The Gold Standard in Witness Credibility

Jamison Koehler Investigations, Trial Advocacy

  My investigator Wayne Marshall gets an A+ for his testimony yesterday at trial. Of course, I am biased. Marshall is everything you could want in a witness: He knows his stuff. He is well-spoken, direct, straight-forward. He answers the questions you ask of him and nothing more. He doesn’t try to anticipate what he thinks you want him to …

U.S. Capitol building

Longus v. U.S.: On Bias, Extrinsic Evidence, and the Collateral Fact Rule

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

Bias is “the powerful distorting effect on human testimony of the witness’s emotions or feelings towards the parties or the witness’ self-interest in the outcome of the case.”  That is McCormick on Evidence, and it is the clearest, most accurate definition I have ever seen of what constitutes bias. McCormick continues: “[B]ias, or any acts, relationships, or motives reasonably likely to produce …

U.S. Capitol building

Confrontation Clause Be Damned: D.C. Continues to Use Surrogate Witnesses in DUI Cases

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, DUI and Driving Offenses, Legal Concepts/Principles

  Michael Bruckheim was scheduled to cross-examine Lucas Zarwell, the chief forensic toxicologist in D.C., and a group of DUI lawyers had gathered outside Room 116 yesterday afternoon shortly before 2:00 pm. Zarwell testified before city council last May that urine samples taken by police to test suspected drunk drivers are not reliable enough to accurately measure a person’s blood …

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 …