This is my business’s website. The purpose of this website is to let potential clients know of my firm’s existence and give them enough information to hire me to assist them with their issues. To that end I have my contact info, my FAQ, and a short blurb about me. This is standard stuff for any lawyer, or any small business really.
What is less common is the blog I have maintained for over five years. The purpose of this blog is primarily marketing of course. Potential clients get to see that I can string two words together, that I am competent in the subject matter for what they may need a lawyer, and a little personality, which is simply a preview that working with me is generally not unpleasant. But don’t just take my word for it…
With that in mind, maintaining a blog is a little risky. I separate myself from the nameless suits with a higher marketing budget competing for business, but it could go either way. I may miss a typo, write a joke that falls flat, use a too-fancy word, or in some alternatively enigmatic way, turn off what would otherwise be a positive relationship.
To that end, my blog posts have tried to stick with law relevant to the criminal defense field, practical advice for people dealing with police and the courts, personal stories, and the occasional humor piece.
I try to stay away from political stuff (mostly) for a couple of related reasons. Once again, it doesn’t make good business sense to alienate potential clients who may have different ideologies than me. And related to my client’s feelings about my beliefs, I care not even a little bit about my client’s. To be sure, I’ve had some fun conversations with past clients on issues we agree on, and on issues we don’t. But if I laid a very ideological line in the sand, I would worry that potential clients would feel I didn’t have their best interests at heart because we disagreed on a particular referendum, or whatever.
Of course nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m hired to do a job, which is usually to protect my clients from the government trying to throw my clients in jail. My clients and I are always united on that front. And, perhaps needless to say, my clients can be accused of actual criminal acts. Since those accusations don’t stop me from doing the best job I can, whether a person is a democrat or republican is a complete nonissue. In my mind, my job is to help my client’s maintain the freedom and opportunity to vote or rally for whomever they want.
Still, I’d rather not create the issue at all than have to explain that I simply don’t care. And to that end I am fairly circumspect about my personal views. Since it doesn’t affect the work that I do, it’s not relevant on my work’s website.
But for all that I do want to share something of a personal and political nature.
My grandfather, Hans, came to this county in 1939 as a Jewish refugee, successfully escaping from Nazi Germany. Here he met my grandmother, Joyce, a British citizen living in the United States. They hit if off, my mom and some aunts and uncles were born, etc.
My grandfather, proud of his new home and grateful for the opportunities here, quickly became a United States citizen. My grandmother, an immigrant from England, contributed to the community and raised a wonderful family, and decided to stay a proud British citizen.
Until this week. After 70 years of living in America, my grandmother formally became a United States citizen. Why now, after so long? Because she wanted to cast her vote for the first woman U.S. presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. Her vote represents both her pride in this country in nominating Hillary and a rebuke of her Hillary’s opponent. The rhetoric of that opponent is the kind of talk that has led to war and tragedy my family has personally experienced. That my grandmother waited 70 years to do this underscores the importance of this election to this, her home.
My grandmother is 92 years old. I don’t know how many more elections she has in her. But I am inordinately proud of my grandmother going through the steps needed to become a United States citizen and vote in this one. England’s loss is our gain.
I know this doesn’t have much to do with why you should hire my office for your legal needs. Well, being owner lets me deviate once in awhile. If you’re reading this I urge you to
hire me vote this November. If it was worth the effort for a 92-year old ex-Limey, it’s worth it for you too.
This week’s episode is about jury duty. I’m joined by Brianna and Dan, who recently had jury duty. Brianna was a juror on a serious manslaughter case and Dan was a juror in Seattle Municipal Court, and it’s interesting to hear the similarities and differences of their experience. It’s a long episode but we had a great discussion.
Plus a very special surprise guest WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN BED makes a quick visit.
This week is part two of my interview with Justice McCloud. We had a great talk about bad lawyering, the work of the Washington Supreme Court behind the scenes, and lots more. Again huge thanks to Justice McCloud for opening her chambers up to chat with me. Enjoy!
This week I’m fortunate enough to be joined by Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud of the Washington State Supreme Court. We had a great discussion about her road to the highest court in the land, the logistics of hearing cases, judicial elections, and lots more. Enjoy this part, and come back next week for part 2! (more…)
Warning: Rambling thoughts ahead.
A friend of the firm sent me a link to the NPR’s Radiolab podcast about “The Buried Bodies Case.” The link for the episode is there and I urge you to give it a listen. It’s well-put together. But for those stuck looking at their phones during a meeting, here’s the summary:
Seattle Municipal Court has a nationally-recognized program for dealing with defendants with serious mental health problems. But the program isn’t perfect. I sit down with the head of the program, the honorable Judge Ed McKenna to talk about the process of mental health court, the pros and cons of the program, keeping your cool, watching court, and lots more!
Maybe it was my Jewish upbringing, or the fact that both my parents were both professors at one point, but I have a lot of reverence for teachers. It’s no criminal defense attorney, but even so teaching is a very noble pursuit.
Not to keep ripping off imgur for content but this week’s post is another back-and-forth. This time it’s between a disgruntled student and a patient teacher. I love the professor’s response so much I felt it had to be shared. So, here you go.
I love the promise of the law. The promise that says we have a system of rules that apply equally to the rich, poor, black, white, abled, disabled, and everyone else. How can you not love a system that simultaneously advocates for victims, opposes government tyranny, and creates the forum for a mega-corporation to battle a 17-year-old?
As a criminal defense attorney, I am far from naive on the flaws in our system. Me and my clients see them every day. That being said, even if the execution of the law needs some work, the promise of justice for all is an appealing one.
Part and parcel with the promise of justice is the promise those that administer justice, i.e. judges, be fair, impartial, and show allegiance to the law over their own personal feelings. Judges are, of course, people and there’s nothing wrong with bias and feelings and traits that all of us share. But, we do expect judges to do their best to put aside their feelings when on the bench.
Today’s post is about two men behaving badly. One is a criminal defendant and one is a judge. Neither looks great. (more…)
This week I’m joined by New York State prosecutor Nicholas Evanovich. A friend of the show, he was very excited to come on. We have a good discussion about work with witnesses, preparing them to take the stand. (more…)
1.a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.