April 3, 2013

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Trial Reflection

Just had a bench trial.  Heroin PWID, Conspiracy. Cops execute search warrant.  Never see my guy inside the house – either during the weeks of investigation or at execution. Here’s how the Commonwealth, I believe, tied him to it all … Cop outside hears “noise” from second floor window.  Picture shows curtains and blinds laying […]

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February 16, 2013

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Reasonable Doubt? Not quite …

Just concluded a trial. Guilty of PWID.  Jury was out for three hours in what some said before the trial was to be a slam-dunk prosecution win.  So why did the jury come back otherwise?  Dunno, although I respect their decision.  And I thoroughly respect that they took so long to render a decision.  They took […]

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October 4, 2012

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What’s an “analogue”?

If you read the statutes on synthetic cannabinoids, you’ll constantly run into the phrase “and it’s analogues” (sometimes spelled “analog”).  A lot rides on the definition of that word.  Is, for example, UR-144 an “analogue” of JWH-018?  If it is, your prospects are dim at trial.  If it’s not, we’re high-fiving afterwards at the bar […]

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September 21, 2012

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Law firms troll for “victims” of synthetic drugs

I select my civil law/personal injury cases very carefully.  I just don’t see the moral value in legal extortion.  The cases I do take are as often defense as plaintiff.  So, with all the hype on synthetics – bath salts and cannabinoids – you knew full well the plaintiff’s attorney bar would jump in. I […]

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September 11, 2012

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Operation Log Jam finds a wood chipper

Someone find me a case out of the hundreds if not thousands that came out of Operation Log Jam that will go to trial on the science – the chemistry – of Synthetic Cannabinoids.  It isn’t happening.  Not one.  Why not?  The strong arm of the government is belligerently in the face of small businesses […]

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July 30, 2012

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Synthetic Cannabinoids & Operations Log Jam (Federal) and Artificial High (Penna)

Wasn’t last week fun?  109 cities, 91 arrests, 235 search warrants.  19 manufacturers, a few sales reps, and a bunch of stores. Most of the stuff taken was 100% legal – clean pipes, uncontrolled substances, and new generation blends of aromatherapy and incense products.  And hookahs.  They took my client’s hookahs.  WTF? The chest thumping […]

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July 8, 2012

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Synthetic Cannabinoids: An Introduction

I happily walked around thinking “cannabinoids” was pronounced similar to “cannabis.”  T’isn’t.  The emphasis is on the second syllable - NAB.  Can-NAB-i-noids.  Glad we got that out of the way. Here’s the drill … Marijuana’s active ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.  ”THC” to those who like shorthand.  THC is a cannabinoid-receptor agonist.  Stated differently, THC works with the receptor […]

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May 17, 2012

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Pennsylvania DUI Case Law

I’m researching a point of law on the two-hour rule.  I came across a fellow attorneys’ site (Morrow & Artim, Pittsburgh, PA) that has a great list of Pennsylvania DUI cases.  I’ve included the first seven below; click on the link below the list to go to their site to see the remaining cases. For most […]

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May 16, 2012

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The Importance of an Arraignment

I always chuckle when the media reports in ever-so-serious tones that so-and-so plead “Not Guilty” at his Arraignment.  Everyone pleads “Not Guilty” at their Arraignment.  Pleading guilty is done after filling out a long form and being read the long list of rights the defendant is giving up.  We don’t slow down arraigning dozens of […]

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May 10, 2012

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Preliminary Hearings in Action

I had two Preliminary Hearings today.  I was wired for sound on both, and, to boot, in front of a Magistrate Judge new to me.  I introduced myself around.  My first impression of the Judge was that he looked both serious and seasoned – a good combination.  And, humorously but with a hint of humbleness […]

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