Guns, Bombs and Due Process

  • July 21, 2016

The Due Process clause of the US Constitution provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. That principle has historically been interpreted to prohibit extrajudicial killing of suspects without a trial or some other legal proceeding.  In the case of the Dallas Police robot bomb the police  circumvented any judicial process and served as pre-trial executioners when they were unable to apprehend the shooter. I am certainly not defending the actions of the suspect and I understand that efforts were made to apprehend him before he was...

Read More blog

Baltimore Burns Along With Our Trust in Police

  • April 29, 2015

Law enforcement agencies are supposed to serve and protect. That paradigm is shifting and more communities are losing confidence in their officers. From Baltimore to Charleston to Ferguson to New York we see the same story with different backdrops. This pattern of police brutality and murder drive public outrage and civil unrest in cities where “law enforcement” is operating above the law. For decades this type of police misconduct has been allowed to spread like a fungus while police and city management turn a blind eye or cover-up material evidence that may have resulted in the removal o...

Read More blog

Invest in Community, Not in Prisons, the Case for CA Prop 47

  • September 27, 2014

Prison Reform – This November Californians will decide whether or not to improve our “justice system.” Our state prisons currently house some 136,000 individuals. For years we ranked first in largest state prison population in America. Recently Texas surpassed us but we’re still a strong second wearing the shiny silver medal of dishonor, the bronze goes to Florida with over 100,000 prison inmates. Since 1980 our prison budget has increased nearly 450% while our higher education budget consistently suffers. We’ve prioritized prisons over education. Our sky rocketing prison budget...

Read More blog

The Secret Behind a Not Guilty Verdict

  • July 31, 2014

  Our criminal justice system isn’t perfect, far from it. Our judicial history is littered with discrimination, injustice and convictions of innocent defendants. Today verdicts are increasingly being overturned because of DNA analysis and exculpatory evidence after the fact. For others however their wrongful convictions and executions can never be undone. On the other hand juries also acquit guilty defendants despite mountains of evidence and eyewitness testimony against them. In 1955 Emmett Till, a 14 year old African American boy was beaten and murdered in Mississippi by a ...

Read More blog

July 4th DUI Tips

  • July 5, 2014

DUI Tips – Independence Day is about celebration, but for too many it becomes the anniversary of their first DUI. If you are drinking tonight (or all day) please don’t drive. Even drinking a small amount puts you at risk of being arrested if you get pulled over and “fail” a field sobriety test. As an attorney I’ve had to defend too many people in court whose blood alcohol level was under .08% (California’s legal limit). Know that the law does not require your blood alcohol level to be over the limit to be convicted. There is a section in the vehicle code und...

Read More blog

Police Violence is Still Violence

  • June 17, 2014

Last week the city of Pasadena agreed to pay  $1,037,500 to the parents of Kendrec McDade to settle civil cases involving two police officers that shot and killed the 19 year old on March 24, 2012. The young man was shot eight times after a brief pursuit. Police believed he was armed after receiving a call identifying an “armed suspect.” The caller later admitted that there was no weapon and that he lied so police would respond faster. An investigation found the police conduct to be “lawful and within departmental policy.” The loss is a scar that will forever leave a m...

Read More blog

Tips for Dealing with Law Enforcement

  • June 7, 2014

1. The Right to be Free from Search The Fourth Amendment guarantees our right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. This right applies to all persons whether walking, driving, riding a bike, sitting at home or even standing around in a public space. The 4th amendment was written to protect individuals from police and law enforcement agents. That means police can not search you, or arrest you without a warrant, or without evidence that you are involved in a crime. One way police often get around the warrant requirement is by asking if you will agree to a search of your vehicle, bag, ...

Read More blog

60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, segregation still plagues America

  • June 7, 2014

           Segregation still plaques America. 1. The elusive goal of desegregation 60 years ago the US Supreme court ruled unanimously (9-0) that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” As a result, de jure racial segregation was outlawed, and this paved the way for desegregation in other areas of life. It was certainly a legal victory for civil rights advocates, but the ruling did little to change the hearts and minds of those hell bent on discriminating against blacks or other minorities. Rather than succumbing to the perceived evils of desegregation, ...

Read More blog