I’ll write more on this case later, but I wanted to provide a quick update on a recent case. This week, the Supreme Court of Georgia held that the State cannot use against defendants in DUI trials evidence of their refusal to take a chemical test. While the United States Supreme Court has held otherwise, under Georgia’s constitution, which provides its citizens with additional protections not provided by the Federal Constitution.

Several months ago, the Georgia Supreme Court requested amicus briefs from the Georgia Prosescuting Attorney’s Counsel, the Office of the Solicitor-General, and the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Those groups briefed the case well, and it was an honor to present argument on behalf of GACDL. Over my career, it has been my privilege to be amicus counsel on important cases before the Court. And this was was particularly satisfying.


The Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has a new podcast up. In episode 1, I interview criminal defense attorney and author Jason Sheffield about his new novel. But we get into some other topics such as attorney-client relationships, law practice management, and the good and bad of law school education in America. This was a fun interview. And I think you will enjoy it, too.

We have another episode recorded and in production

The podcast is available on iTunes and Soundcloud. Please go to iTunes and leave us a comment or a rating. And please reach out to me to suggest a guest for an upcoming show.

Yesterday, I spoke at a continuing legal education conference for the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The topic was searches of cell phones incident to arrest.  I also discussed the  Application of the fifth amendment protection against self-incrimination when a suspect is compelled to provide a passcode to unlock a cell phone or to decrypt hard drive data.

Please contact me if you have questions or comments. Or you may comment here.


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 had waived a conflict in writing. We were alarmed about the precedent that could be set if prosecutors could freely choose their opposition. 

Today was the oral argument before the Georgia Court of Appeals. The Fulton Daily Report covered it, and Oral argument is available on video of today’s session. Beyond the fact that the issue is important, it is worth taking a look simply to see good appellate advocacy from Bernard Taylor. Here are three things I particularly enjoyed watching.

  • Time Management. Mr. Taylor managed his time well. He had his argument prepared and was able to get his main points out. He reserved plenty of time for a well-developed rebuttal and for the Court to ask questions. 
  • Strength of Argument. Mr. Taylor struck a nice balance between the scholarly tone necessary for appellate argument with the passion necessary for a case with issues like these. 
  • Answers to Hypotheticals. Appellate judges often warn lawyers away from the “those aren’t the facts of this case” response to hypotheticals. Mr. Taylor almost gives that answer at one point, but he does so by reference to law that conflict/disqualification isses are fact intense and unique. He then acknowledges that, under the hypthetical as framed, there might be “issues.” He struck a nice balance.

It is truly great that such a strong advocate is representing the Appellant in this important case.