What Are You Thankful For?
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday I wish to take time to express my gratitude. This has been a year of great accomplishments for me and for the issues for which I have always advocated. I have decided to share with you some of the things that have made the past year so great!
I am thankful that I work with Mark Babb, Lori Gaipo, Jamie Anderson, Jess Rudolf, Lee Edwards and David J. Smith. David joined us, and Jamie welcomed a new baby. We laughed and grew even closer as a firm and shared life’s ups, downs, tears and laughter – much laughter. I am thankful for the prosecutors, judges, police officers and colleagues who make me better and uphold a system that I believe in and have dedicated my life to.
I am thankful that Ohio is ready to end the practice of red-light and speed cameras. With the passage of the ban in the Ohio Senate on November 19th we are close to bidding farewell to the abominable notion that cities can derive revenue via a hidden and unfair tax on its citizens. I have been advocating on this issue since Ohio adopted the cameras and I feel very vindicated that I will live to see them go.
I am thankful that I received training in the Drug Recognition Expert protocol (Platt & Ass., Denver 2014). This year I also became a founding member of both the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys and the National DUI Defense Lawyers Association. I am also thankful that I was accepted by the “Brews Brothers” on WHIO Radio’s “What’s Brewing Dayton” show. My appearances have been fun and hopefully informative.
I am thankful that at least two states have decided to end the prohibition on marijuana and are deriving massive tax revenue from its legal sale. The War on Drugs is changing to accommodate the common sense views of a majority of Americans. Can we be far away from medical marijuana being legal in Ohio?
I am saddened but thankful that the events which took place in Ferguson, Missouri have focused attention on the over-militarization of our local police forces. We are now having a national debate about the nature of law enforcement and whether or not it is a good idea to create a standing army that treats citizens as the enemy and Constitutional rights as impediments to order.
I am thankful that civil asset forfeiture has become a topic of discussion. This piece on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” gives a good perspective on this horrible process and heaps loads of deserved derision on this odious practice.
I am thankful for the Ohio Supreme Court decision in Cincinnati v. Ilg, Slip Opinion No. 2014-Ohio-4258 which mortally wounds the idea that the Ohio Department of Health can dictate what challenges can be made against the breath test machine. The 1984 decision in State v. Vega limited the rights of attorneys to challenge any machine the ODH said complied with its own rules for administering tests. This year saw that decision killed (if not killed then severely wounded). While we still have a lot of work to do, this year was a banner year for truth, justice and science in the courtroom. Again, I never thought that I would get to see this day and I am so very grateful to all of the attorneys who fought so hard to help end this injustice.
Most of all I am thankful to the many people whom I have the good fortune to represent. Long ago I had a dream that I could be an attorney that would change the world. I wanted to be the next Clarence Darrow. And while I have not soared to those heights, my career has been fulfilling beyond my wildest dreams. Everyday I get to try to help people. I have a mission and a purpose whenever my phone rings. Who could ask for more?