He Admits Everything

The defendant took the stand.  His lawyer walked him through his testimony in short opened-ended questions.  And he did something I've never seen a defendant do: he admitted everything. It was an assault and battery case.  On a hot summer afternoon, defendant threw a razor at the head of a law enforcement officer.  The defendant... Continue Reading →

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A Few Seconds Becomes Two Years

I made an error: instead of giving a jury instruction for Penal Code section 12022.7(b), I mistakenly allowed the court to give an instruction for Penal Code section 12022.7(a).  Since (b) carries a 5 year sentence, and (a) only carries a 3 year sentence, this mistake means that the defendant will be released 2 years... Continue Reading →

The Mercy Rule

When I used to play ping pong in the garage, we followed the "skunk rule".  If anyone went up 7-0 on their opponent, they clinched the game and won early, without needing to go all the way to 11 points, like normal.  I've heard other people call it "the mercy rule." I just finished a... Continue Reading →

Pirate Sword Letter Opener

A guy walks into a drug store and puts a bunch of items in his cart, walks towards the door without paying, and is intercepted by store employees.  Instead of stopping, he abandons the cart, pulls out a knife, flashes it at the employees, and runs out the door with a few miscellaneous items.  This... Continue Reading →

Pictures Within Pictures

When you look through the defendant's Facebook feed, with his posts stupidly set to public, you see the frozen mind of a teenager.  What if you never got tired of graffiti, dip, and naked women?  What if you thought that posing with your shirt off was cool for the rest of your life?  And he... Continue Reading →

Exiled from the Gym

I used to love working out during my lunch hour.  I felt like a disciplined, focused, ass-kicking professional.  I would walk into the gym, in my court clothes, and everyone would recognize me.  After showering, I would put my tie on in the locker room, as proud of my neckwear as I was of my... Continue Reading →

Next Time, Use A Knife

I recently tried a case in which a defendant really screwed himself over by using a gun.  He broke up with his girlfriend and confronted her when she brought another man to pick up her stuff from his house.  The boyfriend shot several times at the man, causing him serious injury.  Because he used a gun... Continue Reading →

Meet the Truth

When you’re nice to people, they give you attempted murder cases.  That’s what I found out when a more senior DA got transferred and specifically asked that a case be assigned to me.  Normally, someone with my experience level would not try an attempted murder.  It was her vote of confidence that let me cut... Continue Reading →

Herding Witnesses

We argued motions in the morning on the day my second felony was supposed to begin.  I had two witnesses, both cops, subpoenaed to be in court at 10, to start out the case.  My civilian witness was taking a bus from 300 miles away, and wouldn’t arrive until the afternoon session.  But I had... Continue Reading →

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