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Dylann Roof and the Darwin Awards

Do I need a lawyer? Can I just represent myself?  Charleston Church Shooting Defendant has a fool for a client In 1814 British scholar and writer Henry Kett wrote “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client,” a truism if there ever was one. This was later adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States. who wrote “the adage that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client” is the product of years of experience by seasoned litigators. (Kay v. Ehrler, 499 US 432, 437 (1991). A federal judge today granted…read more →

Can I Get A “Duh,” Please?

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled today that a judge who had a “significant, personal involvement” in a case while in a previous role as a prosecutor must recuse (disqualify) himself from ruling on the case at a later stage. Can I get a “duh” anybody? Here’s the kicker: the vote was 5-3. That means three, count’em, three United States Supreme Court Justices voted to allow the one-time prosecutor to sit as a judge in a case he helped prosecute. In this case, a guy named Terrance Williams was arrested for murder. In preparing the case for trial,…read more →

Undefeated in Pennsylvania

In June, I received a call from my good friend Beth Tibbott, a dynamite young Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer. Mike, I have been asked to take on a first degree murder case. Will you help me? Of course! Tell me about the case. She did. It seems that one Edward Merritt had been arrested by detectives from the Johnstown Police Department. They claimed that Merritt and an unidentified other man shot and killed a man named Zachary Andrews in his home. While there, claim the police, they also shot and wounded another man. I am coming up to Pittsburgh this…read more →

Fastest Trial Ever

This morning’s jury trial began at 9:30 with the prosecutor’s opening statement. She gave hers, I gave mine, and she called her first witness. This was a domestic battery accusation, and witness number one was the accuser. I was loaded for bear. I had photographs that contradicted her claim. I had certified copies of her felony convictions, and her convictions for crimes of dishonesty or false statement. I had two police reports documenting her use of an alias. I had copies of court documents in which she had claimed to have been in a mental hospital for treatment of ADHD….read more →

Paying It Forward Like Johnny Appleseed

I am embarking on a journey, a campaign, if you like, a sort of Johnny Appleseed-like endeavor. One of America’s fondest legends is that of Johnny Appleseed, a folk hero and pioneer apple farmer in the 1800’s. There really was a Johnny Appleseed and his real name was John Chapman. He was born in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1774. His dream was to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. Although legend paints a picture of Johnny as a dreamy wanderer, planting apple seeds throughout the countryside, research reveal him to be a careful, organized businessman, who…read more →

Joe McCallum Gets Out Of Prison Today

In 1990, I defended a man charged with capital murder. On May 6 of that year, four men drove from a trailer park in southern Fort Pierce to a house in Sebastian. At least three of them burst through the front door and held a man at gunpoint. The man, allegedly a pot dealer, was home with his teenage girlfriend and his 6-year-old son. The intruders robbed the man, and then shot him execution-style in front of the girl and boy. Joe McCallum was one of four men arrested. All were indicted for first degree murder. McCallum was alleged to…read more →

Ethics on Parade at NCDD

Stephen Jones is the current dean of the National College DUI Defense. He also serves as chairperson of the curriculum committee. About a year ago, Jones invited me to lecture at the 2015 winter session in Orlando, and I accepted his invitation. We agreed that my presentation would be on ethics. Frankly, I was surprised when he invited me. While I have been a frequent lecturer at DUI Defense seminars around the country for many years, I have also been a critic of the governing body of the NCDD and its practices. The secrecy, the lack of democracy, the cronyism,…read more →

Breaking Through The Blue Line

Getting to Not Guilty Despite Two Detectives’ Claims Convicted sex offenders living in Florida are required to register and provide their residence address with their local sheriff’s office. Florida law requires the probation department to confirm periodically that the address for those offenders who are on probation are both current and accurate. Conversely, sheriff’s departments are mandated by Florida law to confirm periodically that the address of offenders who are not on probation are both current and accurate. Recently, the St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office got that wrong. Two St. Lucie detectives went to a Port St. Lucie man’s house to…read more →

Who You Know Matters, Too

A few weeks ago, a friend and colleague who lives and works in rural Oklahoma reached out to me for help. It seems a friend of his had been arrested at the Jacksonville airport by employees of TSA. Not for smuggling contraband. Not for terrorism. For battery. On a TSA employee. It seems my colleague’s friend grabbed the arm of a passing TSA employee, in order to point that employee to the spot on the airport terminal floor where a stricken traveler lay having a seizure or heart attack. Of course, nobody messes with TSA and gets away with it….read more →

Prosecutor Jailed for Railroading Innocent Man

A former Texas district attorney entered into an unusual plea bargain recently. He agreed to serve 10 days in jail for withholding evidence that could have stopped an innocent man from going to prison for nearly 25 years. This is apparently the first time a prosecutor has been sent to jail for concealing evidence helpful to the defense, according to news sources. Former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson agreed to a plea deal that will also require him to pay a $500 fine and complete 500 hours of community service after state District Judge Kelly Moore found him in…read more →

Kessler Law Firm on Google+

Disclaimer: At the Kessler Law Firm, we treat every client and case individually. We do not run a factory or cookie-cutter business. While we cannot guarantee how your case will end, we do guarantee the quality of our work and our dedication to helping you achieve the best possible outcome.Of course, the information provided on this website is not legal advice about your case; any exchange of info via this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Cities we service in FL: Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Vero Beach, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach

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