Brown & Little, P.L.C. » Blog

We're Insane

My brother sent me a link to this CEPR study about the cost of incarceration a few weeks ago. After reading the entire thing, I was speechless. The topic of the study seemed so familiar, yet the numbers were so much more stunning than I ever could have imagined. I scoured blogs to see if someone else had posted about it, yet I found only one article. Let me know if I’ve missed others. The statistics are incredible: we now incarcerate 240% more people than we did in 1980; in 2008, one out of every 48 working-age men was in prison or jail; non-violent offenders make up over 60% of the prison and jail population; drug offenders now account for about one-fourth of all offenders behind bars. Those are just some of the numbers that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants, jail

Wasted Anger

I keep thinking about something I saw in court a little while ago. The judge, a former sex crimes prosecutor with a temper that makes her unpopular among attorneys on both sides, decided to take a page out of Judge Judy’s playbook and dramatically castigate a defendant at sentencing. “I’m very sorry, and I will not let it happen again,” the defendant said. The judge attacked before he could even finish, asking him why things were going be different this time. She threw his priors at him when he tried to explain. She rubbed in the fact he was on probation when it happened. She expressed her disbelief by rolling her eyes, and she made sarcastic remarks. His pleas fell on deaf ears. She … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, Courts

Marketing to Bikers

I follow Susan Carter Liebel on Twitter. She’s the creator of Solo Practice University, a website that’s supposed to be “the #1 web-based educational and professional networking community for solo lawyers and law students.” Yesterday, I noticed she put up the following with a link: “Adam Gee teaches you How To Market To Bikers in his newest class.” Intrigued, I clicked the link. I couldn’t find anything about the content of the course though, so I went to Adam Gee’s page at SPU. There, I saw the following under his syllabus: Marketing to Bikers: Developing a Motorcycle Practice * Indirect Marketing Techniques * Direct Marketing Techniques * Blogs, social media and books I think SPU is a great idea, and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Bikers' Rights, Clients, lawyers, Marketing

Celebrate Scott Greenfield Day

I’m not posting this because Scott Greenfield gave this little blog the extreme blog makeover that put it on the map, or even because he’s defended me previously. Those aren’t my reasons for posting; those are the reasons why I should feel like a jerk for not posting sooner. Anyway, today has been declared Scott Greenfield Day. Although it may be over for those of you in the Eastern Time Zone, there are still a few hours left to celebrate Scott and his fantastic blog, Simple Justice, everywhere else in the US. If you don’t read it regularly, you should. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Gotcha!

When I was in law school, I was fortunate to attend many hours of public defender training. I can still clearly remember the cross-examination teacher describing his technique for impeaching a witness. He recommended something called “the 3 Cs.” The 3 Cs stood for “commit,” “credit,” and “confront.” I don’t know if it’s his thing or something widely known to trial lawyers, but it’s a pretty solid, general approach to impeachment. Let’s say you have an officer who’s saying something highly incriminating, something that he didn’t put in his police report. You want to impeach him with that omission. Using the 3 Cs technique the teacher recommended, you’d first commit the officer to his current statement. Make sure the judge or jury understands exactly … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Trial

Priorities

When Nick Martin at Heat City put up a link to this on Twitter, I started thinking. Nobody’s going to feel too sorry for lawyers making $250 an hour. If they work 40 hours a week at that rate for a year, they’ll be earning roughly ten times the median household income in the United States. It’s nothing like $450 an hour, where they’d be pushing a million in fees each year working less than I do, but it isn’t bad. In all fairness, I imagine it’s larger firms doing all the work, so nobody in particular gets all that money. Take out a chunk for a top-floor office with lots of marble, throw in a few expensive associates who don’t contribute anything valuable to the representation, and maybe … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers

Senate Bill 1070

Everyone has an opinion about Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably love it or hate it. You may have a strong opinion about it even if you have no clue what it says. If so, you aren’t alone. S. B. 1070 makes it so the government can’t create a policy limiting the enforcement of federal immigration laws. If any part of the government does make a policy restricting enforcement of federal immigration laws, citizens have standing to sue. If they win, they get court costs and attorney fees. This doesn’t mean an officer will be sued just for not arresting a particular person or group of people. There will have to be a policy, not just one officer failing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Statutes, immigration

Happy National No-Phone Zone Day!

Every TV channel I saw at the gym this morning seemed to be covering the fact Oprah has declared today “National ‘No-Phone Zone’ Day.” I guess that Oprah has convinced the USDOT, the NHTSA, the GHSA, and a variety of other government entities with acronym names to join her in promoting awareness to end distracted driving. I normally wouldn’t post about something like that, as every day is stop-something day, but my head filled with thoughts as I watched part of a segment showing teenagers trying to drive a golf cart around a course marked with cones while texting. Needless to say, very few cones remained standing at the end, and the exercise supposedly demonstrated the dangers of what I’m going to call DWD, driving while distracted. I … Read entire article »

Filed under: DUI, Government Rants

A Brief for Those Who Lack Creativity

Yesterday, Ohio criminal defense lawyer Jeff Gamso put up a blog post that included this paragraph: In Ohio criminal defense circles, I’m known as one of the Anti-Anders-brief Nazis. Under considerable pressure from other members of the bar, I was convinced not to try publicly humiliating the lawyers who file them. Sort of like maintaining good relations with repressive regimes because we can reach them better if we’re nice, I have standing offers out to help lawyers find issues when they’re stuck. Occasionally I’m taken up on the offers. I’ve had some success at convincing people they shouldn’t be filing them. And I speak about this sort of thing a fair amount at CLEs. It’s not enough, but it’s what I can do. If you aren’t … Read entire article »

Filed under: Post-Conviction

Losing at Trial

Last week, a jury found my client guilty of three counts of dangerous crimes against children. I sat next to him in court as the clerk read the verdict, and he broke down before the clerk made it through the second count. He knew he would spend the rest of his life in prison. This isn’t the first trial I’ve lost. It pains me to say it, but it’s also unlikely to be the last. No matter how hard I try, I’ll probably again have to experience the feeling of knowing someone trusted me with their life and made a gamble that didn’t pay off. It’s a twisting, sinking, hopeless malaise that consumes you. You’re in a nightmare. You know you can wake up, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Practice in General, Trial

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