How Free Is Your Speech?

Chris RikeCivil Rights, Criminal Defense

Police have a chilling effect on free speech

The interim chief of police of Columbia, South Carolina, Ruben Santiago, believes you should not be allowed to criticize his department.  If you do, you may be subjected to punitive police harassment. Citizen Brandon Whitmer had the temerity to post a comment critical of the police’s recent bust of a marijuana user and suggested that police resources might be better … Read More

Texas Judge Resigns After She Is Caught Texting Directions To Prosecution During A Trial

Chris RikeCivil Rights, Criminal Defense

texting judge tempe criminal defense attorney

I first ready this story on  It was so unbelievable that I had to look a little further and yes, this story is true.  Judge Elizabeth E. Coker engaged in inappropriate, unethical ex-parte communication with the prosecution during a criminal trial.  Ex-parte means literally “from one party.”  In other words, the judge communicated only to the prosecution, and not … Read More

Arizona Superior Court Posts Sign Contrary to Arizona Statute

Chris RikeCivil Rights

No Weapons Sign

I was at the Northeast Arizona Superior Courthouse in Maricopa County recently and noticed with some surprise the sign to the left.  It had been my understanding that the courthouse was required to provide convenient storage for a weapon rather than requiring a person to return the weapon to his or her vehicle.  Confused, I snapped a picture and returned … Read More

Police beat man incapacitated and lying on ground

Chris RikeCivil Rights

Police do not necessarily know the law and do not always do the right thing.  The best way to protect yourself is to know the law, to know your rights and to know an attorney to call when things go sideways.  The video below begins with a man falling down as he is shot with a stun gun by a … Read More