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Failing to Comply

The recent opinion from Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals in State v. Burke deals with the issue of whether A.R.S. § 28-622(A), a law involving failure to comply with a police officer, is unconstitutionally vague. The law provides as follows: A person shall not wilfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of a police officer invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic. The facts of the actual case, as the court explains them, seem pretty simple: This case arises out of a routine traffic stop. After Burke allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign, a police officer pulled Burke over, asked him for his license and registration, and directed him not to move his vehicle. Burke disobeyed the instructions, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Cases, Police

The Posts at Mimesis Law Continue

I’m still posting twice a week at Mimesis Law. Here are my most recent posts: That asshole who hit that biker really needs a lawyer. People in the system sure protect their own. Sometimes, medical marijuana gives users more power than just legalizing it. Trial is risky. Aluminum foil hats are all the rage in Las Vegas. Whatever you do, don’t twerk a stranger in DC. What’s the right sentence for a hate crime? And this one went up today: Jared from Subway isn’t anything special. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Bikers' Rights, Courts, Drugs, Government Rants, Medical Marijuana

Still Writing…

My steady stream of posts goes on at Mimesis Law. Here are links: Whatever you do, don’t name the misbehaving prosecutor or let the defendant get away with anything (because he’s totally guilty anyway). This is how false confessions happen. Being named Bradley Scott Johnson is apparently a crime punishable by four days in jail. They pretty much throw darts to decide who gets charged and who gets the prosecutors to play tiny little violins in support of their innocence. Throw all the books you want at drug offenders, it ain’t gonna make a damn difference. Cops get lucky, people pretend we didn’t all know that was what was gonna happen. Sometimes getting arrested is worth it. A statutory rape goes from shitty to less shitty. And here’s my last one (until tomorrow): Quit trying to justify your gawking. BONUS: I … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

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

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