Freedom of speech and duck calls

“I can say whatever I want, it’s a free country!” This sentence gets bandied about with some regularity. Based on what my students write in criminal law classes, most people also think it is a true statement. Now that Phil Robertson has so splendidly demonstrated that we can’t say whatever we want without repercussions, it […]

I thought about it

Jimmy Carter confessed to an interviewer that he had committed adultery in his heart. Fortunately for President Carter that is not a crime. But be careful what you think in this post 9/11 world. Sometimes the difference between thinking and doing is less than you expect. December 22, 2008, five Muslim men were convicted of […]

Love and power

People have a love-hate relationship with power. They love to have it, but hate to have it exercised over them. Teaching conflict resolution and leadership skills includes teaching people how to use power and how to work in the presence of power. This is particularly important when working cross-culturally, the norm in California and many […]

The carnage in…

I am deeply saddened by the events at Virginia Tech. Working at a college campus, it is hard to imagine experiencing such a thing. Just this week I was in discussions with university staff on how to deal with a student who has obvious mental issues. More than once I have been the one signing […]

Divorce without war: collaborative law

Divorce is pretty common these days. Each year half as many people divorce as marry. While that creates a lot of marriages that last, it also means that many fail. Attorneys whose clients are contemplating marriage school them in divorce planning, just as attorneys whose clients are starting a business get assistance with bankruptcy planning […]

Repairing the Military Commissions Act

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 bases its process for trying alien unlawful combatants on the better-known process for military courts martial. I have handled hundreds of criminal defense cases in state and federal courts and courts martial. Military courts martial are not the same as civilian criminal courts. Imagine you are shopping and are […]