|Insulin isn’t just a drug.|
The hardest part of writing something I am pleased with, is accepting when I can’t get it published. Newspaper and magazine editors only have so much space and they have to triage. When the piece is geographically specific, the available outlets are few. Or maybe what I wrote was junk and I just don’t know it. For better or worse though, because I run a blog I can always self-publish. So before you read on, be forewarned: the following Philadelphia-centric piece has received multiple rejections. I think the message is still worthwhile. But then, I would, right?
It’s 5:30 on a mid-week afternoon, and I am driving north on 16th from Locust Street to JFK Boulevard in Center City Philadelphia. The distance is about seven blocks. The trip will take more than 15 minutes. Continue reading “Traffic Pain in Philadelphia”
Recently, a colleague queried a local criminal justice listserve for advice on filing a police unreasonable force case in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia. I responded with some advice and observations on the pros and cons of filing in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas (the First Judicial District or “FJD”), versus seven blocks east in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. This blog post collects and expands upon our email exchange.
The incident at issue involved allegations that Philadelphia police officers beat a suspect. When their further investigation cleared him of the initial criminal allegations, they left him on the street without arresting him or transporting him for medical treatment. There were officers on the scene who did not participate in the beating, but merely stood by without intervening. The proposed plaintiff suffered bruises, contusions, abrasions and broken teeth. He took himself to the hospital, where he was treated and released. He did not have medical insurance and did not receive follow-up treatment. His injuries have resolved, other than his teeth. Continue reading “Where to file a Philadelphia police misconduct suit.”
As I have nearly every January since 1985, I traveled to New York City to teach at the Benajmin N. Cardozo School of Law Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP) on January 7-10. ITAP, a cornerstone of Cardozo’s practical skills curriculum, is a two week immersion course where students learn cutting edge strategies for courtroom litigation using the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) model. In a “master class” approach to learning, students practice direct and cross-examinations, interviewing and preparing witnesses, selecting juries, dealing with evidentiary issues, and preparing for and presenting bench and jury trials.
Unfortunate timing has me heading home from The Hague on Monday, one day before the Appeals Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) renders its judgment on the appeal of my former client, Milan Lukic. I was appointed to represent Lukic in April of 2006, following his arrest in Argentina and transfer to the ICTY in The Hague.
The Prosecutor sought re-transfer of Lukic and his cousin to the jurisdiction of the national courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) pursuant to Rule 11bis. Lukic had been convicted in absentia in Serbia, and he was quite notorious in BiH, so transfer from the security of the United Nations Detention Unit to a jail in BiH might well have resulted in his death.
Today I am off to The Hague, The Netherlands, for the Annual Training and General Assembly of the Association of Defence Counsel Practising before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ADC-ICTY) on 30 November and 1 December (using European date formats is part of the travel prep). Topics include: Best Practices of Defence Counsel – A View from the Bench, Ethical Considerations for Defence Counsel, The Residual Mechanism, and Review of Appeal Judgements.