September 2010

Hearsay.JPGIf there’s one evidentiary issue that you will encounter in your next jury trial, it’s hearsay. It comes up all the time, and some lawyers and judges don’t have a firm grasp on it or its exceptions. Beyond that, trial lawyers often stop short of fully developing their record because they fail to make an

Boots.jpgThis week, I am trying a criminal case. My practice is predominantly appellate, but I have brief forays into the work of criminal trial practice. And today began such a case. While it’s not appropriate to go deeply into the particulars, I think that jury selection today was particularly instructive. I don’t know whether this

Decline.JPGLaw is a business. But it’s not just a business. It’s a calling that brings with it certain duties to advise with the client’s best interest above the lawyer’s profit motive. If there’s a theme that runs throughout the stories clients and families tell me at consultation, it’s hopelessness combined with desparation and mistrust.

By

Review.JPGThe Supreme Court of Georgia is back in full swing. The Court has already heard oral argument in several sessions. Yesterday, the Court granted certiorari petitions on three criminal cases. Each case has important implications for the criminal defense bar. While I am not entirely thrilled with some of the decisions the Court has made recently in criminal cases, this Court’s level of engagement has been quite intense, and the writing has been good. The odd thing is that, while I obviously do not favor pro-prosecution decisions, I have always had a secret enjoyment of conservative judicial writing. Scalia opinions, for instance, great to read. I also root for the bad guy in movies.

I just happen to think those opinions are more fun to read as dissents. On the bright side, an engaged court perhaps seems more relevant to the other two branches of government in Georgia. In recent years, it seems like the other two branches of government would like to be the only two branches of government.

So, here is a summary of the three certs granted by the Court this week:


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