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 to… Read More

Toward a Better Rule on Informed Consent

Police officers love the consent exception to the Fourth Amendment requirement for a warrant almost as much as they love plain view.  It is because the exception makes things so easy for them:  They can do almost anything… Read More

I Hate Latin: Res Ipsa Loquitur

I only took two years of Latin in High School. It was years before I actually admitted this to my children.  Because I often cited the Latin origins of a word, they assumed I was this great Latin… Read More

Why Police Officers Love the “Plain View” Exception

Police officers love the “plain view” exception to the Fourth Amendment requirement for a warrant. It is because this exception is so straightforward and understandable:  I didn’t need a warrant because I saw it with my own eyes. … Read More

In Favor of a Virginia Jury Instruction on “Knowing and Intentional” Possession

My client is a convicted felon. He knows that it is illegal for him to possess a firearm. He lends his ex-wife his car.  She returns it to him after a couple of days but accidentally leaves behind… Read More

On Compensating A Wrongfully Detained Defendant

“My client had been held on no bond in the county jail for 25 months. Never once bitched about being in there or tried to rush me.” So says Chicago criminal defense lawyer Marcus Schantz on Twitter. A… Read More

Innocent Possession of a Firearm in D.C.

The innocent or momentary possession of a firearm or any other type of contraband is a valid defense in Washington, D.C.

On Ashe v. Swenson: Double Jeopardy and Collateral Estoppel

Many laypersons suffer from misconceptions about the protections offered by the Double Jeopardy Clause contained in the 5th Amendment to the Constitution. As Blonde Justice pointed out in one of her funnier posts, for example, double jeopardy does not… Read More

On the Concept of Estoppel

We are having trouble with the sliding door on our mini-van. I take it back to the Toyota dealership shop a couple of times and spend a fortune to get it fixed but there still seems to be… Read More

“Defense of Others” in D.C.

Most people are familiar with the concept of self defense. They know, for example, that if someone attacks you, you are justified in using a reasonable amount of force to protect yourself.  People may be less familiar with… Read More