Miranda rights

If you’ve been arrested, and the police want to interrogate you, they will tell you that you have the right to remain silent.

How do you assert that right?

One way would be to say something like “I would like to remain silent.” Saying “I want a lawyer” should also stop the questioning.

But today, in Salinas v. Texas, the Supreme Court of the United States held that you do not assert your right to remain silent by remaining silent. If you want to remain silent, you’ll need to be prepared to talk about it.

No one will be surprised that this result came from the Justice least likely to be voted most beloved by those in our nation’s prison systems, Justice Alito.

Sort of….

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* The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to wade into the constitutional contretemps of recess appointments, but if the high court refuses to take up the case, it may be back to the drawing board for the NLRB. [National Law Journal]

* The Am Law 100 law firm rankings are out, and it looks like there’s a new leader of the pack in terms of gross revenue. But which firm could it be? Not Skadden or Baker & McKenzie. We’ll likely have coverage on this later. [American Lawyer]

* Apparently the FBI wanted to continue questioning Dzhokhar Tsarnaev under Miranda’s public-safety exception, but a judge read the accused bomber his rights anyway. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

* “This case is over. Someone should put it out of its misery.” Be that as it may, New York’s attorney general is desperate to get AIG’s Maurice Greenberg on the stand at trial. [DealBook / New York Times]

* “I have had it with these motherf**king snakes in my motherf**king files!” This spring, clerks in this old Mississippi courthouse are finding more and more snakes filed under “Ssssssss.” [Associated Press]

So they finally read Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his rights. Good thing we have that public safety exception to the Constitution. Who can be bothered to hold fast to our most sacred rights and liberties when there might be something bad happening! Obviously, once he was read his rights Tsarnaev immediately stopped talking and the government was unable to protect us from… oh wait, that didn’t happen. Tsarnaev kept talking (or nodding, as it were), even after informed of the basic rights guaranteed to him as a U.S. citizen.

But he did communicate that he couldn’t afford a lawyer. Luckily for him, the magistrate judge who read him his rights at his hospital bedside came with federal public defender in tow.

Let’s meet the people who will do this distasteful work so the rest of us can crucify the guy while being confident he’ll get a fair trial…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Lawyers Representing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev”

* With the capture of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, many legal questions are being asked, like if he’ll be Mirandized, where he’ll be tried, and if he’ll be considered an enemy combatant. [New York Times]

* Thanks for kicking this keg, Mr. Baer: the Department of Justice and Anheuser-Busch InBev have settled their antitrust differences with respect to beer brewery’s planned acquisition of Grupo Modelo. [Legal Times]

* Which firm has a “generous tuition reimbursement” program? And by “generous,” we mean 100% of law school tuition, which is awesome. We may have more on this later today. [Capital Business / Washington Post]

* Stan Chesley, the “master of disaster,” is retiring — not because he wants to, but because he’s disbarred in Kentucky and surrendered his Ohio license before the state could take it from him. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* California may soon follow in New York’s footsteps when it comes a pro bono mandate before bar admission, but the New Jersey Bar Association has an active hit out on the idea. [National Law Journal]

* In an effort to avoid a trial that would’ve lasted longer than their sham marriage did in the first place, fauxlebrity Kim Kardashian and NBA player Kris Humphries settled their divorce last week. [Reuters]

* Morris Kramer, an M&A pioneer and part of Skadden’s “Fab Four,” RIP. [DealBook / New York Times]

So yesterday I was flipping between Fox and MSNBC as they continued their battle to see who could be the first to report that the other one was wrong. During the “they made an arrest in the Boston Marathon bombings… oh no they didn’t” kerfuffle, I got sucked into the Megyn Kelly program which devolved into a discussion on whether or not the ALLEGED suspect should be Mirandized when he is caught, or “sent right down to Guantanamo.”

It occurred to me that there are whole throngs of humans out there, Americans, who honestly believe that reading somebody his rights or making sure a suspect has access to a lawyer is deleterious to justice, as opposed to being one of ways we ensure justice is done.

I trust there aren’t any real lawyers out there who believe that rights hurts the administration of justice as if life is one big freaking episode of The Closer….

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How does someone find themselves on trial for armed robbery with almost no attention paid to due process? If you answered, by playing football for Auburn, it looks like you’re right.

There are two things I know about Auburn football. First, the school boasts some really great fans. I met a number of them when I went to the BCS National Championship game three years ago to watch Auburn eke by Oregon on a last second field goal. Most everyone was reasonably nice, which made them very different than, say, Ohio State fans.

Second, Auburn cheats like it’s its goddamned job. Historically, it’s not even very savvy about it. In 2006, the school got busted handing out ‘A’s to players for classes that didn’t exist, a scandal that came to light when the school overdid it and NCAA reports revealed Auburn had better students than any program but Stanford, Navy, and Boston College. Oops.

Then there was the whole Cam Newton thing.

But I can say without hyperbole that these new allegations are a million times worse…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Whoa Eagle: Auburn Football May Need a Serious Timeout”

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski speaking at Yale Law School last year.

Perhaps this should be “benchslap of a few days ago,” since it happened last week. But it’s never too late to read about Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, right?

This latest benchslap involves the Ninth Circuit setting aside a murder conviction. So you might expect the benchslap to be coming from a unanimous Supreme Court in a summary reversal.

But no. The benchslap — actually, make that benchslaps, plural — come from the Ninth Circuit. On the receiving end: the police, prosecutors, a state judge, and a federal judge. Names are named.

And I wouldn’t hold my breath while waiting for SCOTUS to reverse. This decision looks pretty safe….

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There is some bitterness in the Potato State.

Can you withdraw from a criminal case simply because you think the court is “lazy” and “incompetent”? I’d think “no,” otherwise defense lawyers would have a legitimate out well over 50% of the time. But one lawyer in Idaho is making the case that he should be let out of his obligations because he can’t stand the court.

There are positives with the test attorney Eric J. Scott would like to apply. Would that we could drop out of anything simply because the people we work with are lazy. But at the end of the day, it’s hard to tell if Scott is reasonably concerned that the court is too stupid to be respected, or if he’s just bummed that he’s losing….

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* In the Barry Bonds trial, an expert on steroids described how the government injected a bunch of baboons with the drug Bonds is accused of using. I, for one, welcome our new baboon overlords. [ESPN]

* Some Amish in Kentucky are fighting a regulation that requires reflective safety triangles on their buggies. Say they’d rather get Munsoned out in the middle of nowhere than use those things. [Louisville Courier-Journal]

* Fresh off his Bushwick Bill impersonation, Allen Stanford has withdrawn his lawsuit against the federal government. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A lawyer in Illinois faces possible jail time for letting her detained client use her cell phone. At least she’ll get bars now. HIYOOOO! [ABA Journal]

* The FBI has instructed agents to to hold off on Miranda warnings when interrogating “operational terrorists” about immediate threats. These threats include suitcase bombs, sex bombs, nude bombs, and La Bamba. The Los Lobos version. [New York Times]

* Law firms are whetting wetting their collective beak on drug deals. But drugs is a dirty business. It makes, it doesn’t make any difference to me what a man does for a living, understand. But your business is, uh, a little dangerous. [Am Law Daily]

Based on our earlier coverage of traffic stops, here are some dos and don’ts for the next time you get pulled over:

Now that we’ve covered the basics of traffic stops, let’s move on to the advanced course….

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