The 6th Amendment to the US Constitution Requires It

If you are criminal defense attorney representing documented and undocumented non-us citizens in the criminal justice system, you should absolutely-100% be advising them to discuss their circumstances with immigration attorneys. Criminal defense attorneys should also be conferring with immigration attorneys. [Read more…]

“Cite” No Longer a 4-Letter RE Unpublished Opinions (Washington)

Last week in Washington State GR 14.1 went effect.  I am not sure its the type of change in the law that will garner much press, but for attorneys (especially criminal defense attorneys) its a pretty big deal.  Why?  Let me explain.  Dating all the way back to my first year of law school, we were all taught it was a major no-no to cite an unpublished opinion.  Citing an unpublished opinion was unprofessional, unethical and a sanctionable act. [Read more…]

Are Jury Trials Headed Toward Extinction? Not Really. But the Numbers Aren’t Good.

Interesting recent article in the New York Times on the declining number of jury trials both criminal and civil in our judicial system. The article begins with a trial judge in the Federal District Court in Manhattan recalling only one criminal trial in the four-plus years he’s been on the bench. That’s a sobering number when you consider the size of the district in which Judge Jesse M. Furman sits. [Read more…]

Passage of New Law in 2012 May Help Expedite Evaluation of Mentally Ill Criminal Defendants in Clark County

News was reported in The Columbian on October 29, 2014 by Journalist Paris Achen, “Clark County may become the second county in the state to use a panel of local experts to evaluate mentally ill defendants, rather than ask the state hospital to perform competency evaluations, local officials said.” [Read more…]

Child Abuse? Or Child Discipline? The case of Adrian Peterson Revitalized the Debate. But what is the law in Washington State?

Last week NFL football player, Adrian Peterson was indicted by a grand jury in Texas on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child from an alleged incident occurring in June 2013.

Since the story broke, there has been a great deal of debate in the news regarding child abuse and/or child discipline with opinions running the full gamut  between support and condemnation. [Read more…]

Supreme Court Lays Down the Law on Post-Arrest Cellphone Searches

In the shadow of the highly controversial “Hobby Lobby” case in which the US Supreme Court held corporations can state religious objections to employee health care benefits that are incongruent with their own religious beliefs — the US Supreme Court also imposed substantial limitations on post-arrest cell phone searches. [Read more…]

Pets up for Adoption following Closure of Animal Cruelty Case

As reported in The Columbian citing an article published in The Spokesman-Review several pets are up for adoption following the convictions of 4 people for animal cruelty.  The animals included guinea pigs, horses and goats.  According to the article, “[m]ost of the animals were in cages with no water and large amounts of feces. The home had no running water or electricity and was filled with animal feces, rotting food and garbage.”  The terms of the convictions include limitations on number of pets that can be owned in the future by the defendants. [Read more…]