What Judges Do Behind Closed Doors

judgesOver the many years I have practiced before the judges of Minnesota, I have found them to be hard-working, honest, and fair for the most part.  But there are some funny stories about what judges do behind closed doors and behind the courtrooms.

1.  One day I came into a judge’s chambers while his clerk rushed out.  He …

Three Reasons to Defend a Guilty Person

 defend a guilty personAs a criminal defense lawyer, I get asked one question more than any other:  How can you defend a guilty person?

If you know the client did the crime, how can you represent a guilty person?  There are three answers to that:

1.  Very few clients ever fully admit they’re guilty!  Most lie and deny everything.  Even though …

Trial Lawyers Boot Camp

trial lawyersHow do a lawyers become a good trial lawyers?

It’s tough to try a jury trial.  Even in law school, most students don’t get courtroom experience.  And the majority of practicing lawyers never go into a courtroom their entire lives.

As a criminal lawyer, I’ve tried over 100 cases before a jury.  How did I learn?

I …

The Truth Behind Judges Selection

Ever wonder how the judges selection process works?judges selection

In Minnesota, as in many states, the state court judges are elected.  The constitution of the state requires this.  However, if a judge retires before his term is finished the governor may appoint a new judge to fill the spot.  The federal courts are different.  Under the U.S. Constitution, all …

7 Myths about Being Arrested

After working for over 30 years as a prosecutor and Public Defender, I’ll show you myths about being arrested.being arrested

1.  Being arrested means you have a right to make a phone call to your loved one.

It’s seen in the movies.  Why?  It’s a dramatic point.  But not in real life.  There’s no constitutional or procedural right to …

Philip Seymour Hoffman–There is Still Hope

The tragedy of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death from an apparent overdose of heroin prompted me to post something positive.

Most of the countries of Europe have chosen to treat drug possession and use as a public health problem.  The U.S. has chosen to criminalize these activities.  I’m not getting into an argument about legalizing various drugs in our …

Why Do Judges Wear Robes??

colin.nelson.smallfileIt’s so common to see every judge walk up to the bench with black robes flapping around their legs that we don’t even wonder why they wear those robes.  At least in America the judges wear plain robes unlike England where the judges have colored collars, stripes on the sleeves, furry things around their necks, and funny wigs.…