January 9, 2016
Dear readers, if you’re in the Fishtown / Philadelphia area on January 28th at 5:30pm, please join Rushie Law for a happy hour. Food and drinks will be served. We’ll talk love, life, the internet, zoning, and perhaps the 1st and 2nd Amendment. Or maybe we’ll all just hang out and have a good time.
Flyer is courtesy of Vela. And since many of you have asked, the Rushie Law branding was done by True Hand Society.
January 9, 2015
Oh, I’m just a little black rain cloud…
It was 11.30 am. I was standing behind defense table, arguing to have my client’s case dismissed.
I was also really pissed off. You see, I’d been waiting in court for the DA to be ready to put on their preliminary hearing.
Around 8.30 that morning, while the Court staff statused the cases for the day, the District Attorney said “Your Honor, I have good contact with my witness, and they are on their way in”.
“Ok”, said the judge. “Witness hold”. She turned to me “Counsel, please come back at 10 for a status of witness”.
“Of Course, Your Honor” I said. The witness already hadn’t shown twice, and the case was marked “Must-be-Tried Commonwealth”—e.g., if the witness didn’t show up, the case would be dismissed. My client had been arrested five months prior and had been sitting in custody ever since on $100,000.00 bail. He was anxious to get out. I was anxious to get him out. I wanted to get this case over with. “I’ll be back around 10.00 Your Honor, thank you”, I said before I left the courtroom, off to the number of other courtrooms that commanded my attention that morning.
That was three hours ago. I’d taken care of my other cases in my other rooms, and I had been waiting since 10 for the District Attorney to come back. He’d walked in the room at 11.29.
The first words out of his mouth: “Your Honor, my witness can’t make it in today”.
Perfect. Read the rest of this entry »
July 1, 2014
Get a Warrant — for iPhone
I made this on my iPhone yesterday, and it currently serves as my lock screen.
Feel free to download and use it appropriately.
Tell your friends and share as much as you’d like. Get the word out there that police may not search your phone without your consent or a warrant, thanks to Riley v. California.
(Wikipedia here, SCOTUS opinion here, OYEZ project link here).
While you’re at it, turn off location services.
Edit: I had a colleague point out to me that the text is obscured by the unlock dots on some Android phones. An Android version is below the fold.
2nd Edit: Ken at Popehat requested a special custom version, which is also below the fold. Use at your own risk.
Read the rest of this entry »
December 3, 2013
It is Tuesday at 9.30am and I am in the booth.
The booth is a tiny box where I have the honor of talking to my client through an inch of bullet-proof glass. I say “talking”, though it’s really more like yelling, since it’s pretty hard to hear through that glass.
“Booth” is a misnomer too. “Booth” reminds me of the precursor to something fun. You buy tickets to a movie or carnival rides at a booth. No such fun was happening today.
Really, the booth is purgatory, a limbo my clients sit in after they’ve made their way from the prison and to the courthouse basement’s holding cells, but before they enter the courtroom where they await final judgment.
This particular morning, I am wearing a navy flannel Brooks Brothers No. 1 sack suit, a white shirt I freshly pressed at 5.30 that morning, and a somber tie that reflected my mood.
In gross juxtaposition, my client is in an orange prison jumpsuit and has a thermal on underneath to keep warm. I guess this hell follows Dante’s rules.
My client is a good man who’d recently made a series of terrible decisions, all of which led to where he is today. Despite his cock-ups, he was truthful and admitted his mistakes not only to his family, but to members of his community.
Then the police became involved.
And he got arrested.
And his mistakes became a “case.”
And that’s how we ended up on opposite sides of the same sheet of glass on Tuesday at 9.32am. Read the rest of this entry »
August 15, 2013
Tonight I had the pleasure of speaking on behalf of the Fishtown Neighbors Association to address Philadelphia Zoning 101. Between all the acronyms, verbiage, and procedural hurdles to getting a zoning variance the process can seem more complicated than it is. The goal of the talk was to provide a basic overview of how the zoning process works here in Philadelphia.
In case you missed it, here is our “Philadelphia Zoning 101 Guide.” This should answer basic questions about how the zoning process works here in the City of Brotherly Love. Hopefully you don’t think it’s boring.
Leo previously wrote about changes to the Philadelphia Zoning Code that took effect in March 2013.
April 11, 2013
What is better for Fishtown? This or vacant land? Hmmmmm…
Behind the Port Richmond Shopping Center and along the riverfront sits a huge piece of vacant land that used to be a shipyard. Now, it’s a nice piece of land, but it hasn’t been used for anything in decades. Since it was used industrially in the past, the land is a biohazard and needs serious work done to use it for anything. Mind you, this is less than half a mile from my house and my office.
So… what are we supposed to do with a big piece of vacant land, connected to the waterfront, that will take a significant amount of time and money to revitalize?
When I first heard it might be used for another casino I was less than enthusiastic. Here we go again… I guess Fishtown is going to be Philly’s casino district. Ugh.
However, I was happy to learn that’s not the case. Steve Wynn proposes to use that land as a world class resort with a casino attached to it.
A world class freaking resort.
My view? It’s almost too good of an idea, and perhaps it makes too much sense. This isn’t “We can’t use this land for anything good, so let’s use it for something stupid.” This is actually a sensible, pragmatic use of the property.
Read the rest of this entry »
April 5, 2013
Appellants Karen Lewis and Carmen Bolden have filed their brief in support of overturning the ZBA’s decision, which would allow the Woman’s Community Revitalization Project to destroy historical Kensington bank buildings and build low income housing.
You can read more about the WCRP’s proposal here. You can also read the Zoning Board of Adjustment’s rational for their decision here.
Since I am counsel of record, I will not be commenting about the case. Below is the brief we filed.
March 26, 2013
Fishtown Chili Cook-Off Smashing Success, Despite Lack Of Guatemalan Insanity Pepper
The Fishtown Neighbor’s Association 3rd Annual Chili Cookoff was a rousing success. And while our spicy three-bean & seitan vegan Occupy Chili didn’t win this year, we had a great time. Kudos to FNA for another job well done.
Plus Jordan had an excuse to wear his cheesesteak hat.
Read more at Phoodie.
March 26, 2013
Today’s legal pro-tip: If you are a criminal defendant, or a potential criminal defendant — SHUT UP.
Don’t talk on the internet, even if you get “free advice” from professionals on the internet. Guess what? DAs read Avvo.com too.
So if you’re a criminal defendant, or a potential criminal defendant, do the following:
- Shut up.
- Don’t post on about your case on the internet. This means Avvo, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Instagram, Grindr — WHATEVER.
- Call an attorney immediately.
- Did I mention SHUT UP?
Talking on the internet cannot help you. It can, and will, only hurt your case.
You hire a lawyer, you get someone who’ll be the only person between you and a prosecutor gunning for your head.
In the meantime SHUT UP. Free legal advice on the internet is worth what you pay for it. Except this advice. This advice might just save your ass.
h/t Charles Thomas for the link to the Avvo question that inspired this post.