Sunday, February 26, 2012

Women of NCDD: Sarah Toney (Illinois)

Sarah Toney’s list of accomplishments is long and impressive.  She is amazing on many levels and a great asset to NCDD.  She, too, is one of the Forensic Lawyers, having completed the Forensic Gas Chromatography course put on by Axion Labs and the American Chemical Society in Chicago. 
Arrested in or around Chicago?  You might want to call Sarah.
From her website:
Chicago criminal defense attorney Sarah Toney's experience in the legal field has been an extensive and impressive one. Chicago Magazine has named her an Illinois Super Lawyer Rising Star for the past 3 years. In addition, she has received a "Superb" 10.0 out of 10.0 rating by due in large part to her rave reviews by former clients and attorneys in her field from across the country. She has been an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University of Chicago School of Law since 2006.
In 2004, she was admitted to the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, General Federal bar. Later in 2006, she was admitted to the United States District Court, Central District of Illinois and to the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit in 2007.
In her years of practicing law, she has been appointed to several councils, including the Illinois State Bar Association Traffic Laws and Courts Section Council in 2008. She has been reappointed to the Council in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She was appointed as Secretary of Traffic Laws and Courts Section Council 2010, is currently Vice Chair for 2011 and will serve as Chair of the Council in 2012. She was also appointed to the Young Lawyers Division Section Council in 2010 and 2011. She currently serves as a Chair of the Social Committee for the YLD.
Sarah has also served editor of the Traffic Laws and Courts Section Newsletter from 2008 to the present day and has published articles for the Young Lawyers Division Newsletter. She has been an Alumni Class Representative since 2009 for the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.
As far as professional memberships go, Sarah is proud to consider herself a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National College for DUI Defense, Inc., Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, as well as the Women's Criminal Defense Bar Association.
Continuing Education: Going Above and Beyond
Sarah believes strongly that education is the cornerstone of every experienced lawyer's practice and therefore works extensively to ensure that she upkeeps hers with continuing work. By assisting in several programs as well as going above and beyond to achieve further education, she has proven that her dedication to criminal law is impeccable.
In December 2011 Sarah was asked to speak at the Chicago Bar Association's seminar to train attorneys on how to do DUI license suspension hearings. She spoke on the law surrounding when police officers are allowed to stop vehicles and arrest people for DUIs. In addition, she performed a cross examination on a Chicago Police Officer for the attendees to demonstrate how to do a hearing. Sarah then lead the attendees in performing their own cross examinations on Chicago Police Officers to practice how to do a DUI license suspension hearing. Together with a Judge from Cook County, Sarah critiqued the attendees and provided them with practical tips on how to be better advocates in DUI defense.
Also in December 2011 Sarah was asked by the Illinois State Bar Association to moderate a seminar for new attorneys. All new attorneys in Illinois are required to attend a Basic Skills for new attorneys seminar after they are licensed and Sarah participated in a live seminar which was also videotaped for future new lawyers to watch online. Sarah also spoke on a panel at the Basic Skills seminar giving practicial advice for new lawyers on how to be good advocates as well as smart suggestions for getting ahead in the profession.
Next up for Sarah she is speaking at an Illinois State Bar Association seminar on starting your own law firm. Details can be found here:
At the NACDL Spring Conference in 2004, Sarah assisted in presenting "High-Tech Crimes in High-Tech Times: Pornography, Hacking & Fraud" for "In Their Defense: Representing the Client Everyone Loves to Hate." She has also received her Certificate of Training from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the International Association of Chiefs of Police in DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Los Angeles, CA October 2005
Beyond this, she has attended the National College for DUI Defense for numerous years in the summer session, fall session, winter session as well as Mastering Scientific Evidence. By working on a meticulous and thorough understanding of criminal law, she has given herself an intimate knowledge that is consistently used as she fight to protect the legal rights of our clients.
    American Bar Association Journal E-Report, July 15, 2005, "This Is Serious"
    Family Law Committee of the Section on Legal Practice of the International Bar Association, October 2004, "San Francisco Conference Report: The Family Law Programme" No. 11
    Discrimination and Gender Equality Committee of the Section on Legal Practice of the International Bar Association, July 2004, "San Francisco Conference Report: The Family Law Programme" Vol. 9 No. 1
Children's Legal Rights Journal, Spring 2003, Article was a multistate summary of recent court decision relating to interrogations of minors by police.

Women of NCDD: Lori Crystal (Colorado)

Lori Crystal is an attorney in Castle Rock, Colorado, who I have never met but she comes HIGHLY recommended for my blog by DUI attorneys and experts that I respect.

A quick glance at her website and I can already tell we would be friends.  Any gal that writes "I'm blunt" in her About Me section is an ass-kicker I could hang out with.

Legal trouble in Colorado?  You might want to give Lori Crystal a call.

From her website:

Problem Solver
According to biographer Julie M. Fenster, Abe Lincoln, as a lawyer, was first and foremost a problem solver.

As a client, you want your legal problem solved quickly, efficiently, and with minimum long-term damage. As a problem-solving attorney, I utilize all the modern tools available to solve--maybe even prevent--your legal problem in the most efficient manner possible. Through accelerated, but thorough, investigation, negotiation, and (more and more often) mediation, I'll help you minimize the damage and assess the long-term, big picture. I know that long after the lawyer is through, the client lives the result of the solution.

Needs Assessor
There's a joke among doctors that the surgery was a success, but the patient died. A similar mindset is often observed in attorneys who are more interested in the theoretical analysis than in the practical implications. Much of what we, as attorneys, do is not rocket science, but is a minefield for the individual unfamiliar with the terrain and the ground rules. I distinguish the important issues from the academically interesting ones, and assess and fulfill your needs so that you can move forward with your life-without consuming your entire life savings to do it.

I represent individuals, not corporations, and I've been in practice for 19 years--15 of them in Castle Rock, Douglas County. I'm a Castle Rock resident and I focus my practice in Douglas County. My office is just a few blocks from the courthouse. This courthouse proximity benefits clients because I don't bill you for travel time, but more importantly, I have a good idea of what is realistic to expect and what is not from specific judges.

Who I Am
I'm blunt and some people are more comfortable with that than others. I work hard and that's the real secret to success in anything. I don't speak "lawyerease" and I don't try to impress you or the judge with how much I learned in law school. My belief is that we have a job to do--let's do it and help you move on.

Women of NCDD: Leigh Ann Bauer (Alaska)

One of the top breath testing experts in North America sent me an email and told me I needed to profile Leigh Ann Bauer of Alaska.  They worked together on a DUI case and he was highly impressed with her.  Her practice is in Anchorage, Alaska.  

In her own words:

I decided to become a lawyer while working for my father's law firm when I was in high school. I watched my father try cases, and decided that I wanted to become a trial attorney. In 1984 I spent a year abroad, studying at the Gymnasium Mussenredder in Hamburg, Germany.

I graduated from the University at Santa Barbara in 1985 with Honors in History and German Literature. I obtained my law degree in 1991 from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California. In 1992, I left California, and moved to Alaska. When I arrived in Alaska, I clerked for a Superior Court Judge and then worked as a public defender for approximately 5 years. I opened my own law firm and limited my practice to the areas of criminal defense, family law, and personal injury.


Alaska Criminal Defense Lawyers
Alaska Academy of Trial Lawyers
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National College of DUI Defense

Women of NCDD: Lauren Stuckert (Wisconsin)

One of NCDD's rising stars is Lauren Stuckert.  She is making a name for herself in Milwaukee courtrooms and impressed me as my classmate at Terry MacCarthy's recent cross-examination seminar in Tampa, Florida.  Very few attorneys have received certificates in forensic gas chromatography from the American Chemical Society but Lauren is one of them.  We call them Forensic Lawyers.  Arrested for an intoxication related offense in Milwaukee?  You might want to contact Lauren Stuckert.

From her website:

A proud Wisconsin native, Lauren grew up in Milwaukee and received her Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University Law School in 2009.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a triple major in Legal Studies, Political Science, and International Economy and Policy Studies.

Lauren focuses her law practice on complex alcohol and drug Operating While Intoxicated litigation.  Since joining the Law Offices of Andrew Mishlove in 2009, she has handled hundreds of Wisconsin OWI cases, fighting smartly and aggressively to secure the best possible outcome for her clients. She has defended clients in over 60 OWI jury and court trials.

Since beginning her career, Lauren has committed herself to remaining on the cutting edge of OWI defense.  She has taken the time to learn the science and law in OWI blood and breath cases, seeking extensive, specialized training in these areas.  Her training has given her superior knowledge in the physiology of blood alcohol metabolization, pharmacokinetics of prohibited and prescribed drugs and the problems associated with breath and blood analysis devices.

Lauren is currently the only Wisconsin attorney to be certified in Forensic Chromatography through Axion Laboratories in Chicago, Illinois.  One of her teachers was Dr. Harold McNair, a leading researcher in the field of chromatography and the author of "Basic Gas Chromatography", 2nd Edition, Wiley Publishers.  

She continues to work hard to perfect her trial advocacy skills to give her clients the best possible representation.  In addition to being mentored by Attorney Mishlove, she has received hands-on cross examination training from Terence MacCarthy, a master teacher of trial advocacy and author of “MacCarthy on Cross-Examination” published by the American Bar Association.  

Lauren is a member of the Wisconsin State Bar, the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National College For DUI DefenseShe has been published in the Wisconsin Lawyer Magazine, June 2010 edition.  The article can be found at the following link:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

NCDD: Tap Tap Tapping on that Glass Ceiling

NCDD – The Structure

I have several friends who were “founding members” of the National College for DUI Defense.  Lawyers from all over the country came together for one purpose – to form an organization to train lawyers how to properly defend DUI cases. 

DUI defense is the most complicated and challenging area of criminal law.  It’s not just about being a great trial lawyer because YOU HAVE TO LEARN THE SCIENCE.  You’ve got to understand the pharmacodynamics of alcohol, the theories behind the standardized field sobriety tests, urine testing, breath testing, blood testing and so on.  It takes a lot of work and a lot of study to be great at this.  DUI prosecution is built on a mountain of junk science.  Debunking the junk is ¾ of our job. 

I salute all of the founding members of NCDD.  Their intent was pure.  However, I take exception to the structure they put in place for NCDD.

Here’s how it works:  NCDD has an unelected Board of Regents.  Each year the most senior Regent serves as Dean of the College.  After his year is up, he becomes a Fellow.  That leaves a spot open for a new Regent.  The Board picks a new Regent.  There are no elections and the membership as a whole has zero input into who becomes the new Regent.  This person is simply presented to the membership at Summer Session.

There is also a second tier of individuals who are called State Delegates.  I think their role is to round up new members within their state.   Otherwise I have no clue what they do. 

Once upon a time there was a female Regent.  She left early in her term for family reasons.  Years went by and another female was selected.  She is now early in her term – and she rocks, by the way.

So how are Regents selected?  Well, that’s easy.  It’s the Pick a Pal method.  The Regents pick their favorite person – someone’s best friend, law partner, maybe the person who has done the most ass-kissing over the years.  I have a pretty good idea who the next Regent will be this year based solely on the current color of his nose.

Maybe when the organization was very small this odd structure made sense.  However, when you have 1300 members, it is absurd.  Power is kept in the hands of a very small group who also control the purse strings AND the speaking opportunities at Winter and Summer Session.

Speaking of purse strings, the Regent job is not a bad gig.  NCDD flies the Regents to the various seminars, puts them up in hotels and even pays a per diem.  One former Regent estimated that it’s about a $10k a year perk.  Meanwhile the poor schlep 2 or 3 years out of law school is charging up a credit card to fly to Boston for Summer Session.  Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.  

So what do the Regents do?  Well, much like the Skull and Bones Society, no one is sure.   They seem to hold meetings and make important decisions but as members we don't know what they are.  

To say it’s an Old Boys’ Club would be an insult to Old Boys’ Clubs everywhere.  It is THE quintessential Old Boys’ Club. 

So what about the gals?  Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

Stay tuned…

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spotlight On: Macy Jaggers (Texas)

One of my dear friends and favorite lawyers in Dallas is Macy Jaggers.  Macy is passionate about defending the accused, keeps up with the law and works her tail off while balancing family and career.  She handles a lot of DWI cases and really takes the time to analyze her cases and provide the best defense possible.  Her law partner is former Dallas County Judge Neil Pask.

From Macy's website:

Macy Jaggers moved to Dallas in 1990 to attend SMU, where she majored in English. After attending graduate school at SMU, Macy worked as an editor for Taylor Publishing Company in Dallas. She then returned to SMU in 1999 to study law. Upon graduation, Macy immediately began practicing criminal defense and has devoted her entire legal career to protecting the constitutional rights of accused citizens. She continues to use her experience as an editor, writing articles for legal publication and contributing to books on jury selection and ALR hearings. Outside of work, Macy volunteers in the legal community and at her children's schools. She lives in Oak Cliff with her husband and two children.

Educational Background
Southern Methodist University School of Law 1999-2002

Juris Doctor
Southern Methodist University 1993-1994 Graduate work in English
Southern Methodist University 1990-1993 Bachelor of Arts, English

Professional Associations
Macy Jaggers is a member of the following legal organizations:

Texas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Women of NCDD: Lydia Clay-Jackson (Texas)

Lydia Clay-Jackson is the kind of lawyer we can all look up to as a role model.  In June, she will be sworn in as the president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, making her only the 3rd woman to hold that position.

I was honored when Lydia asked me to serve as Chair of TCDLA's DWI Committee during her tenure.  2012-13 is poised to be a fantastic year for TCDLA with Lydia at the helm.

Lydia is a fellow NCDD member and a defense warrior in Conroe, Texas.

From her website:

Lydia Clay-Jackson is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Texas.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ms. Clay-Jackson was a juvenile counselor in Tarrant County, Juvenile Specialist for the Governor of Wisconsin, a parole officer in Harris County and a counselor in the Montana Post-Correction Re-Integration Program.   She brings this experience with her in defending her clients.  Lydia Clay-Jackson is also heavily involved in the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association. As dean of the Texas Criminal Trial College, she is responsible for the trial education of many Texas criminal defense lawyers.  She is a Fellow in the College of the State Bar.  She is certified to try capital murder cases throughout the state of Texas and regularly lectures on criminal law.   Her peers have elected her to the Criminal Justice Council of the State Bar. She is also a member of the National Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spotlight On: Kimberly Griffin Tucker (Texas)

You get to know someone well when you spend nearly 3 years writing a book together.
Kimberly Griffin Tucker is my co-author on the upcoming Texas DWI Manual, which is going to be re-published this year. We also try some cases together occasionally.
Denton County is Kimberly’s stomping ground. She is an amazing trial lawyer who works harder on trial prep than most attorneys I know. I asked Kimberly to present at the David Burrows Annual DWI Seminar in Arlington this year where I’m serving as co-course director. She will do an amazing job.
Charged with a DWI in Denton County? Call Kimberly Griffin Tucker.
From her website:
Regardless of the type of criminal charge you are facing, Mrs. Tucker's clients receive personal care and attention, along with aggressive, vigorous and experienced advocacy. When Mrs. Tucker takes on a case, her clients' needs and goals always come first. They can rely on her and her staff to be approachable, responsive, efficient and effective.
She understands the confusion and embarrassment an arrest can bring and attempts to make her clients as comfortable as possible throughout the case. She considers herself an attorney and counselor. She tries to make the lives of her clients as normal as possible during this stressful time and help them get back to life as it was with an eye to getting their arrests off the record or concealed.
We all know there is an inequality of power and material resources in the criminal justice system. The government has a large staff of lawyers, police and agents, sophisticated crime labs and experts, and a huge budget provided by the taxpayers. This gives them a tremendous advantage because the legal system is based on the premise that "the whole truth" is that which is presented at the trial. If a defendant cannot challenge the government's case or submit his or her own witnesses, then the jury may accept whatever evidence the prosecutor produces.
The Law Office of Kimberly Griffin Tucker understands this and defends her clients with a zealous fervor. Her firm's strength lies in preparation, investigation, motion practice, and trial presentation. Mrs. Tucker is also well regarded because she demonstrates the strictest personal and professional ethics. She responds promptly to telephone calls, reports regularly on case developments, and stays on top of changes in the law. By focusing on the defense of criminal cases alone, the Law Office of Kimberly Griffin Tucker can assure you the highest quality legal representation, enhanced by the personal attention you should expect to receive and will receive from both Mrs. Tucker and her staff.
Specialized Training
Mrs. Tucker has received the following specialized trainings to aid her in defending DWI cases:
NHTSA/IACP Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Refresher Training (This is the same training program police officers receive)
Intoxilyzer 5000
Areas of Practice:
40% Criminal Law

Litigation Percentage:
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Bar Admissions:
Texas, 1995
Southern Methodist University School of Law, Dallas, Texas, 1995
 Honors: Order of the Barristers
University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, 1990
 Honors: Summa Cum Laude
Professional Associations and Memberships:
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Association
Denton County Defense Lawyers Association
State Bar of Texas
The College of the State Bar of Texas
Past Employment Positions:
Denton County District Attorney's Office, Assistant District Attorney
Grayson County District Attorney's Office, Assistant District Attorney
City of The Colony, Municipal Court Judge
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Blood Evidence – An Overview, Denton County Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association, February 2012

Involuntary Intoxication, Burrows DWI CLE, May 2012

ALR Tips, Tricks, & Suspensions, Burrows DWI CLE, May 2012

Women of NCDD Profiles: Heidi Anderson (Colorado)

I’ve put the word out that I want attorneys and experts from around the country to submit the names of outstanding women DUI warriors. One of the top breath testing experts in North America recommended Heidi Anderson. He has worked with her on cases and told me she is an excellent DUI attorney. I have not (yet) met Heidi but when an expert I respect singles her out for praise, I pay attention.

Arrested for an intoxication-related offense in the Denver or Boulder area? You may want to give Heidi Anderson a call.

From her website:
Heidi Anderson started Reliance Legal to provide quality representation for people in need of an experienced attorney to guide them through the maze of a DUI case. Heidi has practiced law in the State of Colorado since 2000, with experience in DUI law, municipal law, elder law, contract law and administrative civil law.
Heidi's focus is now centered on DUI and DWAI law, with 99% of her clientele involved in these cases. She received her initial DUI representation experience while working for one of the most experienced and well-respected DUI attorneys in the Denver area. She's represented hundreds of DUI clients, including attending license revocation hearings before the Department of Motor Vehicles, conducting plea negotiations with district attorneys, and arguing discovery and suppression motions before the courts.
Heidi is uniquely trained in areas specific to DUI representation that many attorneys practicing DUI law are not. Specifically, she is certified to administer the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) that many clients are given before being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. She is certified to administer a breath test using the Intoxilyzer 5000 EN. This greatly benefits the client in that Heidi is particularly adept at cross-examining police officers to determine whether the SFSTs and breath tests were properly administered at the time of arrest. This industry-specific training also makes Heidi better able than other attorneys to judge whether a client has a good case for trial or a fighting chance at favorable plea negotiations with the district attorney.
Professional affiliations include:
Member of the Colorado Bar Association

Saturday, February 11, 2012

365 Profiles in 365 Days

If you know a fantastic female DUI/DWI lawyer that you think I should write about, let me know. I'm planning to profile 365 in 365 days!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Winning Women at Terry MacCarthy's Seminar

I'm sitting here in Tampa on a break from Terry MacCarthy's cross examination seminar with two of NCDD's outstanding female lawyers, Virginia Landry (California) and Lauren Stuckert (Wisconsin). Virginia is a superstar defense warrior and NCDD's only female Regent. Lauren is a rising star in the world of defense and NCDD is lucky to count her as a member.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Women of NCDD Profiles: Kim Keheley Frye (Georgia)

Kim Keheley Frye is a kindred spirit. Like Linda Callahan and Michele Tjader, she’s a DUI defense warrior. Kim and I regularly discuss trial tactics and opportunities for improvement. I would rate Kim as an NCDD shining star.
If you’re charged with an intoxication-related offense in or around Cobb County, Georgia, call Kim Frye.
From her website:
A proud Georgia native, Kim grew up in Cobb County and attended the University of Georgia and received her degree in Criminal Justice. As a law student at Georgia State University School of Law, she was a state finalist in the trial competitions with the Student Trial Lawyers Association and was a member of the Honor Court. Kim completed an internship with both the Fulton County Solicitor’s Office as well as the Southern Center for Human Rights. She was awarded a Governor’s Honor internship as clerk to the Honorable Judge Richard “Stan” Gault of the Blue Ridge Judicial circuit.
Kim has been an assistant district attorney in Cherokee and Forsyth counties prosecuting felony cases in juvenile and superior court. Her experience as an assistant solicitor general in Cobb County included misdemeanor prosecutions of DUI, VGCSA, shoplifting, domestic violence and traffic offenses as the lead attorney. Kim has conducted over 40 jury trials.
Kim’s passion does not end at the courtroom door. She has worked tirelessly as a volunteer and organizer for organizations and non-profits such as Due West UMC Treasure Chest, L’il Lambs Closet Consignment sale at First United Methodist Church, Sleighbells on the Square benefiting the Cobb Community Service Fund and the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta. She is a recipient of the 2006 Ruth Northcutt Community Service award.
Kim is a member of the Georgia Bar Association, The Cobb County Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, National College of DUI Defense, the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the Atlanta and Marietta Lawyers Club. She has been admitted to practice in the Superior Courts of Georgia, The Georgia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Georgia. She also current sits at the President of the Solo/Small Firm section of the Cobb County Bar Association. Kim opened the Frye Law Group in 2008 for the sole purpose to defend the rights of the criminally accused. Kim's significant training and experience on both sides of the judicial aisle allowed her to emerge as a seasoned advocate for each client's rights.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Women of NCDD Profiles: Michele Tjader (Wisconsin)

She’ll probably kill me for saying this but Michele Tjader is like the Mr. T of OWI defense. Remember? “I pity the fool…”
I pity the prosecutor who has to go up against Michele. She’s a Spartan with a there’s-no-such-thing-as-defeat attitude.
If you’re charged with an intoxication-related offense in Wisconsin, you could do no better than to have Michele in your corner. Her insights into trial psychology are spot on.
From her website:
Michele is a graduate of UW-Green Bay and Marquette Law School. She has been practicing drunk driving defense since July of 1996. early in her career, she worked for two of the state's top drunk driving defense firms before starting her own practice.

One of the cases on which she worked resulted in the exclusion of all breath testing devices in the State of Wisconsin for approximately one year. This decision made front-page headlines in the Wisconsin State Journal and other local papers. Michele's appellate practice has resulted in several more published decisions, culminating in appearing before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in oral argument.
Michele has extensive experience in drunk driving litigation as well. Michele is known for her forceful and resourceful cross examination of police officers at trial.
Michele has been invited to teach in statewide seminars for other lawyers on the topic of drunk driving defense for the last five years. She has been interviewed by the London Times for an article on breath testing devices and has acted as a consultant for attorneys in the UK. Michele has also been contacted by firms to act as a expert witness in the area of breath testing devices.
Professional Associations and Memberships
Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Dane County Bar Association
Past President

National College of DUI Defense 

OWI Round Table

Monday, February 6, 2012

Women of NCDD Profiles: Linda Callahan (Washington)

I’m beginning my “Women of NCDD” series with my good pal, Linda Callahan. There are so many things I admire about Linda that I don’t even know where to start.

She’s smart. She’s fearless. She’s everything you would want in a lawyer if you were charged with a crime.

Linda was my lab partner when we both went through GC school at Axion Labs in Chicago with Dr. Lee Polite and Dr. Harold McNair. I am unaware of any other Washington attorney who has a certificate in GC from the American Chemical Society.  That makes Linda a Forensic Lawyer.

If you are charged with an intoxication-related offense in Washington, pick up the phone and call Linda Callahan.

From her website:

If you’re like most of clients of Callahan Law, this is your first experience with the criminal justice system – and you want to be sure you hire a lawyer who is right for you. You want a lawyer with confidence and credentials who really cares about you and your case. You want a lawyer who is intelligent, trained, experienced and has earned the respect of peers, prosecutors and judges.

In 1992, Ms. Callahan, Principal of the successful Callahan Law, graduated with the highest honors, Summa Cum Laude, from Hawaii Pacific University, earning two degrees: a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts. Her GPA at graduation was 3.98. While at Hawaii Pacific University, she was President of Delta Mu Delta Honor Society and a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society. She was selected as the Harry S. Truman Scholar for the State of Hawaii in 1990.

The University of Notre Dame School of Law offered Ms. Callahan scholarships to attend their law school. She received her J.D. with honors, Cum Laude, from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1996. While there she made the Dean’s Honor List, was Production Editor for the Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy and was active in the Women's Legal Forum. While studying at Notre Dame, Ms. Callahan was a single parent raising two children.

Ms. Callahan has the respect of her peers, having been voted “Super Lawyer Rising Star” in 2006. She authored, along with her colleague Ted Vosk, a constitutional challenge to the DUI law that resulted in widespread suppression of breath tests for two years. She has argued before every level of court in the state, from the smallest municipal court to the State Supreme Court, and she is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Callahan is a published author in the DWI Journal of Law & Science, and has authored a book for non-lawyers on DUI, called the DUI Book, Washington Edition, which should be released soon. She trains other lawyers how to defend DUI cases.

Ms. Callahan is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a founding member of the Washington Alliance of DUI Trial Lawyers.

She is one of very few lawyers in the state who has learned the science and mechanics of breath testing from the DataMaster manufacturer, National Patent Analytical Systems (NPAS). NPAS manufactures all evidential breath test machines for the State of Washington. She owns her own DataMaster and conducts experiments for clients on it to determine whether certain substances could have artificially raised the breath test result. She is certified to administer Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, having been taught by NHTSA Certified Instructors.

Formerly, Ms. Callahan served as Session Attorney to the Senate Caucus in the State Legislature, and as deputy prosecuting attorney before turning to private practice. Her current practice focuses strictly on DUI defense.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

NCDD - By the Numbers

A fellow female NCDD member who is also a great friend of mine gets propositioned at every NCDD function despite the fact that she is married and not the least bit interested. It’s become a running joke now. She definitely has her own views on the culture of NCDD.

Women make up slightly more than 10% of the NCDD membership. That number would be significantly larger if NCDD made ANY effort whatsoever to recruit women members.

Most women don’t want to join all male organizations. Men may think this is an attractive proposition for us. Truth is, it’s not.

There are a LOT of female DUI defense lawyers around the country that are not NCDD members. That seems to be a very difficult concept for the Male Monarchy to grasp. They think we are a rare breed.

I ran some stats on the number of female DUI lawyers who have been asked to present at Winter or Summer Session over the course of the 8 years I have been a member. A grand total of 149 men presented during that time period compared to 5 women.

The 5 number is misleading, however. 2 of the women were experts like Sunwolf – not DUI lawyers. That leaves 3 but there were only actually 2 women – 1 spoke twice. That leaves a GRAND TOTAL of 2 women DUI lawyers on the NCDD stage in 8 years. I am in charge of the speakers for a DWI seminar in Texas in May. 1/2 of the speakers are female DWI warriors. Somehow I can find them in North Texas but NCDD can’t find them in the entire U.S.

Contrast these numbers to the ratio of speakers that present at seminars for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. All of their seminars for 2012 are on their website. You can go pull up the faculty list for each one. You will find about a 50/50 split. These are women presenting on topics like DNA, capital murder, sex crimes, jury selection, etc.

NACDL recognizes the contributions of women lawyers. So does every other legal organization I belong to with the exception of NCDD.

After returning from Winter Session a few weeks back where the entire speaker lineup was male, I posted a question on the NCDD list serve - Where Are the Women? I was told today that there will be 3 women presenting this year at Summer Session. Amazing. A decade goes by and none are deemed worthy but they catch a little heat and suddenly can find 3. I will be in attendance to witness this amazing event.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

NCDD - A Note Before I Begin

I am a member of the National College for DUI Defense and have been for over 8 years. Some of my greatest friends and the best lawyers I know are also members.

The blog series that follows is not intended as a slight towards them. The leadership, or “Male Monarchy” as I like to call it, needs to change. I believe there are some men currently serving on the NCDD Board of Regents who know that change is needed and hope to make that happen at some point. Unfortunately, those persons appear to be in the minority.

Remember that the first rule of fight club was don’t talk about fight club? That’s pretty much the culture of NCDD. Members have no voice. Our job is to pay dues, pay for seminars and otherwise shut the hell up.

I would have made a bad peasant. The “submit and obey” world of NCDD just doesn’t work for me. They may try to throw me out for speaking up. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Little Background...

Since my new blog is likely to rattle the cages of some people (who know who they are), I thought I would start with a little background.

I grew up in a family with a working mom. My mother was in sales and traveled during the week. It was not uncommon for her to leave on Monday and not return until Thursday or Friday. This might not seem particularly unusual in 2012 but in 1975 it was unheard of. Women did not travel for business back then or, if they did, their numbers were very small.

When you're a kid, whatever is going on in your family is the norm. It's not until you are older that you look back and see the unusual stuff. When I was in my late teens, my mom began to tell me stories about what life was like for the working woman traveling during the 70's and 80's. I heard about male co-workers (and sometimes bosses) who would "accidentally" forget to book 2 hotel rooms on business trips. When work would run late and she would stop to eat in the hotel restaurant, business men would think she must be a hooker and either follow her to her room or drop their hotel key on her table. The list of indignities was long.

I have been fortunate when it comes to sexism. College, law school, a stint at the Dallas DA's Office - never even saw a hint of it. The DA's Office was then (and is now) about 50/50 male - female. I left in 1994 and have operated my own law office ever since. The opportunities for discrimination against me because I'm a woman have been few. I have never in 18 years of trial practice felt that a judge that I was in front of was treating me with disdain due to my sex.

So why is a 43 year old female lawyer at the top of her game blogging about sexual discrimination against female lawyers?

That's easy. Sexism is alive and well - and THRIVING - in legal organizations. One in particular - which will be the focus of many of my future blog posts - is so blatant about it that it's practically comical.

I know a lot of female DWI/DUI trial lawyers from around the country that are ass-kickers in the courtroom. They're smart. They're capable. They're badasses.

They deserve better than what they have been receiving from the national DUI bar.

This blog is for you.