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Dedicated to Producing Cutting Edge Practical Scholarship in the Area of Federal Criminal Defense Law

The articles in the FCDJ are authored by students enrolled in California Western School of Law’s Trial Advocacy Specializing in Federal Criminal Defense. Each article is designed to offer practitioners insight into the latest issues in federal criminal law. The authors will examine the application of a rule of evidence or analyze a recent case opinion and its potential impact on courtroom litigation.

Justin Brooks and Mario Conte

Federal Criminal Defense Journal

Co-Editors in Chief

Current Issue of the Federal Criminal Defense Journal


Moving Towards Uniformity in Sentencing at Courts Martial

By Justin McEwen

Procedural vs. Substantive Reasonableness: A Critique of Sentencing Standards of Review in the Ninth Circuit

By Nicolas Jimenez

Does Pleading the Fifth Afford Real Protections to Non-testifying Co-defendants?

By Sandrine Gaillot

A Qualifying Defendant Requesting a Minor Role Reduction Under § 3B 1.2 Should Receive One, Unless the Prosecution Can Prove Culpability Greater to Others in the Criminal Actions

By Stephanie Ruiz


Past Issues of the Federal Criminal Defense Journal


Context Evidence: Offered for the Truth of the Background Evidence Offered

By Amy Broderick

Using Rule 806 in Trial or Beware of Avatars

By Olesea Collins


Federal Criminal Defense Journal Volume II

A Crack in the Re-entry Guideline: Kimbrough and 2L.1.2's Sixteen Level Enhancement

By Jaime Longoria

Forming and Maintaining Productive Client Relations with Al Qaeda Members and Their Supporters

By Travis Owens



The Confrontation Clause After Melendez Diaz and Its Effect on Expert Testimony

By Vishan Dewan

Berghuis v. Thompkins and the Modern Miranda Landscape

By Stephanie-Louise Jamieson

Virtual Testimony - A Criminal Defender's Guide to Arguing Against Its Constitutionality

By Gerisssa Santos

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Crawford & Tender Years

By Vazken A.E. Zerounian



Confronting the Coroner: The Admissibility of Autopsy Reports Post-Melendez-Diaz

By Sarah Clifton

If Machines Cannot be Cross Examined, What’s the Remedy? Analysis of the Testimonial Nature of Reports and Their Presentation at Trial

By María Libertad Montañez Concepción

Reasonable Suspicion In The Context Of Student Searches: Just How Reasonable Is Reasonable?

By Jason Rose



Defending Against the Disclosure, Admission, and Credibility
of Cell Phone Tracking Data

By Courtney Montiero

Do Defendants Have a Privacy Interest in Their Cell Phone's Text Messages and E-mails?

By Juan A. Albino

Privacy Rights in a Modern World: How Satellite Images Permanently Change the Application of Fourth Amendment Privacy Laws

By Josey Rodriguez and Bobby Shui

Rape Shield Laws and Social Networking Websites:
Is There any Privacy Left to Protect?

By Bita Ashtari and Jan Thompson



Crawford and Expert Testimony as Hearsay: A Practical Guide to Navigating the Uncertain Currents of Expert Testimony Under Crawford

By Dori Thompson and Andrew Westover

A Guide to Avoiding the Dangers in Allowing One Government Agent to Give Both Lay and Expert Testimony

By Carl Barkemeyer and Morgan Taylor

Guns Don't Kill - Games, Movies, Books and Songs Do: The Prosecution's Continued Quest to Blame Something Else

By Bethany Payton-O'Brien and Kathleen Pedro

Testimonial Business Records: A Post-Crawford Analysis

By Andew Caborn and Kevin Moran

Truth Loves Open Dealing: Confrontation Demands for Statements MadeOutside the Traditional Police Interview

By Daniel O'Malley Caldieraro and Russell B. Pate