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Thoughts on Plea Bargaining and the Role of the Client

Yesterday, appeared as an expert witness in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee on a 2255 hearing that involved a question of ineffective assistance of counsel at the plea bargaining stage. Essentially, the question for the Court was whether counsel’s advice led to Federal jury trial that should never have…
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Meditation Apps Reviewed

I don’t know that I’m a serious meditator. I’d confidently call myself a dabbler in meditation who is hopeful to be more than that one day. I’ve experimented with various apps to assist me. And I give you this brief report from the field. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t relate this back to the…
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The Era of Attacking the Referee

It’s not an easy gig to be a ref. And it gets harder every day. That is the thesis of “Ref, You Suck!” an episode in Michael Lewis’s new podcast series, Against the Rules. The episode explores a set of dilemmas, summarized in a perfect tagline courtesy of Lewis’s child: “Don’t pick sides, unless it’s…
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Neil Gaiman and the Joys of Drafting with Pen and Paper

It may be that putting pen to paper is the perfect way to compose first drafts. Tim Ferriss’s interview with Neil Gaiman has made me rethink my approach to drafting briefs and motions. Neil Gaiman is my favorite fiction author. And I loved much of his approach to writing, from the habits he uses to…
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Sage Advice on Gaining a Competitive Edge from Mike and Mo

On the subject of peak competitive performance, I heard pretty much the same advice from two very different places this week — a seasoned appellate lawyer in one venue and a seasoned athlete in another. This semester, I’m teaching Georgia Appellate Practice and Procedure with Chief Judge Stephen Dillard of the Georgia Court of Appeals. This…
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The AJC Doubles Down on its Flaws from the Original Ralston Piece

In a follow up story to the one published in last’s weeks AJC, Chris Joyner and Johnny Edwards have doubled down on some of the flaws from the original story. The writers continue to blame defense counsel Speaker Ralston solely for delays in his criminal cases. They take the additional step of taking him to…
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Recent Argument at the Georgia Court of Appeals

I haven’t had an argument at the Georgia Court of Appeals in quite some time. It was good to be back. I won’t comment on the substance of a pending case before the Court. Instead, I’ll mention time management. My fifteen minutes went by quickly. And, as I tried to wrap up, there were additional…
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Roundup and Update on a Recent Amicus Success

I’ll write more on this case later, but I wanted to provide a quick update on a recent case. This week, the Supreme Court of Georgia held that the State cannot use against defendants in DUI trials evidence of their refusal to take a chemical test. While the United States Supreme Court has held otherwise,…
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AJC Piece on Speaker Ralston Includes Major Flaws

The front page story of today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution accuses Georgia House Speaker David Ralston of using his position as speaker of the House to gain an advantage over the State in his criminal defense practice. An accompanying broadcast report cites “obscure law,” O.C.G.A. Section 17–8–2, as the evil tool that Speaker Ralston is using to…
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The Law School Admissions Game

The weekend edition of USA Today leads with a story on the sanctions law schools are facing based upon poor bar passage rates. The ABA will convene a conference to require accredited schools to ensure that at least 75% of graduates pass the bar within two years. Right now 75% of student must pass the…