Jefferson Memorial

A Wedding in Sarzeau

Jamison Koehler Current Events

The French have always brought out a certain competitiveness in me.  Maybe it’s because I know they view us Americans as crass and cultureless.  It was therefore with some pleasure that I read about the discomfort they felt when we elected Barack Obama to office; they realized that, unlike us, they were not yet ready to elect a member of …

Explaining the Rakofsky Defamation Suit on an Application

Jamison Koehler Humor

Filling out an application can be a painful process for anyone who has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. What specifically is being asked? What is an honest response? And how can I put this response in the best possible light so that it doesn’t torpedo my chances of having the application approved? Most applications used to ask …

U.S. Capitol building

The Blackwater Fraud Trial: Ode to Plaintiff’s Counsel

Jamison Koehler Current Events

The Blackwater fraud trial begins tomorrow. For the next two weeks or so, my wife and her team will be sequestered within a two-block radius of the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, commuting between their hotel, their temporary office, and the courthouse. It is a David and Goliath confrontation right out of Erin Brokovich or A Civil Action. If you …

Drinking Ouzo at the Hotel Coronis

Jamison Koehler Current Events

During a couple of summers while in college, I worked as a bartender at a hotel bar in southern Greece. It was not a big place – just a couple of tables and three or four stools at the bar. Most of our customers were hotel guests who came in for a quick drink before dinner:  vacationing Greeks from Athens, …

U.S. Capitol Building

Changing the Name of the Washington Redskins

Jamison Koehler Sports

  D.C. Fire Department Chief Kenneth Ellerbe created a minor controversy recently when he proposed changing the name of his department to Fire Emergency Medical Services (FEMS).  Ellerbe suggested that, since the department also provides emergency care for the sick and injured, the new name would more accurately describe the department’s functions. In addition to causing some confusion, the major …

Aerial view of DC

Quarles v. Commonwealth: Coerced Confessions in Virginia

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, Opinions/Cases

In Quarles v. Commonwealth, a recently issued opinion by the Virginia Court of Appeals, the court considered a set of facts similar to the U.S. Supreme Court case of Rhode Island v. Innis.  However, finding a number of ways to distinguish this case from Innis, it concluded that the defendant’s confession should have been suppressed as the product of police …

Rakofsky Dismissed in D.C. Murder Trial

Jamison Koehler Current Events, Other Criminal Offenses

I have always been somewhat suspicious of reports in the criminal law blogosphere about lawyers who misrepresent their credentials or who otherwise fail to meet the needs of their clients. Maybe I am naïve but I have questioned how frequently this actually occurs. And just as anything I might say could be viewed as suspect, I have been struck by …

D.C. skyline

Confronting School Disciplinary Officials

Jamison Koehler Current Events

Nick Stuban was 15-years-old when he committed suicide last month.  Once a “model student” and “quick-footed linebacker” for the football team at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax County, Stuban had been suspended from school for 10 days after he was caught buying a capsule of JWH-018, a synthetic compound that produces a marijuana-like effect. Ten days turned into seven …

What Does Evil Look Like?

Jamison Koehler Current Events

Evil looks a lot like the pasty, bloated face of Jared Loughner grinning at us from the front page of today’s New York Times. Children have an innate sense of these things. We do too. We know that, on the scale of apparent evilness, the way Loughner looks places him somewhere between Charles Manson on the one end, even before …