hero’s journey

Anastasia Screams In Vain: The Devil’s Coming For Melissa Lucio

I Stuck around St. Petersburg, when I saw it was a time for a change. Killed the Tsar and his ministers, Anastasia screamed in vain. –Sympathy for the Devil, The Rolling Stones The famous Stones song is a meditation on evil.  If we have some understanding of the devil’s work, we may better understand the…

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Every good story has meaning!

We humans are undeniably creatures of story.  Think of how empty life would be without ever having been transfixed by images dancing before our eyes in a dark movie theatre, engrossed in an incredible page-turner, or mesmerized by a master storyteller weaving a yarn around a roaring campfire. But stories are not just for entertainment. …

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The Labor of Law – Save Yourself and You Save the World

Next month I will have officially reached my twenty-fifth year of lawyering; the majority of those years were spent slogging through the litigation trenches as a state and federal public defender.  These can be dark waters we lawyers swim in.  We confront people at their lowest moments in life.  We absorb trauma vicariously through our…

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Until the Work Is Done

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting a woman named Terry Fear.  I was planning a Zoom panel discussion for a group of community lay leaders where I live in Arizona; the topic of which was to be the federal death penalty.  Terry, an activist who lives near Terre Haute, Indiana (home of the…

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The 3 “Rs” of Sentencing Storytelling.

No matter what the case, there are only three types of sentencing stories defense lawyers ever tell.  I call them the 3 “Rs”, and they are: REASONS, RELATIVITY and REDEMPTION.  Every case has at least one.  With a little bit of luck and whole lot of elbow grease, you may uncover all three. Understanding these…

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What Penguins Can Teach Lawyers About “Minding the Gap”

Forget the inauguration.  This Friday, January 20, 2017, is National Penguin Awareness Day!  I swear, that’s really a thing.  Google it. So, what do penguins have to do with lawyers and their clients? I’ll get there.  I promise!  Read on. Would it make our jobs easier if our clients, particularly those that will one day…

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