I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Lost and Confused signpost vertical

A post this morning on “Thinking Like a Lawyer” snapped me to attention. It was perfect in so many ways, but one part in particular told me what I was writing about this morning.

I write this blog for a couple of reasons. The primary reason is that I have things I’m interested in saying, about things that are important to me. So you’ll see posts like the last few which deal with crucial socio-legal issues. Police State issues like Ferguson, for example, or the somewhat related problem with the Criminalization of Everything, police state’s handmaid.

Without specifically making my blog “just another marketing tool,” like too many other lawyers do, I also use my blog to talk to potential clients. To give them an opportunity to know something about me. Because despite over-criminalization, not everyone needing a lawyer is going to know someone who knows enough about a criminal defense lawyer to give a good recommendation. People will say, “Oh, my cousin Vinny is a lawyer,” and, well, okay that might be a good choice. But what about “my cousin Oscar”?

Maybe not so much.

My blog is an opportunity for people who are searching for a lawyer — whether they know someone with a cousin named Vinny, Oscar, or without any cousins at all — to learn a little about me; to get a clue about what type of lawyer I might be.


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The Sound of Silence

Officer shushing

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Malice in Wonderland

Pet Dinosaur in Wonderland

For a thinking, attentive person who grew up in a free and democratic republic, life in the United States lately almost daily seems like an episode of the Twilight Zone, but with cartoons. One day, you wake up, and find a seven-year-old kid being suspended from school for chewing Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. And it’s not just the school officials who think this warrants a suspension, but their lawyer — their freakin’ lawyer, for goodness sake! — pens a thirty-page opinion that supports the decision to suspend.

A seven-year-old. For eating a Pop Tart. Into a shape. The shape of a gun.

PopTart Gun

Scary, isn’t it?

Your first thought is that this makes John Yoo look almost sane.

But then the next day, it’s a sixteen-year-old, and he’s not just suspended; he’s arrested and charged with a crime.

And the gun doesn’t even have the substance of a Pop Tart. It doesn’t even actually exist, because it’s just the word “gun” in a fictional story. But….

Somebody’s pet dinosaur ends up dead.

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Disrespect Me, and I Will Fuck You Up (Update X2)

Police beating man

In the still-vigorous wake of The Disaster Known As Ferguson Missouri, a “professor of homeland security” — one of those Orwellian titles created after the United States decided that an act of terrorism by foreigners required the government to declare war against its own citizens in order to keep them safe — writes that

It’s not the police, but the people they stop, who can prevent a detention from turning into a tragedy.

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Nationalized House Arrest, the Culmination of Total Control (Updated)

Ferguson residents with hands up.

A couple of weeks or more ago, Fresno criminal defense lawyer Harry Drandel was attacked by the Fresno Sheriff’s Department while trying to enter the courthouse. Harry, who has been an respected attorney since 1983 — that’s thirty-one years – without a single negative mark on his record, was attacked in order to keep the public safe.

I didn’t write about this sooner because I’ve had so much going on, and I needed to try to focus on other things. Scott Greenfield, however, had it covered in his post, “Fresno Deputies and the Terrorists Hiding in Harry Drandel’s Wallet.”

While Fresno appears to have moved on from the incident — we’re fond of forgetting — other parts of the world have been heating up.

Ferguson, for example, where police have even teargassed reporters, and then disassembled their cameras.  [Read more...]

It Starts With The Children


Whenever someone wants to pass a bad law, the sales pitch is nearly always based on the idea that we need to “do it for the children.” I originally titled this post “Do It To The Children,” but as I thought about what I really want to say, “It Starts With The Children” seemed more apropos.

The uninformed would almost get the impression that Americans are all about the children, raising a happy, healthy, wonderful generation of progeny. They would believe that we care about nothing — nothing at all — more than securing a safe, and supportive, childhood.

The truth is a little less sublime.

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Eenie, Meenie, Miny, Die

Death Room

Federal District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney held, in an Order filed July 16, 2014, that California’s death penalty system was unconstitutional.  [Read more...]

You Say You Want A Revolution (Redux) (Update)

Washington Crossing the Delaware

Scott Greenfield has a post up that has had me thinking all day, even when I’m ostensibly working on something else. And I knew I wanted to try to blog today — I’ve been upset at myself for letting my blog go untended for too long — so here we are.

It’s not that I didn’t try to look elsewhere. I checked Defending People, but there was nothing new there — besides, I’ve learned Mark is frequently so far over my head that there’s probably nothing intelligent I could ever do by trying to riff off one of his posts.

Gideon was no help, either. Besides, I think Gid’s mad at me. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t come back to California since running into me at a seminar the last time he did come out here.

And Gamso. He was busy reading. Or writing about reading The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas, to be more exact.

So then I distract myself by listening to music and….

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out

So here we are.  [Read more...]

Likelihood Ratios in Attorney Marketing

Internet Marketing

This post is a bit outside my normal range of writing. I usually leave this sort of thing to others, like Scott Greenfield, who frequently complains about things like this, saying:

[O]ne need not worry about legal competence when, with a few bold keystrokes, one can appear to be the most competent lawyer ever on the internet.

And, of course, Mark W. Bennett.

I have neither as much knowledge, nor as much experience, as the two of them. My posts therefore generally stay limited to the area where I’ve so far been able to learn enough, and spend enough time thinking about what I’ve learned, to feel confident talking about it.

Attorney marketing is just not something to which I’ve paid much attention.

Yesterday, however, I saw this… [Read more...]

The Molestation of Justice

Not authorized

I originally titled this post, “Will the Real Sex Offenders Please Fuck Off.”

But I was afraid some of you might think less of me, upon realizing that — even though it’s completely appropriate under the circumstances, as you will see — I sometimes use foul language.

In Manassas City, Virginia, the police department, with the blessing of prosecutors and, possibly, at least one of their judges, want to give a boy a hard-on.  Then they want to take a picture of it.

And they don’t want to do this in the normal way that cops usually use to give underage boys hard-ons.  [Read more...]