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Eric Garner paid with his life for making a simple mistake: He played street lawyer when officers tried to arrest him. The time and place to dispute facts with a cop is not on the street. It is in a courtroom. Resist an officer trying to arrest you, and you may well end up injured, or even...
I'm a little too old for a mid-life crisis, but not too old, I hope, to admit that I've been wandering far too long in the dark wood of error. So let me cut to the chase: Individualism is dead; we are social creatures.
The rhetoric of individualism has sustained me for decades. It all...
I sometimes wonder whether the truth really matters at all, especially in criminal courtrooms, where we play at the solemn work of justice while wearing blinders. Consider, for the moment, the case of State v. Dr. Lishan Wang, now percolating in the New Haven Superior Court. In what parallel...
There's little doubt in my mind that the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, will not indict Darren Wilson and charge him with murder. And there is just as little doubt that Ferguson will erupt in violence when that happens. Two conceptions of justice will collide, thus illustrating in graphic form...
The Roman orator Cicero defined a commonwealth, or a republic, as a group of people drawn together by common interests and a common conception of right, or justice. In other words, not just any group of folks constitutes a stable political entity.
By this standard, we are no longer a...
From time to time, a young person turns up at my office door looking for career advice. They are considering a career in the law. What, they ask, should they do? My answer is typically succinct: consider medical school. The law, I tell them is dark place. I've imagined that medicine offers...
If I had Tom Foley's tax accountant, there is one thing I most assuredly would not do: I would not run for public office pretending I had any idea about what is and is not sound public policy. Foley lives as a free-rider, avoiding taxes while living like a plutocrat. Why would anyone vote for...
There are secret courts operating in our midst, and I am not referring to those tribunals whose focus is national security. I'm talking about something more basic and closer to home. I'm talking about our juvenile courts, where the fate of children is sometimes determined.
Consider the case...
The law of evidence governs what is and is not admissible in a trial. A judge's decision on what a jury hears could quite literally be the difference between freedom and imprisonment, and, in some cases, between life and death. Just ask Larry Johnson.
Earlier this year, Brittany Paz, Jim...
I wasn't on the New Haven jury that convicted Angelo Reyes of arson and conspiracy charges. But I know a thing or two about Mr. Reyes, having represented him in federal court on other arson charges before federal prosecutors engineered a conflict to get me thrown off the case: They threatened to...