Skip to main content
Michael F. Morgan

Michael Morgan’s Legal Guides

8 total

  • Shackling Defendants in court is a due process violation

    I have observed in both the courts of limited jurisdiction and the King County Superior Court defendants in shackles when their case is being heard. It is customarily considered by courts of record, however, to be a violation of a defendant's due process rights to shackle a defendant when in court.

    Read more 

  • Photo Enforcement Ticket Defenses

    In Washington state, photo enforcement tickets do not go on a person's driving record. Because of this fact and the amount of the fine involved it generally makes very little sense for a person to hire a lawyer for a photo enforcement ticket. In Spokane, the court prohibited offi...

    Read more 

  • What can we learn from Charlie Sheen?

    If even half the news accounts are true, actor Charlie Sheen is an addict that has recently engaged in boorish and bizarre behaviors. For those of us that are either representing someone in the criminal justice system or care about someone in the criminal justice system these typ...

    Read more 

  • Prohibited ex parte communications

    The King County Superior Court website has a link regarding email communications, That link explains what constitutes, in the court's mind, what is permissible and impermissible ex parte email communications with the court.. The rules regarding ex parte communications are an out...

    Read more 

  • Common Errors with Stipulated Facts Trials

    A fairly common error associated with a stipulated facts trial is the (mistaken) belief that such a trial is the same as a defendant agreeing to their guilt to the charged offense. see State v. Johnson, 104 Wn. 2d 338 (1985). " In a stipulated facts trial, the judge or the jury s...

    Read more 

  • Equal Protection for Felonies in Incorporated Cities

    Municipalities have passed many laws that seemed to mirror felonies. For example, Federal Way enacted a gross misdemeanor that made a domestic violence assault by strangulation a specific offense--although a felony assault could also be committed by means of strangulation. It is...

    Read more 

  • Ethical Considerations When Imposing an Attorney Lien

    RCW 46.40.10 establishes the right of an attorney to place a lien against a client (and sometimes even an adverse party) in order to collect a reasonable unpaid fee. An attorney lien, in many situations, may be the most efficient manner a lawyer can collect a long overdue bill fr...

    Read more 

  • Vacating your Criminal Conviction in Washington state

    Is your conviction a felony or a misdemeanor? Different statutes and different courts determine whether to vacate a conviction depending on whether that conviction is a felony (see RCW 9.92.066, 9.95

    Read more