When the accusation is false, when the State's evidence is weak,
when the circumstances provide legal justification, but the court and
prosecution will not dismiss, we take a case to trial.
I have tried many cases, ranging from
misdemeanors to felony theft to assault to child sex abuse to rape to
murder. I regularly teach trial skills to other lawyers for the
Washington Defender Association and the Office of Public Defense.
A trial still begins with a thorough investigation. We find reasons the
jury should not believe the prosecution's witnesses. We review and
challenge the prosecution's evidence, both with questions and with
independent experts and evidence. We find the best way to present the
I rely on expert witnesses to explain special matters to the jury and to
challenge the prosecution's evidence such as: how child abuse or
domestic violence affects a person's perceptions, why children might
make up an accusation, how anesthesia does and doesn't work, what
medical records mean, how ballistics work, or whether a gun could have
I challenge not just the evidence, but the law itself. I ask the court
to change the law if my client's facts call for justice. I ask the jury
to think differently about how the law applies to human behavior.
Because no lawyer wins every trial, I prepare a trial with legal issues
to lay the groundwork for an appeal. Most of these legal issues have to
be presented to the trial court in order to be able to present them to
an appeals court.
Successful examples of Trials