April 2011

Georgia is getting a much-needed change to its evidence code, and Colin Miller’s Law Prof Blog has the post I’ve been wanting to read about it. Professor Miller does two things really well in his post. First, he points out that Georgia is finally catching up with the rest of the nation as we

I’ve been following this case closely because the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the Appellant.  In a nutshell, the trial court disqualified the former DeKalb School Superintendant’s law firm where there actually was no conflic; rather, there was the speculative potential for a conflict where the clients

maps.jpgAs I’ve mentioned before, I make many prison visits. It’s part of the job in Georgia appellate practice. All the appellate courts, the parole board, and most of the counties where convictions originate are in or near Atlanta. And most of the prisons are south of Macon. I’ve learned some things over time about how

what's your story.jpgAppellate writers face some of the same challenges that novelists and other artists face. Those things include procrastination, anxiety, self-defeating thoughts, and even alcoholism and other types of drug abuse. A brief is a peculiar type of artistic endeavor, and such things are tough. To make things worse, if you represent the appellant, the finder

crossed fingers.jpgA few days ago, I met with two perspective families of potential parole clients. They had different kinds of problems. I had seen both problems before. The first had a loved one who was ten years into a twenty-year sentence for armed robbery. The second had a loved one who was puzzled that he had been in prison for more than four years already for a ten-year prison sentence for possession with intent. In the first case, a competing attorney I had never heard of had offered an outstanding deal to represent them for parole on the armed robbery conviction. In the second instance, the legal advice came pre-plea. The law had negotiated a trafficking charge into a lesser offense for possession with intent to distribute. The lawyer advised the client to take it because he would be out after serving a third of his prison time. The family wanted a lawyer to work on parole but also to figure out what the hold-up was. In these two clients, I encountered the three things people don’t know about parole in Georgia.

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Calendar.JPGAs a father of three children (one still in a car seat and one in a booster) and as an appeals lawyer in Georgia, I get two recurring and related questions. From the children, on car trips, I frequently hear, “Are we there yet?” From my clients and their families, I frequently hear, “when will