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When Police Officers Shade Their Testimony

“Runner!” This is what one police officer yells to the other two officers, and all three officers take off in pursuit of a suspect who has decided to flee. According to the officer’s testimony at trial, the officers… 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

Thank You For Not Coaching Your Witness

We should be able to take it for granted that the other side will not coach its witnesses.  But this is not an ideal world.  A couple of years ago, for example, police officers in D.C. accused prosecutors… Read More

Busy, Busy, Busy

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

These Are The Prosecutors I Respect

The prosecutor emails me one evening during trial to let me know that one of her witnesses has just conveyed exculpatory information to her.  This is the third time in just a couple of days that the prosecutor… 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

Court-Appointed Cases Forever

You learn a lot about your colleagues when you work with them on a case. I am now working on two court-appointed appeals, and in both cases, I contacted the trial attorney to discuss the case with them… Read More

On Getting Your Own Witness Locked Up

I put our star witness in jail. I have heard about prosecutors being slammed for doing this. One of my adjunct professors in law school – a prosecutor in Philadelphia – ended up on someone’s list of the… Read More

I Am A Snake. That Is What I Do.

Losing is never easy.  It was not easy when we were children.  And it is not necessarily any easier now that we are adults even if, with some perspective and life experience behind us, we are better equipped… Read More