Jefferson and Washington monuments

Rakofsky v. The Washington Post: Being on the Other End of the Attorney-Client Relationship

Jamison Koehler Criminal Law Bloggers, Current Events, Professional Responsibility/Ethics

Over at My Shingle, Carolyn Elefant muses about finding herself on the other end of the attorney-client relationship; in this case, as one of over 80 defendants in what started out as Rakofsky v. The Washington Post, what one wag dubbed Rakofsky v. The Internet, and, with Rakofsky’s lawyer giving notice to withdraw from the case, what now appears to …

U.S. Capitol building

Lives of “Quiet Desperation”: More on Jailhouse Lawyers

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure

Over at Chicago Criminal Defense, Marcus Schantz writes about the challenge of representing an incarcerated client who fancies himself a lawyer. With much at stake, time on his hands, and access to a prison “library” (often a converted broom closet with a few outdated law books), a client might spend hours poring over law books, drafting motions, and developing strategies for …

American flag

Rule 1: Get The Money Upfront

Jamison Koehler Law Practice

One of the advantages to being a criminal defense attorney, at least one who defends people accused of street crimes as opposed to white collar offenses, is that you get your money upfront. There is the initial negotiation. There is the payment, which usually goes into the attorney’s trust fund account.  With that out of the way, the attorney can …

Jefferson Memorial

The “Almost Went To Trial” Blues

Jamison Koehler Law Practice

You are wearing one of the good suits you save for trial.  Your trial notebook is at your side. You got up early to exercise, and now you are feeling rested, relaxed, and confident.  You don’t go to trial as a private practitioner nearly as much as you did as a public defender or prosecutor, and you savor these moments …

U.S. Capitol building

Juvenile Court Forever

Jamison Koehler Juveniles

You watch him go.  You realize that, from his perspective, the future is nothing more than a quick visit with the judge, a bologna sandwich and coke for lunch, and then a trip back to the detention center to gather his things.  So yes, you think again, this time with more certainty, it will be for forever.

On Rushed and Ill-Considered Guilty Pleas

Jamison Koehler Law Practice

Last summer, my 19-year-old daughter decided that she wanted to come see me in court.  I had just given notice of my intention to resign from the Defender Association of Philadelphia effective at the end of the month, and she thought this might be the last opportunity to see me working as a public defender. I was running the list …