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I’ve Been Writing

It might seem a bit dead around here, but I’ve actually been blogging more than ever since the beginning of August. It’s all over at Mimesis Law, however. Here are tl;dr synopses of the posts, with links: Sometimes judges do a good job with rulings involving technology. Black people matter more than lions. Courts couldn’t care less about the horrific life of a defendant. Screwing people more gently isn’t really such a big deal. The Black Lives Matter agenda could do a better job of putting the power in the hands of victims and their families. There’s no such thing as too crazy for “justice.” Kim Davis is committed, but she’s hardly worthy of praise. Sometimes, stopping government overreaching trumps prosecuting perjury and convicting the guilty. Close to home is easier than fair. Not every senseless murder supports your … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Nothing Better To Do

My biggest takeaway from State v. Foncette is that there must be no crime in Tempe. Officers stopped Foncette, apparently smelled marijuana, and brought a drug dog to the scene. The dog alerted, but they found nothing. They proceeded to follow him to a hotel and walked with the dog down the hallway outside of the room where he was staying. The dog alerted outside of his room, and officers knocked. When he opened the door, officers apparently smelled marijuana again. Foncette left the room when officers asked, but his companion did not. Police then detained both of them, and they subsequently got a warrant for a nighttime search of the hotel room. They found a lot of marijuana. Obviously, there were no burglaries in Tempe that night. I am … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Drugs, Medical Marijuana

Forgettable Advice

A stranger sent me this email a few days ago: Hi, I’m not sure if you can help me, but thought you could possibly point me in the right direction. Would you be able to suggest two or three sources (books, articles, website, people) that were helpful when you were starting out in your legal practice? I’m a recent graduate of [better law school than I went to] and I’m working on a research paper on starting up as a solo practitioner or small law firm. Any help you could provide would be very graciously appreciated. Maybe I’m a sucker and am wasting my time, but I try to respond to everything that hits my inbox. That includes a fair amount of stuff that may be spam or just lazy people hoping I can do … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Practice in General

To Pull Or Not To Pull

I received an email a while back from a lawyer who was the subject of a post here. I’d called him out for making accusations against another lawyer in a forum comprised of nearly every DUI lawyer in the state. His wasn’t a terribly friendly email, but that was hardly a surprise. What was a surprise was exactly what upset him. He was mad that I had written something negative about him on the internet. That was his biggest sticking point. He disagreed with what I wrote, obviously, and he thought I had no business writing about him in the first place. Even more important to him than correcting things he believed I had wrong, however, was making sure I understood what he perceived to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Marketing


The folks at the MVD tell me that, if you do your administrative suspension before you are convicted of DUI, you can get a restricted license after thirty days and avoid having to get expensive SR22 insurance. They say you won’t get those benefits if you are convicted first. Speaking with former clients, however, the ones who do the admin per se suspension first do indeed experience what the MVD predicted, but so do the ones who get convicted first. I haven’t called the MVD to argue with them about why they didn’t screw my clients like they said they would. The folks at jail tell me that, if the order of confinement for a day of jail says “one day,” they will hold my clients for … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Government Rants, jail

All The Power

Adrian keeps telling me: Sometimes I wish we just dealt with those people from Hellraiser instead of some prosecutors; then, at least, my mom could understand why my job is so damn frustrating. I went to court a while back for a felony DUI client. Absurd mandatory minimums and absurder (this can’t be a word, but Google says it is so I’m going with it) plea policies from most prosecutorial agencies make me hate these cases. That combined with the fact the crime isn’t so much something someone might know they’re committing but rather possession of an arbitrary amount of something in their blood as determined by a machine that might not work makes for a killer cocktail of injustice. When the crime is something designed to insure … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Prosecutors

A Small Step

For any lawyer who practices a lot in federal court, the recent Supreme Court decision in Johnson v. United States is a pretty big deal. It involves the “Armed Career Criminal Act,” a part of 18 U.S.C. § 924 that has an enormous impact at sentencing for certain defendants convicted under the federal prohibited possessor law, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). What the act does is increase the penalty from a ten-year maximum to a fifteen-year mandatory minimum and a maximum of life in prison for people who have three or more convictions for a “serious drug offense” or a “violent felony.” The issue in Johnson was the definition of “violent felony,” specifically what courts call the “residual clause” of the definition. Although the definition includes some more … Read entire article »

Filed under: SCOTUS Cases

Two Different Systems

The recent opinion from the Supreme Court of the United States in San Francisco v. Sheehan hits awfully close to home for me. Just a few days ago, I dismissed a civil suit against a police officer who created a situation where the only possible outcome was to murder someone he never would have “had” to have murdered in any other situation except for the one he created by violating policy. The doctrine of qualified immunity, the same thing at issue in Sheehan, gave my clients no choice but to let that murderous cop completely dodge any sort of consequences for his actions. I am not writing about my case, though, so I will stick with the facts of Sheehan, which are pretty simple. Ms. Sheehan was … Read entire article »

Filed under: SCOTUS Cases

Guilt v. Shame

A witness and I each had pretty remarkable breakthroughs at the same time earlier today. We both suddenly understood things we’d never really considered. When she had her revelation, she shook her head in disgust. On the other hand, I just thought yet again about how ridiculous our justice system really is. To say the witness and I have different backgrounds would be an understatement. We’re generations removed, and even if we shared a birth date in the same year, it would hardly even begin to bridge the cultural gap. On top of that, she’s mostly deaf and entirely mute. An ASL interpreter did not work out, and her writing is very difficult to understand. The “interview” today involved a pen and some … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants, Uncategorized

Best Served Really, Really Cold

In 1999, Ramon Nelson was riding his bicycle away from a liquor store when someone hit him in the back of the head with a wooden stick, killing him. He had forty little baggies of crack on him when he died. Although it was dark out at the time, a guy named Maurice Johnnie identified a guy named Lawrence Owens as the murderer, first in a six-person photo lineup and then in an actual lineup. Lawrence Owens was the only person from the first lineup who also appeared in the second. A guy named William Evans said there were two people involved in the murder, but he identified Lawrence Owens as one of them in the same two lineups Maurice Johnnie saw. He said the victim spoke with … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

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