Harrison v. U.S.: Reasonable Doubt Through Too Many “Interconnected Inferences”

D.C. skyline

Yes, they record your personal phone calls from prison. Yes, they have someone listen to those tapes. And, yes, they sometimes find something on those tapes to use against you. There is usually a voice recording that periodically… Read More

Bickering Over Basic Facts on Cross-Examination

U.S. Capitol Building

I like the government witnesses who fight with you on cross-examination, refusing to acknowledge even the most basic facts, like whether a particular street goes north-south or east-west.  It is as though any concession at all to the… Read More

Cold Feet on the Morning of Trial

U.S. Capitol Building

It must be pretty intimidating to arrive at the courthouse for trial to find five police officers, an eyewitness, and a complaining witness all sitting in the hallway, laughing and joking with each other and then growing silent… Read More

Trial Transcript: Initial Observations/Probable Cause to Arrest in DUI Case

U.S. Capitol building

Q:  You testified that my client stumbled as he got out of the car that night. A:  That’s right. Q:  What do you mean by “stumbled?” A:  I don’t know.  He stumbled. Q:  Did he fall? A:  No…. Read More

Gilding the Lily on Cross-Examination

Jefferson and Washington monuments

After you get what you need on cross-examination, you sit down. The charge is unlawful entry. Both defendants had been issued a barring notice from the Meadowbrook Run Apartments, and the government alleges that the defendants violated this… Read More

Trial Notebook as Security Blanket

I recently served as co-counsel in two juvenile cases with Eddie Ferrer of D.C. Lawyers for Youth.  Although neither case ended up going to trial, you do get a pretty good sense of your colleagues when working together… Read More

“The One Question Too Many”

U.S. Capitol building

  My colleague — the lawyer for the co-defendant in one of my cases – is annoyed with me. We each represent a person charged with robbery at a metro stop, and I am cross-examining the police officer… Read More

Blades v. U.S.: On Cross-Examination and Bias

U.S. Capitol Building

The right to cross-examine witnesses is one of the defendant’s most important trial rights.  And, among the areas for cross-examination, what could be more important than bias?  An inability to accurately perceive events could result in an honest… Read More

Trial Ad 101: On Reading A Closing Argument at Trial

U.S. Capitol building

  Sitting in Room 117 of D.C. Superior Court last week, I caught the tail end of a bench trial in which the defense attorney read her closing argument from a sheet of paper. I have no idea… Read More

You Should Be Translating, Not Interpreting

During an earlier life, I was a member of the U.S. delegations that negotiated the international ozone and climate treaties. The negotiations often lasted a couple of weeks, with the opening statements alone — from the 100 nations… Read More