Blog Posts


Connecticut Judiciary: Confirm Westbrook

Let me get all the confessions out of the way first: Many years ago, I was an editorial writer for The Hartford Courant. After that, I hired and supervised a young trial lawyer named Dawne Westbrook in a law firm in which I was a partner. She is now a friend. And I have publicly supported her...

Obama Disappoints On Bagram Habeas Petition

It did not take long for realpolitik to swallow the optimism of President Obama. Faced with a suit by prisoners held indefinitely by the United States at Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan, the administration has thumbed its nose.
The prisoners are being held indefinitely by the United...

The Parable Project: The Friend At Midnight

The parable of the friend at midnight is reported in the Gospel of Luke at 11:5-8. It reads as follows:
"Then he [Jesus] said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has...

Dr. Lee? Absent From NAS Study On Science And The Courts

Guess whose name is conspicuously absent from the new National Academy of Sciences' report on the forensic use of science? The inscrutable Dr. Henry C. Lee. Indeed, even the institution he founded, housed at the University of New Haven, is absent from the list of those consulted, relied upon, or...

Forensic Science: A Challenge To The Adversarial System?

Truth, we say, wins out at trial. Well-prepared adversaries in the well of a court each pressing as hard as they can for their client will yield shimmering gems, compacting coal into diamonds, glittering truths that will decide facts. Such is the theory anyway.
The National Academy of Sciences'...

Forensic Science?

I just downloaded a copy of the 254 page report by the National Academy of Sciences on the state of forensic sciences in the United States. Entitled, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, the report is must reading for criminal defense lawyers. Press accounts and blog...

Skull and Bones: Let's Open the Doors

Our youngest son went to Yale, graduating with a slew of honors a year ago. Of course we are proud of him, but, when the lights are out, and the animals are all down for the night, we would sometimes wonder about him.
"Do you think he is?" my wife would wonder.
"I don’t know. I...

Beware The Prospective Fallacy

Trial lawyers are story tellers. To cynics, that means lawyers make up stories that serve the interest of their clients. Popular fiction is filled with lawyers who lie, cheat and steal to get ahead. On this view, trial lawyers are no better than, let's say, bankers or coal executives. Truth is...

The Parable Project: The Doorkeeper

The parable of the doorkeeper is found in Mark's Gospel, chapter 13:34-36.
"[For the Son of man is] as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
" Watch ye therefore: for ye know not...

Big Brother As Cookie Monster?

I'm generally well behind the curve on most issues. Were these truly medieval times, my shield would bear the image of Hegel's Owl of Minerva, which, famously, settles only at dusk. But a friend passed along the following interview with Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier...

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