Fault Lines
16 September 2017
  • Judge Kopf: Without Senior Judges, System Would Collapse

    by - Feb 11, 2016
    (Comments: 16)
    Feb. 11, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Certain academics and others rail against old federal judges. These commentators see a real problem with aged federal judges. In my opinion, they vastly overstate the problem or they have...
  • Do You Remember When I Took Your Deposition?

    by - Feb 3, 2016
    (Comments: 17)
    Feb. 3, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — The last jury trial I had as a practicing lawyer was a criminal case. I second-chaired my young law partner Jim Doyle. Jim is now a Nebraska state trial judge...
  • Federal Judicial Tempers and the Trial of Criminal Cases

    by - Jan 27, 2016
    (Comments: 17)
    Jan. 27, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Although it seems like yesterday to me, few of you are old enough to remember the Chicago Seven (or Eight) trial in a windy city federal courtroom following the violent events...
  • On Pharisaism, old dogs, new tricks and me

    by - Jan 20, 2016
    (Comments: 9)
    Jan. 20, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — Trust me. This is not about Ted Cruz. However, I do need to refer to an article in which the Senator is front and center. See David Brooks, The Brutalism...
  • Omaha Cops Claim They Are Special; They Are Not That Special

    by - Jan 11, 2016
    (Comments: 36)
    Jan. 11, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — People who have read what I have previously written know that I generally like, trust and respect cops. But the cops in Omaha, and their union, have suddenly declared that...
  • Judicial Kapelophiles

    by - Jan 6, 2016
    (Comments: 19)
    Jan. 6, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Intellectually, most people want to be egalitarian. In practice, that is another thing. Thus, I had mixed emotions about Noah Feldman’s, Who Needs Black Robes? Not Judges, Bloomberg View (December...
  • On Maistre and Microwaves

    by - Dec 23, 2015
    (Comments: 6)
    Dec. 23, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Read the following please: All grandeur, all power, and all subordination to authority rests on the executioner: he is the horror and the bond of human association. Remove this incomprehensible...
  • There Are Conflicts And There Are Conflicts

    by - Dec 14, 2015
    (Comments: 6)
    Dec. 14, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — In the old days, out in Dawson County, we lawyers had a saying. It went something like this, “There are conflicts and there are conflicts.” In other words: If you...
  • Remembering Robert P. Prager and calling “Bullshit”

    by - Dec 7, 2015
    (Comments: 9)
    Dec. 7, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — The toxic attacks on Muslim Americans spewing forth these days (for example, here) from politicians of various stripes requires a history lesson. Let’s look back to WWI. It sucked to...
  • Law, Order and Mahjong

    by - Dec 2, 2015
    (Comments: 2)
    Dec. 2, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — I enforce the law to provide order. That’s what Germans do. Thus, I was particularly pleased with the swift and decisive action of law enforcement taken at the Escondido Condominium...
  • The Supreme Court’s Missing Retro View

    by - Nov 25, 2015
    (Comments: 13)
    Nov. 25, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — I love 1957 Cadillac convertibles.  My mother had one back in the day before our family went broke, and she succumbed to demon rum. That got me thinking about retroactivity...
  • Descartes and Diesel: An Homage To A Dead Police Dog

    by - Nov 20, 2015
    (Comments: 3)
    Nov. 20, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — I love dogs. That is especially true for police dogs. A French police dog named “Diesel” was killed during a police raid that targeted the suspected mastermind of the deadly terror...
  • Judge Kopf Crosses (Crossfires?) Fault Lines

    by - Nov 11, 2015
    (Comments: 11)
    Nov. 11, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — In his absolutely superb law review article, a piece that every prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer should study hard, the brilliant judicial realist Alex Kozinski writes in regard to a...
  • Death Comes for the Forgotten

    by - Nov 4, 2015
    (Comments: 0)
    Nov. 4, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Death Comes for the Archbishop is a 1927 novel by the Nebraska author Willa Cather. It is on all the lists, such as 100 best English-language novels of the 20th...
  • The Proper Response When an Offender Laughs at a Judge During Sentencing

    by - Oct 28, 2015
    (Comments: 8)
    Oct. 28, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — “Ruling upholds extra prison time for felon who laughed during sentencing.” So wrote the estimable Howard Bashman yesterday, linking to the opinion and the breathless news coverage.  That got me...
  • A Second Camel’s Nose Under the Sentencing Tent

    by - Oct 15, 2015
    (Comments: 0)
    Oct. 15, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Coming soon to a federal sentencing court near you, Risk Prediction and the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S. 2123)—Empirical Methods to Assess Risk to Reoffend. So? When...
  • The Reality Of “Mules,” “Ghost Dope” And A “Fetid Feedlot On A Humid Day”

    by - Sep 29, 2015
    (Comments: 1)
    Sept. 28, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — As Scott Greenfield notes, Senator Charles Grassley, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is probably against eliminating statutory minimums. That’s too bad. They ought to go. But if Senator Grassley...
  • Time To Get Judges Out Of The Public Defense System

    by - Sep 24, 2015
    (Comments: 1)
    Sept. 24, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — A trial balloon: Let’s transfer the entire federal public defense system (Federal Public Defenders and Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorneys) to an independent agency within the judiciary modeled after the...
  • A Post Card And A Smoke Signal From Nebraska

    by - Sep 18, 2015
    (Comments: 1)
    Sept. 18, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Please read this remarkable article from the Omaha-World Herald: Assistant U.S Attorney Post: Prosecutor rumored to be headed here has baggage from California, (September 17, 2015). Above all else, I...
  • Why Do Federal Judges Send Criminals To Prison?

    by - Sep 9, 2015
    (Comments: 11)
    Sept. 9, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — I don’t know the answer to the titular question. I will try to briefly explain why this is a huge problem and why true sentencing reform needs to answer the...