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  • One of the most fascinating areas of criminal law is the lawful use of force in self-defense.  The bad news is it is  also one of the most misunderstood, thanks in no small part to the entertainment industry and the news media.  The good news is the person I consider to be the foremost expert […]

  • I recently watched some of the TV series, “Kung-Fu” (1972-75) with my young son. It was my favorite when I was a teenager. The show’s hero, Kawi Chang Caine, never used force other than defensively. And if the issue could be solved without force, he took that route. A good role model. In one episode, […]

  • The use of force in self-defense is known in the law as “justification”. The “black letter” law is found in Penal Law §35.15 (http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/PEN/ONE/C/35/35.15). The cases interpreting this law are legion. Justification is often misunderstood, even among attorneys and judges. The dynamics of violent encounters have practical complexities most legal professionals are not trained to […]

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