Impeachment on Personnel Records

Q:        If you lost your body worn camera, you could get written up for that, right? A:         Yeah, if you lost it, yes.  But in this situation, it was knocked off or fell off, whatever have you –… Read More

Imperfect Impeachment and Kamala Harris

It is my Kamala Harris moment. You recall her questioning of Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing.  She sets him up carefully:  Q:  Judge, have you ever discussed Special Counsel Mueller or his investigation with anyone? A:  Well,… Read More

The Rule on Witnesses at a D.C. DMV Hearing

DEFENSE:  Before I begin my argument, I’d like to invoke the rule on witnesses. HEARING EXAMINER: The what?  The rule on witnesses? DEFENSE:  Yes, sir.   The sergeant has concluded his testimony.  He will be a witness against my client… Read More

“No Questions, Your Honor”

When it comes to cross-examination, I consider myself a minimalist. I figure out what I need from the witness. I tell my version of the story. And I ask the witness to agree with me. Some lawyers have… Read More

I didn’t say, “Simon says”

Q:            Officer. You testified on direct that my client was talkative when you first approached his car. A:            Yes. As I began speaking with him, he was repeating himself quite a bit, wasn’t really answering my questions, just… Read More

An Ethical Prosecutor Confronts Her Own Witness

BY DEFENSE COUNSEL ON CROSS Q: Ms. Smith, do you have an email account? A: Do I have an e-mail account? Q: Yes. A: I do. Q: Is it a Yahoo account? A: No. Q: What is your… Read More

“The Type of Guy That Gives Lawyers a Bad Name”

Q:            When did you have that conversation then with David? A:            Prior to him ending up in the hospital. Q:            Do you recall the date, approximately? A:            No, I do not recall an approximate date. Q:            Not even… Read More

Feedback from Jurors After Trial

The jury is still deadlocked after three days of deliberations, and the judge declares a mistrial. She releases the jurors. Anyone interested in answering questions from the lawyers, she tells them, should stick around in the jury room…. Read More

Second Fiddle at a Jury Trial

It is not easy sitting second-chair at a trial when you are used to running the show yourself. Recently appointed as a provisional member of the panel to represent indigent criminal defendants in D.C., I need to second-chair… Read More

And Sometimes the Court Views the Government’s Witness the Same Way You Do

THE COURT: Okay. Now, see, we’re running into a little bit of a problem here. THE WITNESS: Okay. THE COURT: This is a trial in an American courtroom. THE WITNESS: Okay. THE COURT: And you have sworn to… Read More