In today’s episode I speak with civil rights and criminal defense lawyer Kobie Flowers, who represents the wrongly accused and the wrongly convicted. He is a Partner at Brown, Goldstein & Levy in Washington, D.C.
Kobie is a trial lawyer’s trial lawyer. He started his career in the Attorney General’s Honors Program where he worked as civil rights prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice with a focus on prosecution of police brutality. After he completed his time at DOJ, Kobie worked as an Assistant Federal Defender in Baltimore where he represented clients in a number of different substantive areas of criminal law. His practice has given him chances to litigate in state and federal courts throughout the country as well internationally at the military commission in Guantanamo Bay. He is active in the legal community including service on the boards of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project. He’s taught trial skills and trial advocacy across the country in both professional and academic settings. Kobie is a graduate of Stanford University and Georgetown Law. Before attending law school he served in Peace Corps.
In our discussion we discuss his path to law school after the summer of 1992 and its similarities to the summer of 2020; how starting in DOJ as a civil rights prosecutor made him a better criminal defense lawyer; the importance of learning from hard cases and why the raw number of cases you've tried is less important than how difficult they were; life as a federal defender and later criminal defense lawyer; the unique experience of the grand jury; the value of having a case theory from the very beginning of your case all the way through trial; the power of watching and learning from experienced lawyers as well as more junior lawyers (and even non-lawyers); the critical skill of storytelling as it relates to trying criminal cases; and the societal problems he sees with the disappearance of the criminal jury trial.
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