A Teenager Daughter’s Expensive Joy Ride (Cadillac v. Porsche v. Mercedes)

"Court Case Friday" With her parents away for the evening, their fourteen-year-old daughter invited her friends for a joy ride in her parent’s new Cadillac luxury sedan.The four girls were playing with the controls and gadgets as they cruised down the road in rich Newport Beach.  Suddenly, the driver looked up and realized they were … Continue reading A Teenager Daughter’s Expensive Joy Ride (Cadillac v. Porsche v. Mercedes)

When “Coaching” Your Witness Blows Up in Your Face

I learned in law school that lawyers should be very careful about "coaching" witnesses. The story below illustrates that putting words in a witness’s mouth can blow up in your face. Let them testify in their own words. My Admonition to Every Witness Background: As a prosecutor I gave all of my witnesses, including police officers, … Continue reading When “Coaching” Your Witness Blows Up in Your Face

“Turtle Malpractice”

I presided over a unique case of veterinarian malpractice. The case involved an misdiagnosis of two desert turtles. Both turtles started having problems with their back legs. The vet never x-rayed the turtles. Instead, he quickly concluded that the turtles were either poisoned or had a neurological abnormality.  The thirty-year old plaintiff’s parents bought the turtles … Continue reading “Turtle Malpractice”

Drunk Driver Calls 911 to Report — Herself

 In 2019, a Utah woman called 911 to report a drunk driver. The caller sounded intoxicated. She had slurred speech, and she was burping, and laughing uncontrollably on the phone.  The dispatcher asked the woman for a description of the drunk driver. The caller gave a description of - herself. She also gave a description of … Continue reading Drunk Driver Calls 911 to Report — Herself

My “Yucky” Health Code Cases: Flies, Roof Rats, Slime, Pigeons, and Mystery Meat

As a young District Attorney, one of my assignments was prosecuting misdemeanor Health Code violations. One day, the Orange County Supervising Health Inspector invited me to go on an inspection tour.  The Store Selling “Mystery Meat” At a small mom-and-pop store we inspected the meat display. The meat was wrapped in cellophane, with prices only, … Continue reading My “Yucky” Health Code Cases: Flies, Roof Rats, Slime, Pigeons, and Mystery Meat

Sad Case of the Man Held in “Captivity” (Prison) So Long He Could No Longer Cope With Freedom

Animals and humans kept in captivity lose their emotional strength and survival skills When animals are kept in captivity too long, they lose the ability to survive in the wild.  Prolonged captivity weakens their mental well being and strips them of essential survival skills. Likewise, when people are incarcerated for long periods, they become institutionalized. … Continue reading Sad Case of the Man Held in “Captivity” (Prison) So Long He Could No Longer Cope With Freedom

Man Taunts Police Dog and Pays the Price

I prosecuted a man for misdemeanor obstructing police. (PC 148(a)) The dumb defendant walked up to a canine police officer on the Huntington Beach pier and declared: “Your dog doesn’t scare me!”  He then bent down, grabbed the police German Shepherd by both ears, went nose-to-nose with the dog, and yelled, “Growl!”  The police dog … Continue reading Man Taunts Police Dog and Pays the Price

A Unique Homeless Lifestyle – Partying with Social Security Disability Checks

As a criminal prosecutor I worked on a murder case where the victim was a homeless man. The witnesses were a group of ten homeless men who lived under an overpass on the Santa Ana River in Orange County. Their lifestyle was unique and interesting. The men banded together. They each received a monthly check … Continue reading A Unique Homeless Lifestyle – Partying with Social Security Disability Checks

My Most Embarrassing Legal Typos

My handwriting has always been awful. I can't even read my own writing. Fortunately, I have used a typewriter and keyboard since sixth grade. Not counting typos, I am faster on the keyboard than any of my secretaries. I am known for speed, but not accuracy. I am also a poor proofreader. Thank goodness for … Continue reading My Most Embarrassing Legal Typos

A Vietnamese Judge Reminds Us Americans “What We Have”

 In Honor of the Fourth of July I was privileged to be the mentor judge for Nho Nguyen, the first Vietnamese-American judge in the country. He is a living hero. A Living Hero In college, he protested the South Vietnam military dictatorship and led a student democratic movement. He risked his life to establish freedom … Continue reading A Vietnamese Judge Reminds Us Americans “What We Have”