One of the common issues that happens to me shortly before a criminal trial is the evidence dump. The assistant district attorney starts working their case and discovers evidence that was known or should have been known. In some cases, new evidence is turned over to the defense days before trial. It happens all the time.
Criminal Trial Practice
What Should You Call Your Client ?
Words are powerful tools. Most district attorneys know the power of words. Take a minute to listen to some of the words they use. Victim, defendant, indictment are just a small example of these powerful words. It begs the question of what should a criminal defense lawyer call his client ?
Recently, I was watching…
Should Tennessee’s Bail Bond Laws Be Reviewed ?
Recently, the bail bond system has been in the news due to the perceived inequality of the bail bond system. The most common complaint is the bail bond system unfairly treats the poor. Some bonds are set so high that the accused cannot afford to make the bail bond. The result is people set in jail…
Nashville Judge Orders New Trial Based on Jury Selection
Last week, a Nashville juror raised a question to the judge. The fallout from that question led to the court ordering a new trial. The Tennessean reported one juror questioned why there were not any black jurors when the men accused of the crime were black. Once the juror voiced their concerns about the lack of…
Attack on the Sequestration Rule in Tennessee
Shortly after the trial begins, one or both of the parties request the Rule. The sequestration rule is simply that the witnesses are excluded from the courtroom until it is their turn to testify. the sequestration rule is a bedrock principle of the criminal justice system to insure a fair trial. The sequestration rule was…
My First Mentor as an Attorney
While at my desk this week, I opened a email about a recent death. The email had a great line in that we should send flowers while someone is alive rather than waiting till death. I thought about and it makes perfect sense. So I thought I would express my gratitude to my first mentor.
8 Tips for Courtroom Sucess
Last month, we had a big trial scheduled. We spend a lot of time preparing for trial and the possibility of our client testifying. Luckily, the government dismissed the case on the morning that the jury trial was to start. As I was going through my notebook today, I ran across a list of courtroom tips.
Lessons From The Courtroom
I spent part of last week in the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia ,Tennessee. It was built around 1905 and is a reminder of old southern courthouses. It also reminds me of how I hate the modern criminal justice centers that are bland and devoid of any character. The new justice centers remind of a jail.
Should You Watch Judge Judy Before You Go To Court ?
Last week , I had to buy a new cell phone. It took a long time at the store and they had a TV with a couch . So , I sat down for the wait. Judge Judy was on TV. I have to admit I don’t watch the TV judge shows. I see enough of judges…
15 Ways To Be a Happy Lawyer
I ran across a great article from the folks at techno lawyer . Nicole Black wrote an excellent article that listed 15 ways to be a happy lawyer . Lawyers especially criminal defense lawyers lead stressful lives and need to consider a healthy balance between work and their personal life. Here is the list ;