Today marks the first time I am blogging as a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in Georgia.
Although I had set up this blog some time ago, it has taken me a while to come to this point, partly because I have been busy setting up my solo practice, and partly because I needed time to think of a direction for this blog, i.e., what subjects should or should not be discussed in this blog, what ethical concerns arise from being a blogger and attorney, etc. I don’t know if I’ve completely resolved those issues, but, for the moment at least, I am content knowing that there are things worth discussing with respect to criminal law and civil rights not only in Georgia but the United States as a whole. And this blog will provide me with a forum to do so.
The title of my blog is taken from Ralph Ellison’s famed novel of the same name. It begins with the following passage:
I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids – and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination – indeed, everything and anything except me.
It is perhaps not a stretch to say that Ellison’s description of the “invisible man” is all too familiar for those who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Not because the criminal process itself is often bizarre and incomprehensibly complicated, although that I am sure contributes to one’s feeling and status of “invisibility”, but because criminal activity is the result of one’s sense of “invisibility” in society. That is the perspective from which my discussion of criminal law and civil rights will be framed. And I invite all of my readers to call me out when I stray from that perspective.