Bizarre Ruling – Judge Outraged by the Officer’s Gun

"Court Case Friday" The best new judges have extensive experience in the field of law in which they are presiding.  They also have major experience in courtroom hearings and trials. New judges who lacked such expertise can be a disaster. As an experienced prosecutor, I was assigned to respond to the defense motion to suppress … Continue reading Bizarre Ruling – Judge Outraged by the Officer’s Gun

Death Certificates: The Law of the Harvest and the Law of Consequences

"Court Case Friday" I have spent my careers, as a criminal prosecutor and criminal law judge, imposing legal consequences. Frequently, the natural consequences are far worse than the legal consequences. The Law of the Harvest, "you reap what you sow," is also the Law of Consequences. One of my assignments has been to dismiss criminal … Continue reading Death Certificates: The Law of the Harvest and the Law of Consequences

My “Favorite” Arson Case

"Court Case Friday" I presided over a hearing in an interesting arson case. A fire was started at night at a home in a residential neighborhood in Westminster, California. When the fire department responded to the 911 call, the house was fully engulfed in flames.   Ashes and embers were floating all over the neighborhood. When … Continue reading My “Favorite” Arson Case

Bizarre Ruling – Judge Orders the Police to Return Illegal Drugs to the Criminals

"Court Case Friday" The best new judges have extensive experience in the field of law in which they are presiding.  They also have major courtroom experience. A new judge who lacks such expertise is a "fish out of water," and can be a disaster. 25 lbs of Marijuana When I was a prosecutor, a new … Continue reading Bizarre Ruling – Judge Orders the Police to Return Illegal Drugs to the Criminals

The Tenant and the Haunted House

"Court Case Friday" I once heard an eviction case with a unique twist.  The homeowner was trying to evict the tenant for failing to pay rent. The renter claimed he was excused from paying because the owner breached the "covenant of habitability,” because the house was haunted.  The tenant claimed that a ghost had visited him … Continue reading The Tenant and the Haunted House

My Most Embarrassing Moments on the Bench

"Court Case Friday" I try to "act" dignified in my courtroom, especially during jury trials.  Sometimes I fail. Hair Spray for the Throat I was presiding over a very intense and stressful jury trial.  I had a bad sore throat that made it difficult to talk.  During a short recess I rushed to my chambers … Continue reading My Most Embarrassing Moments on the Bench

Superglue – A Super Crime Fighting Tool

"Court Case Friday" Expert Testimony A side benefit of being is judge is that I get to learn all sorts of interesting stuff from expert witnesses, like: Pathologists (homicides) Psychiatrists (insanity, dementia, schizophrenia) Orthopedists (injuries) Surgeons (malpractice) Criminalists (DNA, DUI, drugs) Detectives (drug distribution) Mechanical Engineers (auto defects) Architects, Engineers, Contractors (construction defects) Radiologists (X-rays) … Continue reading Superglue – A Super Crime Fighting Tool

Prostitution Cases and My First Jury Trial

"Court Case Friday" My Case As a new D.A. I was assigned to try a misdemeanor prostitution case. This was a "first" for me. The defendant was a female massage parlor employee who solicited money-for-sex from an undercover officer. I was "gobsmacked" on the first day of jury trial, when Roger Diamond substituted in as … Continue reading Prostitution Cases and My First Jury Trial