A Picture of Herself

Taken into custody under suspicion of shoplifting, your client is escorted to a back office in the pharmacy to wait for the police to arrive.  The loss prevention officer handcuffs her to a chair and readies the camera…. Read More

All Emma, In Everything

Emma brush soccer

I am standing with my niece in front of my father’s bureau, and I show her the gold-plated watch with the “Hamilton” typed out across its face.  My father loved pocket watches and there are a couple of… Read More

“Passing the Lipari”: A Poem for Veteran’s Day

From Palermo the perfect destroyers pass these ashy islands where the fires of nature show   a random glow, and turning to more useful purposes propose to Palmi and to other   sleeping villages a pure intent whose… Read More

I Feel The Pain of Everything. Then I Feel Nothing.

He was the angry and alienated younger brother of my best friend while I was growing up. My mother sent me newspaper clippings about him when he was a member of a grunge rock band of local renown…. Read More

Eleven Rules for Effective Writing (aka “How to Write Good”)

Here are 11 rules for effective writing, with thanks to Kendall Gray of The Appellate Recordfor reminding me of them: Avoid alliteration. Always. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. Avoid clichés like the plague.  (They’re old… Read More

Achilles Now. Poseidon Too.

He was the best octopus hunter in Tolo. It was always an honor whenever he sent one of us boys out to the kiosk to buy him cigarettes:  Karelia ke spirta, parakalo. It was an even bigger honor if… Read More

Meet the Girlfriend

My older son brought his girlfriend home to meet the parents. Actually, he came home from college to take care of some personal business and he brought the woman he is seeing along with him. But it has… Read More

You Can Keep the Damn Phone

The General District Court in Arlington County, as it turns out, has a policy of confiscating lawyers’ cell phones when they go off in court. I know, I know. It is very annoying and also disrespectful, particularly when… Read More

My Corner Office With a Window

Here is my investigator Wayne Marshall standing in my “corner office with a window” in the D.C. Superior Court cafeteria.  I can’t believe the receptionist let him through without an appointment. We are currently in trial which explains… Read More

From Tide to Tide in Cape Cod

We have been coming to Cape Cod with my extended family now for 25 years.  We came first as couples. Then we came with children. With the 13 cousins growing up and the rest of us just getting… Read More