Blog - Ethics

The NCDD Blog is for our members to comment on matters of general interest in the field of DUI Defense and to ask general questions concerning the topics posted.   NCDD does not monitor or control answers from the various lawyers (many of whom are regarded as among the best in the country) who may respond and the answers or comments they provide are solely their own.  Responses to questions and comments are not legal advice: they are only the opinions of the lawyer providing the answer or making the comment. No attorney client relationship is formed between the person who posts a question or comment and any attorney who posts an answer or comment. The NCDD Blog is not for the purpose of soliciting legal advice for any specific case and should not be relied upon for that purpose. No lawyer can provide advice for a specific case without far more information than can be included in a blog post.   Furthermore, the NCDD Blog is not to be used in any form, for any marketing, advertising or solicitation by any author.  If you need legal assistance or advice, consult a lawyer in your state. You can find NCDD member lawyers in your State listed under “Find an Attorney” in the menu to the left or at the top of the page. No opinion expressed by an attorney or other person on the NCDD Blog represents the opinion or views of the NCDD.



What It Means to Be Board Certified

Board Certification as a DUI Defense Specialist through the National College of DUI Defense is the most meaningful and significant professional development in my DUI Defense Practice.  I am one of only two (2) lawyers practicing in New Hampshire with the designation and one of only (3) three practicing in Massachusetts with the designation. Prospective clients, colleagues and friends ask me, “what does the Board Certification mean?”  I tell them that following a rigorous ...read more

How the NCDD Board Certification Exam Became ABA Approved. By Steve Oberman.

Our Board Certification Committee is often asked how the NCDD Board Certification Program came to be approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). In response to this query, allow me to provide a historical perspective.

 

In the mid-1990s, the NCDD made a historical commitment to create a Certification Program and focus on the promotion of Board Certification for DUI Defense across the nation. This need was necessitated by the concern for those accused of DUI who were (and ...read more

3 Tips For Preparing To Take The Board Certification Exam

If you are considering taking the Board Certification examination, congratulations! You are taking a huge step forward in the quality of representation that you provide to your clients. You are making a huge investment in what type of lawyer you want to be. That is a great thing. So, I want to provide you with 3 simple tips that I believe will benefit you greatly in preparing for the exam. 

 

  1. It is never to early to begin compiling your application materials. Gathering ...read more

Board Certification: Its About a Lot More than You.

When I originally took the Board Certification Test for DUI Defense it was solely about me.  In fact, when I took it, the Florida Bar rules prohibited me from telling people I was Board Certified, however, I thought I was one of the better DUI attorneys in my area, but I had so much less experience than the others.  I wanted to prove to myself that I belonged among the best.  I worked hard to qualify to sit for the test and took it after being an ...read more

Our Tone Matters (Particularly in More Difficult Cases)

Our Tone Matters – Particularly In More Difficult Cases

 

Board Certification for You

In 2001 when I applied for Board Certification, the designation was in its infancy. I have since been recertified twice. Preparation, then and now, really consists of being a solid DUI defense lawyer and brushing up on some statistics. You cannot, and should not, cram for this exam. There’s a lot of talk about how difficult the exam is, but if you know your stuff because you’re immersed in it every day, all you really need to do is refresh your memory on some of the finer points on ...read more

How NCDD's Board Certification Program Became ABA Approved

Our Certification Committee is often asked how the NCDD Board Certification Program came to be approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). In response to this query, allow me to provide a historical perspective.

 

In the mid-1990s, the NCDD made a historical commitment to create a Certification Program and focus on the promotion of Board Certification for DUI Defense across the nation. This need was necessitated by the concern for those accused of DUI who were (and continue) ...read more

Yes, You Should Take NCDD's Board Certification Exam

Is it demanding?  Yes.  Is it challenging?  For sure.  Will it make you a better lawyer?  Hell yes.  And that reason alone is why you should take NCDD’s Board Certification Exam. I practice in Washington State, where specialties and Board Certifications are not recognized by my State Bar Association.  I had the same thoughts that many good DUI lawyers have – why should I take it?  What is the benefit?  Since my state doesn’t recognize ...read more

Why You Should Take NCDD's Board Certification Exam

Why Take the Board Certification?

 

For many years, I was of the opinion that I didn’t need to take the Board Certification test. Oklahoma didn’t recognize certification. I have never been asked by a potential client about it. I was competing for and signing up cases without it. I took the bar exam and wasn’t taken any more exams. I had lots of reasons why I didn’t need it.

Truth was that I wasn’t up for the challenge. Was I really good enough ...read more

How to Tackle NCDD's Board Certification Exam

You may have heard how difficult the DUI Board Certification test is. Unfortunately, there are many among us who allow themselves to be discouraged from taking the test because they have allowed themselves to believe it is too difficult.

 

The truth however, in my experience is a little different. Taking the test begins with the application process. This part of the task can seem to be the most difficult as you or your assistant must dredge up old files to find dispositions ...read more

NCDD Members Gerstenzang and Epstein To Serve as Legal Defense Experts at Roundtable Discussion Held at the Department of Transportation Conference Center in Washington

Peter Gerstenzang and Steven Epstein Will Serve as Legal Defense Experts at an August 24th Roundtable Discussion Held at the Department of Transportation Conference Center in Washington, D.C.

 

Two NCDD members, Peter Gerstenzang and Steven Epstein, will ...read more

Lying Expert Witnesses: The Shabby State of Criminal Justice in Our Country

The American Criminal Justice System: “Houston, We have a Problem.”


Mark Fuhrman, convicted of a felony perjury after the O.J. Simpson trial, is now a national Fox legal analyst, an “expert witness” on police matters. Last week, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, ruled “Dr.” James Ferguson, a state toxicologist, convicted of perjury, could NOT be sued or found liable for lying in a murder case where his expert witness testimony was relied upon ...read more

DWI/DUI Marijuana


http://duinewsblog.org/2013/03/13/dwidui-marijuana/



This news article demonstrates the fervor of law enforcement to get a DWI/DUI even when there is no evidence. A person may show from a toxicology screen that they may have THC in their system with no evidence of impairment at the time of driving (some of these tests may show positive if the person smoked in the last 6 weeks).  Scary stuff.

read more

The Dirty DUI


http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Ex-cop-Tanabe-convicted-in-Dirty-DUI-scandal-4784564.php

In the quiet community of Danville, California, desperate people will do desperate things.  And what greed can do to an individual is only topped by what it can do to our entire system of justice.  Gordon Gecko may have said “greed is good” but in American jurisprudence, it is toxic.  And so goes the story of the “Dirty DUIs.”

It all began in in the late 1990′s in Contra Costa County, California.  That’s where Deputy Stephen Tanabe met fellow Deputy ...read more

The Scandalous Tale of the Tampa Bay Setup


http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/prosecutors-drop-dui-charge-against-todd-mj-schnitts-attorney-citing-set-up/2133760

As Chairman of the NCDD Website Committee, I get the pleasure of tweeting news stories on behalf of the College.  Perhaps you follow us @NCDDNews.  Occasionally, you come upon a story that is too good not to share.  I followed this story for several months and I now want to share it with you.  

Ever heard the phrase, “truth is sometimes stranger than fiction?”  Well here is a tale that certainly personifies that.  It is the story of Tampa Bay attorney ...read more

Building The Best DUI Lawyer

There’s a growing, and I think, necessary, trend for lawyers to specialize/concentrate in a niche area of law, giving clients the most effective and experienced representation for their case. Strong DUI laws and sinister law enforcement techniques require a high level of training and experience in DUI practice.

There is a blueprint for becoming an excellent DUI lawyer.

Just like anything else, it requires effort, discipline and a genuine desire to focus on that area ...read more

Ethics and Professionalism: 45 Years and Still Learning

The hardest part of writing or speaking about legal ethics and professionalism is to be able to do so in a manner that sounds neither superior nor arrogant.  Please trust that I feel neither.

I was raised in the practice of law at a very fortunate time, one in which a premium was placed on collegiality and mentorship and not bloodletting competition.  It was a time when you could just call any other lawyer, even one you did ...read more