Mike Gives Thoughts on Jury Sentencing in Washington Post Article

Over the weekend, The Washington Post ran a story on the front page of the Metro section on Virginia’s new jury sentencing reform law. You can read the article here. WaPo columnists Rachel Weiner and Laura Vozzella did an excellent job summarizing the “revolutionary” change. Jury sentencing is right in spirit but wrong in practice. […]

Criminal Justice Reform Update

Anti-Communist novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote: The Law lurches from side to side: one year criminality falls sharply! — arrest fewer, put fewer on trial, and let the convicted out on bail. And then it lurches the other way: there is no end to the scoundrels! No more bail! Make the prisons tougher, the sentences longer, […]

Mike Selected to Best Lawyers in America

Best Lawyers® selected me for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch. Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2021 edition based entirely on a peer-review process. This recognition is given to attorneys who are earlier in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice. Best Lawyers® […]

Civilian Security Clearance & Arrest

Hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Virginia possess a security clearance. Security clearances are issued by many federal government agencies and civilian contractors, including the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). DoD, which issues more than 80% of all clearances, and most other agencies […]

More Expungement Reform Coming to Virginia

Next week the Virginia General Assembly will consider a bill to revamp the commonwealth’s expungement laws. SB 5009 provides that a person with a previous first-offender dismissal under the underage alcohol or false ID laws may have all records of those charges expunged. Currently dismissals after deferred dispositions are not eligible for expungement even though […]

New Virginia Expungement Law Would Allow For Removal of Convictions

The Virginia General Assembly enters a special session on August 18 to debate COVID-19 issues and continue “criminal justice reform” efforts. Among the bills introduced for the special session is one that would allow more people to obtain expungement of a criminal conviction. SB 5006 would allow a person to petition for expungement of a […]

My Mission Statement

“Why do you practice law?” I was asked that question recently and had to think about it. That is shameful. I know exactly why I practice law. Here it is for all to see. I devote my law practice to ensuring that every client receives fairness and equal treatment during their experience with the justice […]

It Feels a Bit Like 1934

The situation in America may not appear as grim as it did during the Great Depression. But with tens of millions unemployed and thousands of small business closed forever, we aren’t really that far off. From Alexandria, Virginia to Portland, Oregon summer 2020 has seen protests grip cities and towns across the United States. From […]

A Tale of Two Virginia Marijuana Cases

Last week I represented two young people who were both charged with possession of marijuana in Virginia. But their cases were treated very differently. The reason is that one was charged in federal court and the other in state court. Federal marijuana law is still very different from the new Virginia state marijuana law. If […]

The Qualified Immunity Quandary

Under qualified immunity, a police officer can be sued for damages if he or she violates a clearly established constitutional or statutory right.