Jefferson Memorial

Cross-Examining a Prosecutor

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Trial Advocacy

  I have been called to testify in a criminal case. A couple of weeks ago I represented a woman seeking a civil protection order against a former boyfriend. With the boyfriend now facing criminal charges for contempt of court, certain admissions he made to me during the course of that representation have become relevant to the criminal proceedings. It …

Brilliant Trial Lawyer or Simple Ass?

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, Humor, Trial Advocacy

  MR. KOEHLER:  Objection.  Relevance. THE COURT:  Mr. Koehler, you can sit down. MR. KOEHLER:  Your honor, this is absolutely ridiculous. MR. RIORDAN:  No, it’s not. THE WITNESS:  No, it’s not. MR. KOEHLER:  It is completely irrelevant. THE WITNESS:  What’s ridiculous is how [the petitioner] gets away with all this stuff. THE COURT:  I really can’t properly judge the relevance …

American flag

Tardy Prosecutors, Gutsy Judges

Jamison Koehler Law Practice, Trial Advocacy

  Judge Milton Lee of D.C. Superior Court takes the bench at 9:00 am. Promptly. Every morning. Without fail. One of my biggest complaints about the Office of the Attorney General in D.C. is that its prosecutors often waltz into court well after 9:00 am every morning, usually minutes before the judge takes the bench. This can make life difficult …

D.C. skyline

A Public Defender Just Doing His Job

Jamison Koehler D.C. Superior Court, Trial Advocacy

  I am watching Mani Golzari of the D.C. Public Defender Service cross-examine a police officer at a probable cause hearing. Of all the cross-examinations I have either done or seen this past week, Golzari’s is undoubtedly the best. Golzari was a rising superstar when we worked together at the public defender’s office in Philadelphia, and he is even better …

Jefferson Memorial

On Police Officers and Other Bullies

Jamison Koehler Evidence, Trial Advocacy

  I am sitting in JM-15 at D.C. Superior Court watching a Georgetown University law student cross-examine a police officer on a drug case. The officer is doing the old “dumb officer” routine; that is, he can’t seem to understand any of the questions, even though it is perfectly clear to everyone else in the courtroom what the student is …

D.C. skyline

Sometimes A Guilty Verdict Is a Win (At Least That Is What I Tell Myself)

Jamison Koehler Firearms/Weapons, Law Practice, Trial Advocacy

  Although Virginia juries have a reputation for being unforgiving, I have also been told that juries in Prince William County can be pretty unpredictable. Going into trial yesterday, my client was facing a mandatory 5-year sentence for being a violent felon in possession of a firearm.  During execution of a search warrant at his home, police had recovered a …