The D.A.’s Disastrous Embarrassing False Start with a Jury

When I was a rookie deputy district attorney (D.A.) one of my colleagues quickly grabbed a case file and rushed off to court for his first jury trial. He wanted to make a good impression. The judge explained that the defendant waived his right to an attorney and insisted on exercising his constitutional right to … Continue reading The D.A.’s Disastrous Embarrassing False Start with a Jury

A “Germaphobe” Couple Comes to Court Wrapped in Cellophane

"Court Case Friday" I had a case of a couple charged with interfering with businesses. They were begging for money outside of liquor stores. When they came to court, they they refused to sit down, to touch anything, and they had wrapped themselves in dozens of layers of cellophane. They crinkled when they moved Apparently, … Continue reading A “Germaphobe” Couple Comes to Court Wrapped in Cellophane

“He Chose Alcohol Over Love, Booze Over His Beloved”

"Court Case Friday" A girlfriend and boyfriend loved each other and lived together for years. They were both heavy drinkers. One night, in a nearby county, they both got drunk and ended up in a fight.  A witness called the police.  Since the boyfriend “won” the fight, the police deemed him to be the “primary … Continue reading “He Chose Alcohol Over Love, Booze Over His Beloved”

The Benefits of Ankle Monitors: Was the defendant really riding his bicycle on the freeway at 75 MPH?

"Court Case Friday" When GPS ankle monitors were new, the companies were anxious to gain credibility with the judges. If the judges weren’t "sold," their business could fail. My first use of a GPS ankle monitor was entertaining. The defendant had a long rap sheet of misdemeanor cases. Basically, he kept driving on a suspended … Continue reading The Benefits of Ankle Monitors: Was the defendant really riding his bicycle on the freeway at 75 MPH?

  “Odor in the Court”

My "Cage" One day felony prisoners were crowded in the “cage” in my courtroom while I conducted arraignments.  Suddenly, and very loudly, one of the prisoners passed gas.  The rest of the prisoners tried to move away from the prisoner who was obviously embarrassed.  Several of us heard one of the lawyers mutter under his … Continue reading   “Odor in the Court”

Criminals Aren’t the Only “Dumb” People in Court

My criminal law professor started each class by bellowing: “Criminals Are Stupid.”  He then shared a dumb-criminal account from the media. This is one reason criminal defense attorneys are reluctant to put their clients on the witness stand during trial.  The experienced prosecutor can’t wait to cross-examine them.  As a young prosecutor, I was prepared … Continue reading Criminals Aren’t the Only “Dumb” People in Court

More Entertaining DUI Cases

DUI cases are among the most tragic. They are also among the most entertaining. DUI Driver Pulls Cop Over Late one night, a young driver waved for a patrol car to pull over. The officer approached the young man’s car. “Officer, I’ve just come from a party where I was drinking. Could you test me to see … Continue reading More Entertaining DUI Cases

More Entertaining DUI Cases

"Court Case Friday" DUI cases are among the most tragic and the most entertaining. Drag Racing While Drunk  I handled a case in my court where a young man was charged with both driving under the influence (DUI) and engaging in a speed contest (street racing).  The case was unique.  I had never seen those … Continue reading More Entertaining DUI Cases

Entertaining DUI Cases

(To: Great Oak High School. You are the best!) "Court Case Friday" Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases are very tragic. Tens of thousands of people are killed or maimed every year by drunk drivers. In fact, drunk drivers kill someone "Every 15 Minutes." Yet sometimes DUI cases can be entertaining. Golf Cart on the … Continue reading Entertaining DUI Cases

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)