U.S. Capitol Building

“No Questions, Your Honor”

Jamison Koehler Trial Advocacy

If practice makes perfect, then prosecutors tend to be better at direct examination and defense attorneys at cross. It is a question of what we do the most of. I think of this while watching a prosecutor conduct a cross-examination in JM-13. The defendant has taken the stand in her own defense, and the prosecutor is trying to poke holes …

U.S. Capitol building

Cross Examinations. Directs, too.

Jamison Koehler Evidence, Trial Advocacy

“No questions, Your Honor.” What could be more satisfying to say after your opponent has completed his direct examination than those four simple words? It is a challenge, a slap in the face with a folded glove.  It is a declaration that the other side hasn’t touched you, hasn’t hurt you at all, with the testimony. It is like Muhammad …

Jefferson Memorial

Coles v. U.S.: The Right to a “Meaningful Degree” of Cross-Examination

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Legal Concepts/Principles, Opinions/Cases

  Although the ability to cross-examine a witness is a critical component of the Sixth Amendment right to confront your accusers in a criminal case, this right is not without boundaries:  “Once sufficient cross-examination has occurred to satisfy the Sixth Amendment, . . . the trial judge may curtail cross-examination because of concerns of harassment, prejudice, confusion of the issues, …

On Trial Transcripts: Only the Stenographer Knows for Sure

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, Trial Advocacy

  Reviewing the transcript from a hearing or trial you have done can sometimes be a humbling experience. What you may have remembered as a dramatic moment at trial can come across as flat on the printed page, and a good stenographer will throw in every “er,” “um” and “okay” to remind you that you may not be quite the …

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 …

Jefferson Memorial

“Every DWI Case Is Defensible”

Jamison Koehler DUI and Driving Offenses

You often hear criminal defense lawyers who are just starting out say that they will initially handle drinking-and-driving offenses, like DWI or DUI, until they get their feet on the ground.  The cases are, they say, straightforward and lucrative. Once they get themselves established, well, then they can move on to more complicated felony cases, like attempted murder, drug distribution, …