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Criminal Defense

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...

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...

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...

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...

23 Oct

Trial courts: Often rough and tumble

At criminal bench trials, some judges seem more willing to overrule objections that they would sustain were a jury present. Sometimes the judges perhaps feel they are better able than jurors to filter out inadmissible evidence. In Maryland and Virginia, District Court judges know that an...

31 Aug

Never give up; never give in

Fifteen years after starting my criminal defense career, what keeps the fight, zeal, and steam in me? Some of it comes from those around me, with my kindred spirits on one side, and, on the other side, those who perpetuate unfairness and injustice. Sometimes the inspiration...

13 Jun

Engaging in battle without anger

Some opposing lawyers are so unpleasant that I advise my clients in advance about them, and explain that their expressed anger and irritation and intimidation tactics often are feigned or exaggerated, and, when not feigned, often result from the opponents' fear, with a bunch of...