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During the past year, I've been surprised by the number of times jurors have requested read backs of testimony they just heard only a few days earlier in criminal cases. In some instances, it seems to take almost as long to listen to the testimony again as it did to try the case in the first...
Folks are sometimes surprised to see a black anarchist's flag hanging in the corner of my law office. "Aren't you a lawyer?," they ask. "Don't you believe in the rule of law?" Shouldn't I be wearing a small American flag in the lapel of my suit, as is the fashion of some lawyers? The answers are...
I have a confession to make: I enjoy watching college and professional football. It's the only thing I watch on television with any regularity. The speed and athleticism of the individual competitors is part of the attraction. So is the pageantry, the hype surrounding the game - it's something...
I will miss United States Magistrate Judge Holly Fitzsimmons. She's retiring effective April 2015, reportedly to spend more time writing the things of her own choosing, rather than crafting opinions about other people's struggles. She served with civility, being gracious even when the lawyers...
Odds are you never heard about the killing of 20-year-old Dillon Taylor. He was shot to death in in Salt Lake City, Utah, just the other day. The man who shot him was a police officer acting in the line of duty. Dillon was unarmed. More significantly, he was white.
Where's the outrage? Where...
I couldn't stop thinking about the allegory of the metals in Plato's Republic as I read the op-ed piece in The Washington Post written by Los Angeles Police Officer, Sunil Dutta. He was writing to express a police officer's point of view in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown, in...
Perhaps you missed the piece in today's Washington Post by Sunil Dutta, a member of the Los Angeles Police Department, and junior college instructor. It is a whiny, self-righteous screed that will make him a hero around cop bars and police water coolers nationwide. His message? If you don't want to...
It is only a slight exaggeration to say that Michael Brown's blood is on the gavel of the federal judiciary. In the past couple of decades, the courts have made it all but impossible to hold police officers accountable before juries. Is it any wonder officers think they can kill with...
"If you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." I think about this line of Friedrich Nietszche's more often than I care to admit. The practice of law hasn't mellowed me; if anything, it's made me more cynical, perhaps too cynical. The sad fact is that I no longer...
Every time I hear a judge talk about sending people to prison as a means of promoting public respect for the law, I want to stop the proceedings and holler: "Really? Just how does sending yet another soul to prison promote respect for anything, Judge?"
But I don't. I stand silently beside the...