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Underdog Blog- Virginia Criminal Lawyer | Fairfax DUI Attorney

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Pursuing Your Best Defense Since 1991

06 Nov

Death Penalty – Always Unjust

Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death. The man was a walking violation of human rights, who was no friend of death penalty abolitionists. Consequently, why should death penalty abolitionists -- including myself -- care whether he is executed? Because the message of death penalty abolition...

06 Nov

Frank Dunham Leaves the Planet

Sadly, on November 3, Frank W. Dunham, Jr., passed away. Mr. Dunham was the first federal public defender for Alexandria, Virginia. He apparently operated his federal public defender's office with the full independence that is critical for all public defender offices. The most striking professional information in Mr. Dunham's obituary...

05 Nov

If Neil Young were a trial lawyer

© 1976 Mark Estabrook. Republication permitted, as detailed here. Click here for YouTube clip. If Neil Young were a trial lawyer -- at least if he were arguing on the side of the angels, which is the only side I could imagine him arguing --...

05 Nov

Defending Reckless Driving in Virginia

Following is an out-of-state trial lawyers' listserv message by me that gives a good overview for defending reckless driving in Virginia: For jailable offenses, I think a pro se defendant has a fool for a client. Nevertheless, plenty of defendants show up pro se for reckless charges;...

02 Nov

Selecting a prison

By the time a criminal defendant is convicted and sentenced, the defendant's attention often is focused on where s/he will be housed. Here is a Wall Street Journal article discussing former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling's efforts to obtain his first choice for prison. In any event, the article's title...

02 Nov

Feds targeting employers of unauthorized workers

Federal authorities are bringing enforcement actions against employers of unauthorized workers. One of the targeted companies is IFCO Systems, with federal authorities claiming that 53 percent of the company's 5800 employees had faulty Social Security numbers. Marks & Katz believes strongly in widely opening the United...

02 Nov

Politicians – Weed out security goons

  Security goons are not wedded to any one political party, political stripe or politician. Witness, for instance, the First Amendment-violative arrests and hyper-security at recent Democratic and Republican national presidential conventions. Witness the manhandling of my former client and political conservative Ben Wetmore, who, after...

31 Oct

When Governments Cage People

On this Halloween day, here is some chilling reality, mixed with hope: Jails and prisons are cages that warehouse and restrain legions of people (1) presumed innocent and awaiting trial, (2) who are innocent but wrongfully convicted, (3) convicted of crimes that should not be crimes...

30 Oct

Overseas legal outsourcing on the rise

More law firms apparently are more often looking overseas to outsource support staff work. The October 27, 2006, New York Times details this trend. A recent trial lawyer listserv posting mentioned one particular company offering such outsourcing: Manthan Services in Bangalore, India.  This outsourcing situation goes to...

29 Oct

When Money Talks in Criminal Court

Unfortunately, we are far away from a society that provides equal access to justice and the courthouses. The criminal defendant with the most money has more lawyers to choose from and to pay. The defendant with money has a wider and more flexible and immediate choice...

26 Oct

“Ghetto” Party by UT Law Students

The news is so over-saturated, that sometimes I miss such important stories as the "ghetto" party hosted and attended earlier this month, off-campus, by some University of Texas law students. Cox News Service reports that photos from the party "showed the students holding 40-ounce bottles in brown paper...

25 Oct

Getting to yes in misdemeanor cases

Getting to yes is negotiating with an eye towards fulfilling some key goals of each party to the negotiations, rather than negotiating on positions. A recent negotiation further illustrated the benefit of this approach. My client was criminally charged with possessing marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia possession. The...