ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT

ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT Advocating for children to be treated like children What’s At Stake Children are different than adults. Despite this self-evident truth, many people in the juvenile legal system treat children as small adults—subjecting them to harsher penalties without considering their development and opportunities for growth. Several studies have revealed how adolescent development shapes youth…

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How to celebrate the Gaultiversary

This is not a drill. May 15 is Gault Day! Mark your calendars.   Passover brings matzah, the Eid new clothes, Christmas brings my father commiserating with Ebenezer Scrooge while watching A Christmas Carol. Each holiday has a tradition! The Gaultiversary deserves no less.   But how does one celebrate the seminal case that contained…

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Casey KK’s American (Constitutional Right to Counsel) Top 10

How excited am I that we have our first Black female Supreme Court Justice who is a public defender? (Once a public defender, always a public defender; it’s blood in, blood out.) Very!   But not more than Senator Cory Booker. No one was more excited than Senator Booker.   However, when Justice Brown Jackson…

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Dear K.K.

Dear K.K.,   My dear client has a love-hate relationship with his school district. He is currently at an alternative school. One day in January, he left his school and entered the main high school. He was let in by another student and bypassed the metal detector. He wandered the school, entering classrooms and generally…

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Top 10 Reasons why Appellate Attorneys are Bae

Once upon a time, there was a curly-haired defender who hated having to play Go Fish about discovery before a transfer hearing: “Prosecutor, do you have the statement from the store clerk mentioned in the police report?” “No. Go fish. I don’t plan on using it at the hearing. And this is a preliminary hearing….

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10 New Year’s Revolutions

Hey, so that holiday break was . . . different. I spent New Year’s Eve doing shots of Pepto with flat ginger ale chasers—a bubble gum guts cocktail (TM pending)—after a truly regrettable, but unforgettable, chicken sandwich. Texting “Happy New Year! Great news, it’s only violent food poisoning, not omicron. xoxo” to friends and family…

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12 Days of Yuletide Youth-Tide

Christmas songs are weird. Between people demanding figgy pudding and refusing to leave until they get some, to the wildly problematic Baby, It’s Cold Outside. (This maiden aunt’s mind is, indeed, vicious, but it’s because of your inability to understand consent.)   Is it the public defender in me that doesn’t like to throw around…

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10 Things I’m Thankful for as a Youth Defender

Several Thanksgivings ago, perhaps fueled by too many Hallmark movies, I suggested we go around the table and say what we were thankful for. I was feeling misty-eyed, Norman Rockwell, The Best Man Thanksgiving vibes until we got to my four-year-old nephew, who asked if I was thankful my dog had died. Now first, my…

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10 of the Scariest Things about the Juvenile Legal System

When I was in high school a group of friends and I went to track down “Hookerman” on some abandoned train tracks in Northwest New Jersey. The story was that a train conductor lost his hand taking mail bags off hooks at the train depot and his ghost walked the abandoned tracks looking for his…

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Back to (Defending Youth in) School

I always loved back to school. It was a time of Lisa Frank, Trapper Keeper, and weirdly attractively smelling erasers. Teachers, the Dow Jones of school supplies, forecasted how many pencils I would need.   Back to school in 2021 might look different—I’m taking my nephew back-to-school shopping on Saturday, and so far the only…

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10 Things States Got Right in Youth Defense

Some people collect shot glasses or magnets from their travels. Me, I collect enviable local youth defense jurisprudence.   *Due to Covid restrictions, these states were visited via Zoom.   Washington Despite what my research—reading Twilight (Team Jacob)—led me to expect, my trip to Washington was devoid of both vampires and werewolves. It was, however,…

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