August 31, 2006

Bad lieutenant

What's the worst thing about cops posting pictures of p0rn stars and narcotics on their MySpace pages?

Even a public defender could get a criminal off with these photos.

Even? (insert your own punchline here)

August 30, 2006

WA: the raccoon is innocent!

From the National Geographic:

"Killer" Raccoons in Washington May Be Getting Bum Rap

According to widespread news reports, a pack of rampaging raccoons has killed at least ten cats in Washington State's capital city of Olympia... The masked marauders are also reported to have attacked a small dog and to have forced a pet owner to get rabies shots...

While this particular neighborhood seems to have a serious raccoon problem, the reports of the incidents may be giving raccoons in general a bum rap.

Many parts of the story haven't been confirmed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, says Bob Sallinger, urban conservation director for the Audubon Society of Portland, Oregon. Sallinger thinks people's hysteria may be playing a major role in what he sees as sensationalized news reports...


It's almost as if they were, I don't know, our clients or something...

August 29, 2006

Guantánamo defense lawyer

From the Minneapolis / St. Paul City Pages, a profile of an uncommon criminal defense lawyer:

The Battle of Guantánamo Bay - Attorney Joe Margulies on his new Gitmo book—and his Supreme Court win over the Bush crew

"The real surprise in the litigation is how many innocent guys were there," says Margulies. "We didn't know it at the time. We thought well, maybe they are bad guys, but you just don't know unless there's some lawful process. You don't simply accept the hysterical representations of the administration that these are evil guys. The only way you know that they are who the administration represents them to be is if you have some lawful process and you bring it out in the light of day."

Vox clamantis in deserto

A helpful reminder from LiveJournal - if you're a city slicker at heart, first you might want to check out that rural public defender office you've applied to in person:

I assumed that I could slide right into a rural legal job and switch from downtown cityboy to rural hiking, fishing, hunting guy. I can't. I like the city. I like having six million sushi restaurants to choose from...


Probably just as well that city dude self-selected himself out; there are enough motivated would-be p.d.'s who'll go where the opportunity is over where the sashimi is. I don't know about Clovis, NM, but in the "middle of nowhere" town where I used to recruit young p.d.'s, there is at least one sushi bar.

August 28, 2006

New twist on the old p.d. hating script

From Woman of the Law:

from fake to nonexistent

So I've gone from being not a 'real' lawyer to not being a lawyer at all...

Hmph indeedy.

August 27, 2006

WA: gangway

From the Olympian:

Gang worries grow in area - Upturn in violence first since mid '90s

Gang activity is escalating statewide, a new study this year by the Washington Attorney General's Office shows.

That comes as solemn news to law enforcement agencies because gang violence had been declining across Washington since the mid-1980s and early 1990s, when it reached its peak...


Perception or reality, I'm bracing for it either way.

TX: p.d. hating in Houston

From Texas' African-American News and Issues:

Black Need Private Attorneys, Not "Public Pretenders"

We as a Black people are consumer drunks when it comes to wanting the best of the best...

However, (w)hen we are nailed by law enforcement and need criminal defense attorneys, we opt to go "cheap" and trust our lives with public "pretenders" (defenders).

Public pretenders are nothing more than "yes" men and women whose devotion lies with the prosecutor, state, court and judge, not with you as a defendant...


Will one or two of my hard-working p.d. colleagues, African-American or otherwise, please respond to this guy? I might, but in my current mood I'm afraid that all I'd do would be to flame him, and I try so hard to stay civil.

FL: not in contempt

From the St. Petersburg Times:

Order in the court? Decorum determined by each judge

Lawyers... are expected to show reverence, addressing the robed figures as "Your honor" all the while fighting hard for their clients. Around a crowded conference table last week during a hearing in Circuit Judge Linda Babb's chambers, the rules softened, at least briefly.

"I don't mean to be rude," Public Defender Tom Hanlon told Babb, "but when you're trying to kill this kid ..." "I'm not trying to kill anyone," Babb said calmly.

Asked later, the judge said she understood the emotions behind Hanlon's words and didn't take them personally. "There is a line that somebody can cross, but Mr. Hanlon hasn't crossed it," she said. "I want people to be vociferously advocating for their clients and that's what he's doing..."


And a refresher lesson for the judges in Hall County, Georgia:

"...(T)here's a real tension between the defense attorney's desire to explore every avenue and the court's desire to get an efficient resolution of the case."

August 25, 2006

CA: save the endangered malinois!

A news story for The Menagerie - from the L.A. Times:

Santa Ana Officer Files Suit Over Police Dog Bite

A one-eyed police dog that sank his teeth into a cop instead of a crook is at the center of a lawsuit filed by the wounded officer.

Santa Ana Police Sgt. Bruce Leamer has sued the city and his own department, saying their investigation into the incident was rigged in favor of Ygor, a 7-year-old Belgian malinois...

If the suit goes to trial, (dog trainer David) Reaver said, he intends to call Ygor as a witness. "If you saw this dog, he'd come sit in your lap," he said. "This is a very well trained, very social dog..."


Hang in there, Ygor. I'll bet you had your reasons.

August 24, 2006

Wanted: dumptrucks

Travis at Public Pretender detects the subtext beneath these friendly Georgia judges' longing for public defenders who "settle cases as efficiently as possible and keep the court moving."

ID: drug court or due process - choose one

From KTVB:

Drug Court not bound by traditional due process rules

The Idaho Court of Appeals has ruled that drug court defendants can be booted out of the program at the judge's discretion, without evidentiary hearings or other criminal due process procedures...

The opinion, State of Idaho vs. Paul Rogers, is available here (pdf file).

Big A & C kudos go out to Judge Karen Lansing for a dissent which name-checks the phrase that pays:

The majority’s holding that pre-termination due process is unnecessary... is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. First, by requiring no process before the drug court expels a participant, the majority’s approach allows termination based on nothing more than unsubstantiated allegations or rumors or simple animus. In other words, it allows drug courts to initially terminate participants capriciously, on little or no grounds, leaving it up to the terminated participant to bring a post hoc challenge to the termination. I do not imply a view that the drug court in this case acted arbitrarily or capriciously; I merely point out that the majority opinion imposes no standards or procedures that would protect against it.

August 23, 2006

ID: juvenile drug court

From the Twin Falls Times-News:

Keeping kids off meth

Three weeks ago Chris Slagel, 15, failed a urine test. He informed the tester that he was going to fail because out of boredom he used drugs. That was strike one, with only one to go.

“If I get any mess-up I get committed to the state,” Slagel said.

Keeping him from the last strike are two programs. He attends meth court — a program the county began offering in January 2004 — to pull kids off the meth track...

August 22, 2006

CA: "it's like ridiculous"

I find this profile of a relentlessly self-promoting criminal defense lawyer, 3 1/2 years out of school, to be less inspiring than irritating, but maybe that's just because I'm evil. From the LA Times:

A Law Unto Herself - The criminal defense attorney is star-struck, young and unorthodox. But don't be fooled. She's also Ivy League, savvy and successful.

Like actress Reese Witherspoon's character in the movie "Legally Blonde" — a rich, ditsy Beverly Hills blond who goes to Harvard Law School — (Allison) Margolin, 28, is the kind of lawyer who might be easy to dismiss...

"I plan to make a lot of money," she said matter-of-factly.


You need an antidote to Miss Thing? Compare and contrast with Blonde Justice, or any of the other women in criminal defense whose blogs are linked along the right side of this screen.

Psycho raccoon, qu'est-ce que c'est?

Scariest Sound Sound headline of 2006:

Psycho killer raccoons terrorize Olympia

"They're urban raccoons, and they're not afraid..."

With this, Bubba is now officially an indoor cat.

As the deejay on KING said this morning, how are they ever going to identify the perps when they're all wearing masks?

More from the Olympian and the local blogs.

Plus raccoon stories from Real Live Preacher.

August 21, 2006

"Life on Mars"

Let me recommend the coolest (and only) time-travelling - cop - from - 2006 - stuck - in - 1973 show out there: Life on Mars

The reviewers and critics dig it. The fans think it's boss. Luckily I've been able to catch the uncut shows on my cable company's on demand channel, commercial-free, avoiding the truncated edits on BBC America. The soundtracks of each episode are especially groovy, hunky dory even.

HI: putting down the p.d., island style

Where's the Aloha Spirit for the p. d.? Auntie Pupule calls one of us:

Dat Mean Public Defender!!!

She speaks loud with authority. She supposed to be the one helping the defendants but she sounds like a mad school teacher ready to give a paddling. Honest...


But one of her commenters says:

But I won't lie I really respected the PD. She was genuinely looking out for my best interest... I know one thing for sure NO WAY would I want to be on the opposite of her. LOL Sistah no play dat! HAHAHA

August 20, 2006

WA: family day for incarcerated fathers

From the Olympian:

Event helps keep jail from separating dads and kids -
Detainees get visit from families before school starts

Mike Yaddow got to feel like a regular dad for a couple of hours on Saturday. He tossed a football with his 10-year-old son and joked around outside on a blanketed patch of grass.

Yaddow almost was able to forget that he's finishing a more than three-year prison sentence at Cedar Creek Corrections Center near Littlerock...

Off-topic: pet parade blogging

From the Olympian: Pets on parade
South Sound animals, owners get a morning to strut their stuff


























.

August 18, 2006

ID: disillusioned

So this guy in my hometown (and alumnus of my high school) decides to flex his First Amendment rights by flipping off the cops, then is "pissed and disgusted" to find himself subjected to testi-lying and other ministrations of the criminal justice system:

These over zealous Boise P.D. cops, after they were so disrespected by the length of my middle digit, acted like juveniles and hopped out of there patrol car huffing and puffing...

But what has me so disgrunted that I am ranting about it on Myspace is the fact that these so called pillars of our communtiy, these protectors of the peace, these f***ing guys lied... under oath... plain as f***ing day, but only to me because I was the only honest m*****f***er in that whole place...


I used to tell the alternative high school kids that your end goal in any contact with the police is to leave: don't give them an excuse to arrest you, but a "yes, sir" and a "no, ma'am," a polite "no, you may not search my car - am I free to go?" and no belligerent or aggressive attitude. Or instead, I guess you could flip them off.

August 17, 2006

WA: chutzpah

Two from the Seattle Weekly:

* Club Pot Med - Livid over the vague voter-enacted state law allowing use of medical marijuana, a crusading lawyer tries to untangle unintended consequences. The law has driven the supply system underground, pot patients are getting busted, and some cops, prosecutors, and judges just don't get it

(Defense lawyer Douglas) Hiatt was speaking with a deputy prosecuting attorney in the Thurston County prosecutor's office. Hiatt was pissed that the prosecution was throwing the book at a sick woman. The conversation became heated.

"Why don't you look at your calendar, find an afternoon when you are free, and go f*** yourself," Hiatt told the prosecutor. Hiatt was forcibly removed from the office...


(I wouldn't emulate this, but I understand the impulse)

* The 'Jewish' Con -
Incarcerated gang members and murderers here and elsewhere are abusing freedom of religion to get special treatment

Jewish chaplain Gary Friedman wasn't surprised when he learned that incarcerated neo-Nazi gang members were claiming to be Jews at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center... In fact, the chairman of the Seattle-based Jewish Prisoner Services International had been expecting the news. Nationwide, "There is this amazing phenomenon of non-Jews claiming to be Jewish," says Friedman...

(years ago I had a client who I suspected of doing this)

August 15, 2006

'Nother new p.d. blog

Did you all get a chance to welcome this month's new public defender blog, "Between a Laugh and a Tear"?

Here's Donzell's introduction. Go introduce yourself to Donzell.

P.D. disparagement

Blog reports from clients on what some marginal members of the private criminal defense bar tell our clients about their public defender:

This by way of Woman of the Law:

His attorney, he tells me, told him that I would be more than happy to give up his case because I don't have enough time to take care of my cases...

And from MySpace:

When I first talked to you, you told me you couldnt promise me anything but you would make sure I was represented and some young public defender wouldnt be able to take advantage of me...

August 14, 2006

Sigint

Russian speaker Gluzd listens in on an IM'ing public defender, and posts the results on Livejournal for our edification:

conversation with a public defender

"...i can get these DAs to give me awsome deals but whats the fu***ing point when that a******e is just going to say, oh you are trying to sell me out you dont want to fight for me and i am like god himself could come down hear and try this case and you would still go to jail you moron...

"so i said ok fine, i went off the hook on the trial, but he knew he was f***ed and durring the DA closing he leans over and goes i changed my mind i want that deal now..."


(The Russian words before the intercepted messaging mean (roughly) (I think), "A conversation between old classmates, one, a lawyer provided by the state to represent the poor")

KY: profile in courage

From WYMT:

Judge Has Attorney Locked Up Behind Bars

(W)hen Andrea Poniecki's client, Charlie Wayne Smith, did not show up for court on Friday because he was ill Judge Johnson asked Poniecki, a Bell County Public Defender, if she wanted to take her client's place. She said "fine" and the judge detained her behind bars for ten minutes...

August 13, 2006

Sunday walrus blogging


Visited at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma:

"ET," the Zoo's beloved Pacific bull walrus, has been formally introduced to Joan and Basilla, the female walruses who arrived recently...

Raiiii... nierrrr... beeeeeeer...


As seen at the Washington State History Museum, the picture of this sacred object doesn't give you quite the sense of its size (taller than me), or its majesty (Rainier Beer ads are remembered fondly by many of us who were in high school back in the '70's).

August 11, 2006

Creative writing

From Sufferwords at Master Butterfly Eats Yesterday:

Doo Wop Is Strong In Here

"What are you looking at now?"

"You don't want to know."

"That bad?"

"Oh I don't know about bad. I could care less what they give me. I'm one of those types they consider acclimated to being institutionalized. I get by fine inside, have to run some bad games but I can stand anything they throw at me..."

WA: Naveed Haq arraigned

From KING-5 by way of Northwest Cable News (with video):

Man charged in Jewish Federation shooting stuns attorney

The man accused of shooting six people at Seattle's Jewish Federation offices has indicated he wants to plead guilty... Naveed Afzal Haq is charged with murder in the death of Pamela Waechter... and with five counts of attempted murder.

... (H)is court-appointed attorney, C. Wesley Richards, told the judge Haq "is indicating that it is his desire to enter guilty pleas." Richards said he wasn't aware of Haq's plan before Thursday. "It was my belief we were going to enter a plea of not guilty today … it was a surprise to me," he said.

The judge delayed the rest of the hearing until Tuesday so it can be determined whether Haq is competent to enter a guilty plea...


More thorough coverage from KOMO-TV here.

August 10, 2006

WA: yippee!

Here in the South Sound, tomorrow's district court docket looks to be pretty zesty. One of the Port of Olympia anti-war protesters has issued a call to the barricades:

Urgent: Court solidarity needed for Port of Olympia arrestees

This is it! The big, final pre-trial hearing! Either they take over 20 of us to trial, or we all walk. It'll all be decided Friday morning, and we need your solidarity!

The courts have tried to scare us... They've threatened jail time. They've offered "deals" with such stipulations as not being able to be arrested for the same offense again within a year, not being able to be in the secured area of the Port of Olympia, and having to pay $200 restitution per person to that very port. Not one of these terms is acceptable.

...(T)he way I see it, they can go to Hell with their "deals." I can spend ninety days in jail. I can work $1000 worth of community service. But I don't back down from nobody...

We're hosting a party, right there in our courtroom! Thurston County Courthouse... this Friday morning at 9 am... ...(C)ome on down and hang out with the Olympia 22 in a show of solidarity! There'll be fun, music, dancing. The party begins tonight, will move to the courthouse in the morning, and will go on even after the prosecution throws our cases out the window...


Good luck with that, really; write and tell us how well it goes. This could be an entertaining spectacle if those courtrooms in Building 3 weren't so cramped.

For a contrast, read this report from a protester who did take one of those "deals." As the Pythons might say, "Splitter!"

Update
: here's an article from the Olympian.

Math, science, social studies

Law Monkey learns the numbers they don't teach you in Crim Pro.

This week, I needed to do a better job of teaching these concepts:

- when your passenger takes a baggie, cuts off the corner, put meth in it and crumples it all up real tight-like, law enforcement is not going to be able to get your passenger's fingerprints off it. Not even latents. Not even if they tried.

- when you call the arresting officer "you doughnut-eating b*tch": laugh now, cry later.

It is a forbidden word, we shall not speak it

Blonde Justice says it:

Burn Out

Burnout is something that is absolutely never spoken about in my office...

Good for Blondie for breaking the taboo. Good post for other p.d.'s to read, too.

August 09, 2006

The return of ImaPD

This is perceptive and penetrating, and you really should read it. After nearly a year away from the blog, and after leaving indigent defense, I'm a PD has resurfaced, to find that in her heart, she never really left:

Public Defender Recidivism

I did end up getting a job as a commercial litigation associate... I hated every second of it.... I have to stop doing "work" that has no significance outside a few privileged people's bank accounts (including my own)... I am now... feeling that I should return to being a PD.

...(O)ne of the core sources of my anxiety about being a PD is that there's no objective way of measuring whether you are 'good' at doing your work. You expect to lose cases... What you don't expect is the sinking and persistent feeling that you are actually bad at what you do...


The question is, knowing what I know about the inevitable heartbreak, the unavoidable anger, and the ephemeral rewards, should I try?

Short answer: yes! We accept you, (still) one of us!

Update: comments from Woman of the Law

Training day

First day on the job at the p.d.'s office:

I had my first day at the public defender today and it looks like it's going to be pretty good working there. For one thing, everything about the job is f***ing gangster, it's nuts...

I recommend finding a reason to be in a jail sometime... it's like, " f*** you guys, I spent my day in jail. You spent yours in the McDonald's dining area, getting free Coke refills..."


No way a first day in a big firm could even compare. Cheers, new colleague.

ID: teen murderer is appealing

I for one have never found due process to be particularly excessive, especially in criminal court, but that's what the headline says. From the Idaho Mountain Express:

Sarah Johnson appeals murder convictions - Were due process and sentences excessive?

Sarah M. Johnson has appealed her murder convictions to the Idaho Supreme Court. Convicted in 2005 for the shooting deaths of her parents, Johnson alleges in her Notice of Appeal to the high court that she was denied due process of law in trial proceedings and that the sentences imposed were excessive. Johnson, 19, is serving two life sentences..

August 07, 2006

WA: we're in it for the children

The new job's going well for Injustice Anywhere:

New Things Can Be Scary . . . And Good

I must admit that I was sort of nervous and unsure when I found out from my new employer that they wanted me to start off in the juvenile section...

And, I have to say it has been a nice surprise...


I agree - switching to representing kids has been good for me, too.

Tips if arrested

Daily tips from My Space:

Tip ..3: Don't listen to the jailhouse lawyers. If they were so friggin' smart, they wouldn't BE in jail...

Tip ..4: The Public Defenders went to law school. You didn't...

August 06, 2006

Wolf and his friends


A fine time was had just south of here yesterday, at the Wolf Haven Howl-In:

We added another native Idahoan to our family by adopting Zuni. Joe was disappointed to know that his new wolf brother won't be living at our house; the plush wolf pup will do til we visit Zuni again. Reading his bio, I learned that Zuni has a few of the same strikes against him as some of my clients: he and his litter mates

were raised without the leadership of elder pack members. Born into a captive situation, they were taken away from their parents at a very early age... When the pack arrived at Wolf Haven, they were a little over six months old, and although deprived of interaction with parents or older packmates, the pups had indeed forged a loose social order between them...


I wish Zuni and his siblings a happy life, and the people at Wolf Haven seem committed to providing it. Now that we don't live in Idaho anymore, I can say it loud: ever since I was a kid, I've really liked the wolves.

News bulletin

"Report: Most Violent Felons Have Priors"

Next bulletin: "Report: The Sun Is Too Hot To Walk On"

(line shamelessly stolen from The Strait of Messia)

CA: in Sacto, a hero's good-bye

Here is a good first-hand account of a memorial service for Sacramento public defender Tommy Clinkenbeard:

So Thursday there were lawyer types in suits sitting alongside homeless folks with scruffy hair and dirty jeans...

The legal clinic Tommy founded helps dozens and dozens of clients every month who... get all kinds of mired in the legal system mostly for being poor...

Hopefully it won't be too many asses that go unkicked without him.

CO: Kaplan kudos

PD Stuff and others are marking a mile-high transition:

Public defender to step down - Highly respected David Kaplan joining local law firm

David Kaplan will step down on Nov. 1 as Colorado's state public defender. Kaplan is so well liked that when his appointment was announced in 1999, cheers went up in the Denver public defender's office...

Coincidentally, this also happened to me in Twin, but on news of my resignation...

August 05, 2006

Lazy bones

"sleeping in the sun,
how'd you expect to get your day's work done?"

Just say no!

The Crimson Bear is a new p.d., and starting getting clients of his own this past Thursday morning.

By Thursday afternoon, one had asked him out for dinner.

(It totally weirded me out the one time I was asked my first year out of school - my caseload at Legal Aid included DV divorce clients, so there were those issues on top of all the others...)

Dang!

...and I mean that in the most sincere, respectful way possible:

Woman of the Law launches her rhetorical WMD's on an e-mailer who questions her patriotism because she questions the war.

August 04, 2006

WA: post-trial bombshell from juvenile murder co-D

From Grant County's Columbia Basin Herald:

Savoie's defense team says Eakin confessed to murdering companion

Defense attorneys for 15-year-old convicted murderer Evan Savoie claim the boy's teenage co-defendant and lifelong friend, Jake Eakin, mailed a jail-house letter to Savoie's mother last month, allegedly confessing he "killed Craig Sorger, not Evan..."

During Savoie's trial, Eakin, 15 of Moses Lake, testified as the state's star witness... On Thursday, Savoie's defense co-counsel Monty Hormel filed a motion for relief from the judgment and sentence, citing the "unsolicited letter" received by Savoie's mother, Holly Parent, in mid-July from Eakin...

In the one-pager letter, Eakin stated "the system" twisted his mind and forced him to testify against Savoie. He said it seemed "like if I didn't (testify) I would get more time..." Following sentencing, Savoie was transported to Green Hill School Juvenile Facility in Chehalis. Eakin is also serving time there...


First the testifying against the co-defendant phase, now the recanting phase. I don't know how this will play out, and this isn't the first murder case where this has come up, but it's the latest twist in a badly twisted story.

August 03, 2006

WA: strike a deputy, prison for life

Continuing coverage from the Olympian:

Jury must decide: Did inmate attack or defend?

They decided:

Vance sentenced to life for courthouse attack

Vance, a former police officer, said he never intended to harm Benefield. “If I wanted to deal death that day, I would have dealt it generously,” he said...


Very scary. Good luck to the CO's who get him now.

August 02, 2006

The money quote

Courtesy of PhilosophicaLawyer:

"Life is random, arbitrary and capricious."

A smaller loss, still a loss

The day we got home from Idaho, our little grey cat Miss Kitty greeted us at the door, walked outside (which she hardly ever did) to see the grass and the sky, sat with us all evening in the living room consenting to be petted by the three of us, then when it was time to turn in for the night, excused herself and went to sleep under the bed in the spare room. That's where I found her the next day.

I imagine that the last days of terrible heat were too much for an 18-year-old cat, no matter how plucky. We had a cat sitter and food and water and all for her and Bubba, who is resting by me as I type this, yet it wasn't enough. It seems she had been ailing and fading a long time. It's as though Miss Kitty hung on until her family came home, and checked out peacefully only once we had returned.

She was a saucy but graceful animal. She adopted my father-in-law when she was a young cat of the streets, meowing for three days under his window until it rained and he let her in. Once there, they became fast friends. He named her Krazy Kat, and she embraced dogs, lawyers, and other creatures. When my father-in-law died, she mourned along with us, spending five months in our basement until she decided it was time to come up again. She delighted in walking under my shepherd / heeler's nose and nibbling on my son's hair. She taught my boy life lessons about gentleness and respect (I think the scratch by his right cheekbone is from her!), and my heart broke watching his heart break when I told him the news.

I miss the little cat. I'm grateful she stayed around to say good-bye.

Update: to end this on a grace note, a story from Bellingham about a dying cat finding an unlikely friend (thank you for that, WoT), and audio from NPR - Andrei Codrescu speaking about a special cat, with special lessons.

Loss

Chris Stamos was in juvy court the Friday before I left for vacation. It was 100 degrees outside, yet he was beaming as always, reassuring his kid clients and bestowing a big old smile on me. He always made people feel good: when I first arrived in a foreign and potentially hostile courthouse last year, Chris made me feel welcome. When I got sideways with a particular client, Chris bailed me out and kept me updated. When I shared counsel table with him, he'd always say something to make me grin. He always treated me as a person he valued, as he treated everyone it seems.

That's what the obituary and the tributes say:

Christopher Lee Stamos, 58, Olympia, WA, died suddenly of a heart attack at home on Friday evening, July 21, 2006...

When Chris was not at home he was doing what he enjoyed most as an attorney…helping people of the community. His skills and compassion put others at ease. Everyone was drawn to Chris' charismatic personality and eternal optimism. He had a knack for breaking the tension in difficult courtroom situations. Chris touched many lives...

"I worked with Chris in the Family and Juvenile Court numerous times, and always apreciated his kindness and compassion. It was a relief to see Chris' name listed as the attorney, because I knew I could trust him to do excellent work without hurting someone else in the process..."

"Chris never judged the youth he served, he approached them with love and respect and always encouraged them to take the high road..."


I only found out today. You would've liked to know him. It is a damned shame that he isn't here.

August 01, 2006

Long time gone

Hey, I'm back - what did I miss?

* Ken Lammers of Crim Law announced his switch from our side to the prosecution. This is huge news, and I wish him well. Read Lammers' reasons for the move (and some pretty interesting comments). David Feige was rumoured to be stopping off on the way home from Macon, GA and good ol' NCDC in order to kick Ken's ass.

* Injustice Anywhere returned, and I'm really pleased. Now there are at least two juvenile public defenders blogging from beautiful Washington State. Welcome back. (Thanks for the heads-up to The Wretched of the Earth.)

* Also here in WA, A Young Whig left the Temple of Justice after finishing his clerkship with Justice Sanders, and said, "I miss Olympia already." Coincidentally, rolling into the blast furnace east of the Cascades last week, I said the same thing. Young Whig's going to Alaska - perhaps he'll find the dearly departed Steve of Alaskablawg.

* Abolish the Death Penalty reported the sad story of the irony-deficient Missouri doctor who, upon being exposed as a participant in over 50 lethal injections, lamented, "Nobody is going to hire me. It's poisoned my career."

* Public Defender Wear came out with some fun new designs.

* While I took a vacation back to my home state, Audacity took a vacation to Europe, which is, like, so totally unfair.

* In Wisconsin, Professor Shortpants made it out of isolation and proceeded to bite the hand that feeds him. Or foot.

* SWD at A Public Defender's Journal hit the state caseload standard of 300 closed misdemeanor files per year, but didn't think the county would take the rest of the year off.

* after 33 years, righteous Seattle public defender Bob Boruchowitz went on to his just reward: teaching at Seattle U. (thanks to Public Defender Stuff for that one (truly a site to check regularly)).

I'm sure that there's much more out there, with much catching up to do. Still, I can't say that taking a break from surfing and blogging was all bad.