These Are People’s Lives We Are Dealing With

The urine test comes back negative for alcohol, and I chuckle at my newfound belief in the accuracy of the much maligned urine tests. I wonder briefly how the police officer will explain the notations in his paperwork… Read More

The Ethical Obligations of a Prosecutor

According to Rule 3.8 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, a prosecutor in a criminal case shall not: “[i]ntentionally fail to disclose to the defense, upon request and at a time when use by the defense is… Read More

Open Letter to an Honest Cop

Dear Officer Parrish: A couple of weeks ago, I cross-examined one of your colleagues from the 3rd District.  The issue at that hearing was similar to the one under consideration today:  Whether or not the arresting officer had… Read More

A Prosecutor’s Justice

Guest Post By “Hamilton Burger” I first became a Prosecutor when I was in law school. As a Third Year Law Student, having passed my Evidence courses, my state permitted me to try cases in court while under… Read More

Joseph Rakofsky’s Former Client Sentenced to 10 Years

After pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, Dontrell Deaner has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised probation. Remember Dontrell Deaner? Just over a year ago, his name was all over… Read More

Do Your Job, Mr. Prosecutor. And Turn Over the Evidence.

The prosecutor has acknowledged that he should have turned over certain information to defense attorneys. That is what he says today. The case was back in 1984. Witnesses came forward when he was still preparing the case to… Read More

Checking The Rules. Checking Them Twice.

One of the things I miss most about working at the public defender’s office was the ability to get immediate feedback from colleagues on an issue. Do you know this judge or prosecutor? Have you faced this type… Read More

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

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

Grace. Class. Loyalty to the Client.

“I want a new lawyer.” The defendant and his lawyer have clearly had some type of disagreement, and this is what the defendant, standing at the bar of the court alongside counsel, says to the judge. Who knows… Read More

That Was The Right Decision, Judge. No Matter What I Said.

One of the first things they told us during the training for court-appointed juvenile cases was that we should never allow ourselves to become co-opted by the system. My first reaction upon hearing this was:  What the heck… Read More