Rotten Apples

While there are many good law enforcement officers out there, there are just as many that are terrible. Some of the worst are worse than the criminals they purport to protect society against. This is no longer about the “good cops,” it is what are we as a society going to do about the “bad cops?”

Banned!

When dealing with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Parler, these apps and computer services are owned and operated by private companies. Although these applications have created a public forum for all sorts of speech, these applications are not operated by the local, state, or federal governments. In fact, these apps are exclusively run by private companies.
Being private companies, these entities can change and alter what types of speech will or will not be tolerated. Contrary to popular sentiment, private companies can limit, restrict, or outright ban certain speech, topics, or speakers.

Stickler for the Rules: Criminal Laws Must be Strictly Construed to Be Fair

Our system of government (whether at the federal or state levels) relies on interrelationship between the branches. These interrelationships create a system of checks and balances between the three branches of government. Each branch has its own lane. In its simplest formulation, the legislature writes the laws. The executive carries out the laws. The judiciary interprets the laws. And that is the way it is. The idea is that no one branch is more powerful than any other and all must work together to sustain our democratic form of government. See Art. II, Sec. 3, Fla. Const. (1968 Revision). Click http://www.ihearyoubarking.com for more info.

Make the Objection and Preserve the Error

Making objections can be uncomfortable and awkward. Sometimes standing up to the prosecutor or the judge may downright suck in front of a jury. Calling witnesses or the prosecutor out is not all that it is cracked up to be. In fact, it might be scary, but it is the job of the criminal defense attorney to do it.

Don’t Be a Fool

Years ago, a wise judge used to pose the following question to defendants who demanded their constitutional right to represent themselves in trial. He would ask politely, “sir, as you stand here right now, if your appendix burst, would you operate on yourself?” The question was rhetorical and barely escapes its own statement as to is ridiculousness. Yet, many individuals simply are their own worst enemies.

Own Your Mistakes

When an assistant, paralegal, or subordinate attorney makes a mistake – you as the attorney needs to own it. Own it as your own because you are the attorney, and it is your own mistake. It is your bar number on the pleading or motion. It is your signature on the document. It is your responsibility. Period. End of sentence. It is non-negotiable. Even if your assistance does something unforgivable like faxing a picture of his butt to the court with “kiss it” written on it – – you as the attorney must own it because you are the attorney, and it is your mistake.

Who is the Most Important Person in a Criminal Courtroom? Psst. My Answer Might Surprise You.

My advice is simple – treat all the court report personnel with the utmost respect and you will get the same treatment from them. While the judge might not rule in your favor, the court room personnel will not think you are a jerk. This kind of respect works both ways and you will thank me down the road. You are forewarded. Plus, over the years some of my best friends I have ever made are the court personnel.

Going “All In” on the Presumption of Innocence

The defendant has entered a plea of not guilty. This means you must presume or believe the defendant is innocent. The presumption stays with the defendant as to each material allegation in the charging document through each stage of the trial unless it has been overcome by the evidence to the exclusion of and beyond a reasonable doubt. To overcome the defendant’s presumption of innocence, the State has the burden of proving the crime with which the defendant is charged was committed and the defendant is the person who committed the crime. The defendant is not required to present evidence or prove anything.