I've worked at the Office of the Ohio Public Defender for over six years. As part of the OPD team, I've litigated criminal appeals on a huge variety of issues in both state and federal court.
For instance, in State v. Hand, I successfully argued that juvenile adjudications cannot be used to enhance a person's punishment for any later adult charges. You can read the filings in the case or watch the argument video to learn more. (I also won the Best Brief 2015 award from the Ohio State Bar Association for the brief in this case.)
I also lead our agency's working group on jail-time credit, an issue that combines technical statutory interpretation, constitutional law, and math in precisely a fashion that makes it terribly uninteresting but also terribly important. I successfully litigated a case on appellate rights for jail-time credit calculations, and if you're inclined to do so, you can watch that argument as well.
Data Analysis, Project Management
In my current role as a public information attorney, I'm focused on using data, outreach, and education to make sure marginalized people all over the state get the legal help they need. I spend most of my time working on business processes, user experience, and data validation for a state-wide data-collection and case-management system. It's still being developed and deployed, but you can read a little bit about it here.
I also work on tons of smaller projects that combine technology, data, and our agency's legal work. For instance, I've analyzed case data for agency budget proposals and for changing agency case-management policies.
I was also the project manager for the redesign of our agency's website, working with lawyers and staff throughout the agency to entirely overhaul our agency's web presence to provide better information to our clients, to their families, and to poor people all over the state who interact with the criminal justice system. I also helped lead the social media working group; you can now find our agency on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Teaching and Presenting
I teach continuing legal education courses in appellate writing, storytelling, and litigating junk forensic science. I've been faculty at a national appellate writing and storytelling workshop presented by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. I've also tutored high school and college students in chemistry and physics.
Some of the things I've presented:
- A Digital Investigation from Beginning To End: Co-presented with a certified digital investigator, describing both technical and legal aspects of a computer forensic investigation.
- Bringing the Scientific Method Into the Courtroom: An introduction to the scientific method, including how to expose junk forensic science and how to use science to tell our clients' stories.
- Issue Spotlight: Jail-Time Credit: A brief overview of how to calculate the confinement credit our clients deserve, and how to make sure the court gets it right.
- OPD Online: I have presented to researchers, lawyers, and policy groups about the indigent-defense data infrastructure we are striving to develop in Ohio using our new case management system.
Writing, Blogging, Podcasting
When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher wrote a note home to my parents saying I was a great writer but that I'd get more done if I didn't spend so much time on the internet. Things maybe haven't changed much since then.
You can see some collected samples of my writing from the last ten years at my Medium page. The posts there are drawn from a wide array of things I've been involved with over the years, but I've also done a bunch of non-blogging things. I wrote papers during law school about the FCC's approach to net neutrality and about international intellectual property law (warning: both of these were written long, long ago). I've co-hosted and produced a podcast about the internet. I've appeared as a guest on a film podcast. I've written too many film and music reviews to count. I wrote a zombie apocalypse story on Twitter with the help of some friends.
Maybe most notably, I wrote for io9, the science fiction blog, for a while. I covered pop culture, but I also wrote about scientific advancements and wrote cultural analysis. You can read all my stories here, but here are some of my favorites: