Jefferson Memorial

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

U.S. Capitol building

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

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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

On Being Held In Contempt of Court

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  A couple of months ago, Carol D. of Public Defender Revolution told the story about a judge who tried to force her to trial on a case when she wasn’t ready.  This put Ms. D. into a… Read More

On Firing A Client

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There is always a lot of discussion over at the ABA listserv Solosez about client relations.  People talk about the need to sometimes fire a client, which, from what people say, almost seems like a rite of passage… Read More

The Voice of a Law Office

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A couple of weeks ago, I changed the message on my office voice mail.  My 19-year-old daughter had done the original recording, but, after listening to it back, we both agreed that her voice sounded too girlish. So,… Read More

On Meeting Mark Bennett of Defending People

U.S. Capitol building

In talking with another lawyer during my training in Houston, the other lawyer was surprised that I could know so much about the author of D.A. Confidential without being aware that he speaks with a British accent. That’s… Read More