Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finding the Bullet-Takers in Your Life

There are times in your life when events force those around you to show their true colors.  You find out that some people you think are your friends are not, while others rise up and are willing to take a bullet for you.

If I had made a list of the "bullet takers" before filing my discrimination lawsuit against NCDD, I would have been sadly mistaken.  People I have known for years, some as long as 18, could not wait to throw me under the bus in their haste to defend NCDD.  Their cult-like obsession with a pathetically flawed organization led them to paint me as a "villain" for exposing NCDD's discriminatory practices.  Interesting.

On a brighter note, I have discovered who the true "bullet takers" are in my life.  I have friends that have gone above and beyond in demonstrating their loyalty to me and I will forever be grateful to them.  They have been patches of sunlight in an otherwise dark time.  I am very lucky.

As a dear friend told me today - there's a lot to be said for gaining this knowledge.

So to all the bullet-takers in my life - and you know who you are - thank you.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

More Words to Live By

Words to Live By

Emailed to me this past week by a fellow attorney supporting me in my fight for equality of opportunity in the National College for DUI Defense:

“It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or the doer of deeds could have them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the Arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but he who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great devotion; who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Teddy Roosevelt

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spotlight On: Mary Claire Mulligan (Colorado)

Mary Claire Mulligan is a criminal defense and DUI warrior in Boulder, Colorado.  She was recommended for this blog by a dear friend of mine who is also one of the top expert witnesses in the field of DUI defense.  He worked with her on a DUI case and was IMPRESSED with her knowledge and trial skills.  When he talks, I listen.

Charged with an alcohol-related offense in Boulder, Colorado?  Call Mary Claire Mulligan.

From her website:

Admitted: 1992, Colorado and U.S. District Court, District of Colorado

Law School: University of Colorado at Boulder, J.D.

Boulder County Bar Association

Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (Member: Board of Directors; Policy Committee; Training Committee)

Colorado Women’s Bar Association (Member, Judicial Nominating Committee)

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Sheridan Foundation Scholarship Dean’s List
Maryland Distinguished Scholar
Recipient: The Marketing Medal, 1987
Presidential Scholarship
Academic Achievement Award
Philosophy Core Essay Award
Achievement in Marketing Award
Regional Finalist, National Trial Competition, Portland, Oregon, 1992
Recipient: Moses Lasky Scholarship
Davis, Graham & Stubbs Scholarship
Bernard J. Seeman Scholarship
Student Attorney, Legal Aid and Defender Program
Co-President, Women’s Law Caucus
Treasurer, American Civil Liberties Union
Law Clerk: Office of the United States Attorney, 1990-1991
Martin McAllister & Murphy, 1991
Research Assistant to H. Patrick Furman, Clinical Professor, University of Colorado School of Law, 1991-1992
Deputy State Public Defender, 1992-1993, 1994-1997
Author, “Jury Nullification: Its History and Practice,” The Colorado Lawyer, December 2004
Coach, Boulder High School Mock Trial Team, 2003-2005
Lecturer, Criminal Procedure and Trial Practice: Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, University of Colorado Trial Advocacy Class
Legal Panelist, “Law and Justice: DUI,” 2006
Member, Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice Probation Task Force
Fellow: Boulder County Bar Foundation.

   Criminal Defense
   Drug Crimes
   Driving While Intoxicated
   Criminal Law
   Assault and Battery
   Constitutional Law
   Controlled Substances Law
   Criminal Appeals
   Criminal Conspiracy
   Criminal Fraud
   Drivers License Suspension
   Drugs and Narcotics
   Drug Forfeiture
   Drug Trafficking
   Excessive Use of Force
   False Arrest
   Fifth Amendment Law
   Fourth Amendment Law

   Grand Jury Practice
   Mail Fraud
   Malicious Prosecution
   Parole and Probation
   Police Brutality
   Police Misconduct
   Post-Conviction Remedies
   Search and Seizure
   Sex Crimes
   Sexual Assault
   Traffic Violations
   Trial Practice
   Weapons Charges
   White Collar Criminal Defense
   White Collar Crime
   White Collar Fraud
   Wire Fraud

Women of NCDD: Gretchen Lynch Taylor (Virginia)

Gretchen Lynch Taylor is a Virginia trial lawyer concentrating in DUI and criminal defense.  She is a member of NCDD and a rising star in the area of DUI defense in Virginia.  She has experience as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney and has even logged time as a law professor.

Charged with an intoxication-related offense in Virginia? Give Gretchen Lynch Taylor a call.

From her website:


1995-1997: Assistant Public Defender

1998-2002: Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney (prosecutor)

1999-2002: Adjunct Professor of Law, College of William & Mary

2002-2008: Assistant Federal Public Defender

2008-2011: Law Office of Gretchen L. Taylor

2011-present: Taylor Law Company

Ms. Taylor has both prosecuted and defended individuals charged with every conceivable crime, from Murder to DUI to federal white collar conspiracies.   She has proven to be a zealous advocate in local and federal courts all over the state of Virginia.

J.D., College of William & Mary, 1995 
Moot Court Board, Bill of Rights Journal

B.A., Virginia Tech, 1992 
Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Virginia, 1995
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, 2002
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 2003

U.S. Supreme Court, 2004

Professional & Bar Association Memberships
Virginia State Bar
 - Member Since: 1995 

National College for DUI Defense 
- Member Since: 2009 
General Member 

Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
 - Member Since: 2008 

Fairfax Bar Association
 - Member Since: 2008

Women of NCDD: Sandra Drewniak (Virginia)

Sandra Drewniak is a Senior Partner at Furlong & Drewniak in Fairfax, Virginia.  She is an NCDD member and a fearless defender of the accused.  Sandra has a wide range of experience in the area of criminal law, both as a prosecutor and defender.  She has a national reputation for excellence.

Charged with an intoxication-related offense in Virginia?  Call Sandra Drewniak.

From her website:

Sandra K. Drewniak
Former State & Federal Prosecutor, US Army Jag Officer

An experienced trial attorney, former state and federal prosecutor, and military defense attorney. Prior to forming Stone Furlong Drewniak, PLLC, she was the chief of the criminal division at prominent trial defense firm in Northern Virginia where she handled hundreds of criminal defense cases. Attorney Drewniak has traveled across Virginia handling hundreds of traffic, DUI and criminal cases with an aggressive and thorough approach designed to maximize the legal protections and defenses for her clients. Attorney Drewniak’s client list includes political figures, executives, CEOs, military, juveniles, defense contractors, police, federal agents, firemen, teachers, doctors, lawyers, out-of-state drivers, security clearance holders, and those who require an aggressive and thorough defense designed to maximize legal protections.

Before becoming a criminal defense attorney, she worked as a state prosecutor. She was the lead DUI/Reckless Driving prosecutor in her county and was trained by the State Police in numerous field sobriety tests, such as the gaze nystagamus test and the portable breathalyzer test (PBT), as well as the use of the Intoxilyzer and blood tests. She attended the DUI Prosecutor course where she was taught how weight and body composition can affect BAC readings using volunteer test subjects. Besides DUI and traffic issues, she prosecuted financial fraud, juvenile/child support matters, domestic violence, adult protective services, and other misdemeanors/felonies.

As a federal prosecutor, Attorney Drewniak served as Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA), prosecuting more than 300 misdemeanor offenses such as DUI, Reckless Driving, and traffic citations in United States Magistrate Court.

As an active duty Judge Advocate for the United States Air Force, Major Drewniak provided defense services for more than 7,000 active duty U.S. military members; represented more than 250 clients facing administrative disciplinary actions and defended clients in more than 40 criminal trials. She is available for courts martial CONUS and OCONUS.

Attorney Drewniak is available for defense litigation and counseling before all disability boards and is skilled in challenges to security clearances. She defended more than 200 disability administrative hearings annually while with the Air Force. Additionally, she has litigated administrative employment hearings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defending the United States Air Force against Title VII EEO claims.

Attorney Drewniak has also received numerous civilian and military service awards and achievements. Some of her many awards/honors include: Cambridge Who’s Who of Distinguished Individuals 2010, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Golden Key National Honor Society, Woodcock Honor Society, Army and Air Force Commendation Medals, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Award, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award , Army Superior Unit Award, and Air Force Organizational Excellence Award.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Week 1 in The Gauntlet

Week 1 in my battle to bring equality of opportunity to the National College for DUI Defense has been interesting.  I have been essentially "trashed" on their list serve this week which is curious because the rules for posting are very strict.  If you post a notice about a DUI-related seminar that NCDD is not making money off of you are sure to be severely reprimanded.  However, if you disparage my character it appears to be perfectly ok.

I am fascinated by the psychology behind a group of (mostly) men that fight against the government and defend the Constitution every day yet will belong to an organization where they have NO SAY in how it is governed, NO SAY in anything the organization does and which blatantly discriminates against certain groups of people - most notably women.

It's really a sad situation.  They've been beating up on me for days.  I assume that they are expecting the girl to cry and run home to mommy.  

They are apparently unfamiliar with Texas Women.    

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fighting for What's Right

After months of deliberation, I finally made the decision last week to file a discrimination suit against the National College for DUI Defense.  It's been a long time coming and is well-deserved.

Due to the pending litigation, I will not comment on the suit itself.  

Some of the venom spewed at me from NCDD members over the past two days has been interesting, to say the least.

Lawyers will align themselves with a blatantly discriminatory organization and then DEFEND it when the discrimination is exposed.  Fascinating, especially coming from criminal defense lawyers, of all people.  

This is sure to be an interesting summer.  

As I said on Facebook yesterday, the easiest thing in the world is to turn your head to injustice.  Standing up against the powers that be?  That's the hard part.  So can I take the heat of going up against the Big Boys?  You betcha.