Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In Commemoration of Yom Hashoah...

Vivaldi! Bach! Albinoni! Shubert! Barber! ... Where, where? The posters are all over Paris and the thought of listening to the Baroque masters in the heart of Paris tingles within me. The bombastic and yet all knowing Concierge at the Hotel Bel-Ami tells me: "Madame, c'est a la Saint Chapelle"....

OH MY GOD... The same Sainte Chapelle that we studied in school? the Crown Jewel of the French Gothic Era? Situated where else than in the Palais de Justice, where Justice a la Francaise has been meted out at this site since the medieval times.

The heat in Paris is stifling in the middle of July.  And yet, I will not pass up the opportunity to drink a glass of wine before going into the Concert.  We grab a table on the sidewalk of Brasserie Les Deux Palais, and with delicious anticipation of my baroque experience, I let the the wine seduce my taste buds.  

From the sixteenth century to the French Revolution, Le Palais De Justice was the seat of the Parlement de Paris. ... This is the courthouse, this is where I would have been practicing law, had I become an attorney in France rather the United States. This is where I would be going to Court on a daily basis, had the hands of fate landed me in Paris as opposed to Los Angeles

Marie Antoinette was kept and imprisoned here before her guillotinage.  Construction on this site begun sometime in the 13th Century, it survived the middle ages, the Renaissance, the French Revolution, etc...  ... I am excited.  The wine coursing its way in my veins, i can feel my body buzzing with anticipation. 

I walk my children in the hallways of the Palais De Justice, passing by the different offices that i would have walked by on a daily basis in Los Angeles.  The Court of Appeals, the Victims Rights office, The Restitution office, the Fines and Fees office.  I  am overwhelmed by the beauty of the architecture of the building... Of the history, of all the stories that it carries,  of all that my life could have been!

This is the country that gave us Jean Jacques Rousseau... "man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains"... and the naissance of the social contract, of the modern legal society.   My head spins... So many have died to be free... so many have fought to be free... so much historical weight in these hallways... and who am I? little nobody who wanted to changed the world and fell so short of the mark.

We walk into the breathtaking chapel with high vaulted ceilings.. The painted glass of the 13th century, the gilded wooden frames and high arches, the enamel... What can I say that hasn't already been said, other than its sheer magnificence brings me to my knees.

I have been lucky enough to score front row tickets. And the Quatuor Classik Ensemble start playing. As the bows plaintively cross the strings to draw the darkest moments of history from the notes, it occurs to me...

I am but a little freedom fighting girl, exiled from her own homeland, on account of being a Jew, living in a whole different part of the world, listening to Samuel Barber's Adagio and made timeless by Spielberg's Shindler's list celebrating one man's courage to fight evil by saving thousands of others, sitting where else but in the heart of Europe, where the French laid to the Nazis like butter does to bread.

and look...

Nationless... exiled... Rooted elsewhere.... and sprouted.

I am still standing... We are still standing.

and they are NOT.

My hands shake. I must have pushed the off button on the video, i realized much later. It is good to be free. It is good to have freedom... and it is a good fight, that which i fight...

Signing off
July 2013, Paris

Radio Host,
Citizen Journalist, Blogger.

The Sacred and the Profane

I am that which i seek...
I seek the sacred in the profane,
and the profane in the sacred...
I seek redemption in sin,
and love in treason
i follow no rules,
and once that becomes a rule
i turn around and abandon all things...
I hold the light in the dark...
& my abyss is hidden in light...
I defy all rules
i defy all boundaries
i create the rules,
i know no boundaries...
tell me what i am...
tell me who i am...
for i know not.
I seek what i am...
I am that which i seek.


Law Offices of Alaleh Kamran
15760 Ventura Blvd, Suite 1010

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Last night I was feasting on duck quesadillas and Torro sushi in a 34 Million dollar mansion... 

This morning I was visiting a female inmate facing 25 years.
2 women, 2 diametrically opposed destinies and lives.

And me, lucky enough to be able to seamlessly travel between both worlds.

Why did one end up in the mansion while the other in the grey bar hotel? Surely it is not just what we do or do not do that determines our fate

The tragedy is not lost upon me, ... One woman was lucky enough to be loved, cared for, protected and adored .... 

While the other was beaten, abused, molested and neglected.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Truths of the Criminal Justice System

22 years in the Criminal Justice world, i have learned: 

1) Not all guilty men are convicted, and not all innocent men walk.
2) Some of the real criminals are not the ones who are facing charges, but rather are sitting on the bench. 
3) Within each defendant, there is a Cop dying for a chance to prove himself.
4) Within each Cop, there is a criminal one step away from reality.
5) Cops are the greatest party animals. 
6) Drug addicts and Alcoholics are the sweetest and most misunderstood creatures on earth. 
7) The most hateful and judgmental people are religious people, often rationalizing their judgments on Religion & God.
8) There is a reason we have two words for Law and Justice. Because one is NOT the other. The merging of the two becomes EQUITY, and we dont have courts of Equity!
9) The more handsome or prettier the defendant, the better the justice they get.
10) A Black Man will never get the justice that a White Man gets. 
11) Black Jurors have more sympathy for the White defendants than White Jurors have for Black Defendants.

12) Justice CAN and IS bought on a daily basis.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Law School Graduation Speech 6/10/1991

I was given the very coveted honor of delivering my Law School graduation class' Commencement Speech. UWLA School of Law Class of 1991


I have dreamed of this moment since I was 12 years old.  The winds of revolution were blowing and with it, millions of Iranians took to the streets yelling freedom. 

It was an illusion.  It was a lie.  As I stepped into the airplane forever leaving my homeland, I saw the multitude of nameless faces with fists raised in the air, demanding, chanting freedom. 

I realized then, that liberty cannot be gained and sustained without law, order and justice.  I vowed to myself that the law would be my profession.

We stand before you today to accept the responsibility to uphold and honor the legacy that our forefathers left us in 1776.  What they fought and died for must be preserved. 

There are those among us who may become scholars, or judges, or teachers.  Some will defend, others will prosecute.  Some are motivated by  ambition, others by the pursuit of financial gains, and yet others seek intellectual challenges.  However, as divergent as our paths may become, the one thing we have in common is the like demand for freedom.  The right to breathe freely.

This is not only an ethical duty that we should assume.  We should never forget those who are not entitled to the inalienable rights that we enjoy. 

Those same liberties that are ours as a matter of right in this country, such as the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of association; are considered crimes the penalties for which range from long prison terms to the death sentence in many other countries. 

We should not forget the plight of the Kurds, nor the Chinese students in Tiannenmen Square.  We should remain cognizant of the uprisings in the Baltic States, in Ethiopia and the Eastern Block countries.

You may ask why? Why should we worry about what happens to some desolate farmer in Iran? 

It is incumbent upon us to uphold the law and justice in this great land of ours.  So we may keep open our doors to those desolate souls that want to live and die free.  Only because these United States of America have stood for the beacon of light, the signal of hope and the symbol of liberty for those of us who were cruelly subjugated to oppression, tyranny and despotism.

The strength of a free society rests in how it deals with its weakest links.  I came seeking liberty and freedom. I have been  afforded the opportunity to become the provider. 

And as the purveyors of the law, we bear the obligation to fight for what is just and honorable, vigilant against intolerance and bigotry.

So we remain free to pray as we please and to vote as we please.  So we are tried before a just and fair tribunal, so we may have our voice heard, no matter how socially or financially insignificant we may be. 

I left what was my home, because my life as Jew was not safe.  This is now my home.  This is now my land.  I am so very proud to stand here today.  I am so very proud to accept this honor. 

June 10, 1991
UWLA, School of Law Graduation Speech
University of West LA, School of Law.


Epilogue:  While i started out law school at McGeorge School of Law, i dropped out a month before the end of my 2nd year for Medical reasons.  I was told by Dean Gordon Schaber, upon my request for a leave of absence:  "Can't you read the writing on the wall?  Can't you see the law is NOT for you?  You'll never pass the Bar.  No one will ever give you a job.  You will never make it as an attorney"

Well, I went back to law school at UWLA, School of Law's evening program,  after Justice Bernard Jefferson convinced me that the legal field needed women like me.  He also helped me get a job at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office as a full time certified law clerk. And the rest is history, or better yet, my story.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Vertical Horizons: A medical student's battle with Heroin.

The solitude of evening has finally arrived. The staff has left for the evening. The phones are switched over to the answering service. And, for a while, my world has paused. The lights in my office are off. I am staring at the lights that flicker from here to the end of the horizon. Life seems at times suspended here, on the twenty second floor. As the CD changer flips back and forth between Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Leonard Cohen and Kitaro, I come back to reality only to drift away again. I am tired and my soul hurts. Sometimes, I wish I could take an enormous brush and paint the world with peace and calm.

You see, the life of a criminal defense attorney is saturated with unhappy stories and frequently tragic endings. My client was just raped in a California state prison. We both knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. We just hoped it would be later. Fate wasn't kind to him. He was no kinder to himself than fate.

He is, or I should say, he used to be gorgeous. Salt and pepper hair, tall, handsome, and well-spoken. He used to be a medical student at one of the nation's most prestigious medical schools. He was popular, friendly, warm and sunny, with a smile that could win you over.

He was a creature of the night. He'd done the scene, the clubs, the raves, the underground. He'd smoked a joint here and there, popped a "lude", done some "shrooms" and "mesc". By his own definition, he'd sucked the juice out of life. Then, one fateful night he met the cleanest high of them all. He met his true love: Heroin. And little by little, it sucked the life out of him.

Soon, he was kicked out of school. With no job, no qualifications and student loans in repayment, he started liquidating assets. So he says. I think he started liquidating because he had an expensive lover. The condo, the BMW, the trinkets, stereo, etc. Little by little, there was nothing left. When you run out of money, you beg. When you're a junkie, stealing becomes easy.

Sometimes, when you are too impatient to beg and too tired to steal, you'll even sell your body.
His friend called me. He'd been caught for burglary and grand theft. His friend had bailed him out. He had to go back to court and kept begging me to keep him out. Said he'd die on the inside. I told him if he kept it up he'd die on the outside. I fought with the district attorney, used every procedural and substantive tactic that I knew, begged and pleaded for my client. Finally, the charges were reduced, and he got off lightly.

It wasn't long after that when my answering service paged me at 4:00 a.m. on a Saturday, and said Jimmy (not his true name) had called from the West Valley jail. It was raining and cold. I was tired. My client needed me. I slipped my jeans on, threw on a jacket and drove down the deserted path which had become so familiar to my car. More often than not, the cops let you visit your client immediately. Sometimes, they don't. Sometimes, when they see you are a woman attorney, they harass you a little bit. And when they feel they have proven their manhood, they allow you to see your client.

Jimmy sat waiting behind the glass partition. His head and hands were weakly resting against the glass which separated us. As I walked in, he gently lifted his head. His hands slid slowly down the glass leaving a wet trail behind. Sweat rolled down his eyebrows. His throat and neck were damp with perspiration. He was wearing a T-shirt also damp with perspiration. The tracks on the inside of this arms were more marked than ever. This time, I could clearly see the brand new tracks on the back of his hands.

The brown circles under his eyes had grown larger, and the sparkle of life dimmer. A grin, maybe even a smirk took shape on his trembling lips. As he slowly nodded up and down to acknowledge my presence, he closed his eyes. He spoke slowly, faintly. "They picked me up ... I don't know why... I told them everything. I want to come out... Please, Ms. Kamran, please bring me out ... Call your bail bondsman ... Get me out ... Get me out ... Please help me. I promise I'll clean up. I promise I'll do what the judge orders. I gotta smoke ... Get me out. Can you get me out."

The list of charges filed against him included no less than three felonies and several misdemeanors. He'd confessed. There had been witnesses. He was even on video tape. He couldn't afford to go to trial and lose. The jury is not very sympathetic and understanding around Los Angeles. They are even less sympathetic to foreigners who have "invaded" their land and are committing crimes in their communities. Remember, to them, we are not Whites. We are camel jockeys who practice terrorism as a hobby. If convicted of the charges, the judge could have sent him to state prison where he'd be kissing "Bubba" for a long time to come. I got him a deal: less than one year in county jail and by the time the case was done, he was practically out on time served.

I met him by Men's Central Jail on Bauchet Street when he was released. I told him to stay in touch with me on a weekly basis. I asked him to call me if he got in trouble. I warned him about the consequences of his habit. I said "Jimmy, I can't call your parents in Iran telling them to send me money to bury you. If you insist on killing yourself, please make the arrangements and save me the difficult task of telling your parents why you had to die."

He's learned his lesson and served his time, I thought naively. He knows the consequences of a probation violation. He has had time to clean up. His system is clean. He's not going to go back.
Life went on as it usually does. Winter had melted into spring and the trees were in full bloom. I dropped him off wishing never to see him again. Unlike other attorneys, a criminal defense attorney hopes she'll never see her client again. My hopes were in vain. Before long, I got a collect call from San Diego. He'd been picked up on new drug charges. With a probation violation and a brand new case, the judge shipped him off to state prison for nine years.

Sitting here on a calm and quiet evening, I can see the Santa Monica Bay on my horizon. And I wonder how far Jimmy's horizon stretches beyond those barbed wires and the grey skies. He told me once, if he laid flat on his back and stared at the sky, he could see the end of the universe. 

And that is his horizon. 
I guess, in the world of the convicted, the horizon spreads vertically.

Alaleh Kamran
Century City
April 7, 1999

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Heroin and Meth

Breaks my heart.. he is barely 20.. arrested again for Heroin and Meth. Again. His mom sits in my office, not knowing what else to do. Dad tells me that he will kill the motherfucker that introduced his son to Heroin, he will kill him.

I look at the dad... stare him in the eyes and i know he is serious. i recognize the look. It is the look that a man dons when he has lost all that was worth living for. It is the look of a man whose only reason for living is the revenge for the death of the one they love.

My client calls from jail... Collect. Mom and Dad hold their breath while i talk to him. Do they think i can solve their issues here and now? do they think i am some kind of miracle worker? How can i fight Heroin? How can i win over Meth? What kind i possibly do or say to change anything?

He is going thru withdrawals.... stomach pains, diarrhea, joint pains, nausea, vomiting, shakes, sweating, runny nose, agitation, fear, .... The cops left him in the cell, by himself. What can they do? what can anyone do while someone is going thru detox.

I listen, we talk, we discuss plans of what may or may not happen in Court. I hang up. Give mom and dad the phone numbers that they need to deal with Co-dependency. Mom looks at me,... she wells up. i look at her, i well up too.... She says: "my son is your son"... i get up from my desk, hug her and tell her: "your son is my son, help me help him"...

My sons are home, safe. And may God keep them so, from bad friends, from bad choices, from bad events. May God save them all... May no parent mourn for a child lost to drugs...

I need to go home and smell my children....

Signing off

Lecturer, Radio Host, Citizen Journalist, Blogger.
June 9, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Confessions of an Idiot #224

Confessions of an idiot #224:  

So ten days ago, while recovering from a stomach ailment, i decided to go Trampolining at Sky High... you know, jumping on those HUGE elastic thingys that make you jump up in the air like a featherless fried dodo bird?  

So, who do i go with?  i go with an Ex-gymnast.  A russian one at that!  A communist trained machine who is made up of gummy bear legs and pretzel ligaments who can jump up, twist
into a figure eight, and land on his tippy toes, while at the same time balance a plate on a straw on the tip of his eyelashes. 

Ooooh. It was so much fun, at first.... 1st jump, 2nd jump, 3rd jump.   Boing, boing,  boing.. higher, higher, even higher...  At this point, i am flying. Well, at least in my own mind i am...  Look at me, look at me... It's a bird, no!  it's an airplane... Fuck you bitch, i am Superwoman, Wonder Woman and Buttercup,  the Powerpuff girl wrapped into one...

As Comrade Gummybearovsky is doing front somersaults, [what the hell is a somersault anyway? as opposed to a WinterSault? Or maybe a FallPepper!] ... and back flips, i am flapping my imaginary wings, ... 'cause i am a butterfly and god darn it, i can fly!... Did you know that the harder you swing your arms UP in the air, the higher you go?  And of course, when you have the elegance of an elephant, and the weight of Hippopotamus, along w/ the flying skills of a Rhinoceros, man, you can fly HIGH, cause the heavier you are when you land, the heavier the bounce UP.  [see, i did learn something in Physics class... and no, i was NOT sleeping the whole time] 

 At this point of my exercising adventure, and in training for the upcoming 5k, and totally inspired by my own gracefulness, not having jumped so exuberantly since; uh, let me think, EVER; i decide to increase the challenge of the exercise by jumping up, sitting on my butt, lifting my self out the bounce by moving my arms as far up as i can, only to jump up and down and to come down on my knees, and repeat the same freaking asinine, inane and childish move over and over and OVER again while screaming with glee:  "look at me... look at me".

Tavarich Ruski, that traitor whose kneecaps i will break when i see him next! That backstabber, double-crosser, renegade, fifth columnist, Judas, whose silence was tantamount to treason ... kept urging me on to jump higher.. higher... He even egged me on to do frontal flips, ... you Benedict Arnold!  

i jumped, until i could no more.... and when i could jump no more, with legs that wobbled, and thigh muscles that quivered like jello, i dragged myself out of the trampoline pit and flopped on the couch like a boneless chicken on the cutting board, barely able to move my arms, take a deep breath, or move my abdominal muscles...  

What i lacked for in muscle tone, i have paid back in abdominal muscle tear.  What body part i had maintained uninjured all these years, I managed to strain, jar and twist out of shape within a very few short minutes.  

Ten days later, i can barely take a deep breath without having the wind knocked out of my back... I can barely do more a sit up. ... uh, never mind, i could never do a sit up.  But crunches hurt.  As does getting up, moving around and putting on my bra.  

So, if you see me walking around in short steps, with my boobs hanging over my knees, my hair disheveled from pain, and my back hunched over like Quasimodo, make sure you come up to me and congratulate me on slim mind, my lightweight analytical skills, and my thin brain.  Clearly, i have managed to keep something slim and lithe.


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Juicing, Day 4: Reflections of a anti-establishment skeptic.

If you know me, you know that i am an anti establishment type of person.  I don't like rules, i don't like structured organizations, i don't like hierarchy, i don't like norms, i don't like standards.  If everyone goes to the left, i will go to the right.  If everyone decides to do something today, i will find a way to not join the movement.

So, what does that have to do with Juicing?  well... this Juicing craze around me is nuts.  Everyone and their mother has started Juicing.  Every time i walk into court, every Naneh-Ghamar [Joe Blow]  that i see is ranting and raving about their Juicer and the benefits of Juicing.  So, i'd listen, look, and typical of how i do things, roll my eyes and dismiss it as yet another fad.

When you're busy planning life, life makes other plans for you.  That's how my trainers and i met. A pair of German trainers, with the precise engineering of MBZ and/or BMW.  Natasha Fett and her Husband, who i lovingly call "Godzilla's brother", have decided to make me their poster child for weight loss, fitness & healthy eating [i guess my passion for Saucy Italian foods, Steaks, Vodka, and the finest of French Pastries are considered mortal sins in the fitness world]

So, reluctantly, unwillingly, kicking and screaming all the way, making all the excuses in the world, i have started on this road.  The fitness report is yet to come, as i am really really lazy.  But let's talk about this Juicing phenomenon.

She delivers 6 containers a day, each containing the juices of Raw fruits and vegetables.  Each container is a different color juice.  I can only assume there is a reason to not mix greens w/ yellows and/or reds.  [i remember years ago reading something about cancer therapy treatments using raw vegeterianism & color separation in healing the body] They're pretty delicious.  So that's my food for the day.  I drink a glass of water before, and one after, and hydrate in between.  Meanwhile, i have stopped at every single bathroom in town.  My aunt used to say:  "shAshou, shAshou sharmandeh, jArou beh dombesh bandeh".. Yeah, well, that's me these days.

In the last 3 1/2 days, i have gone to 2 dinner parties.  You have to understand that i have NO, NONE, ZERO will power.  i have no ability or desire to stay away from food, or alcohol, or whatever. Life has wrapped enough rules around me, i don't need to add more rules.  So, food and alcohol are my indulgences.  But these past two nights, smelling and watching all these fabulous fares, i had NO urge to dip in and eat.  I walked in on a huge Belgian Waffle breakfast this morning, and was able to walk away without a second thought.  Ordinarily, i would have added whipped cream, strawberries and would have joined the festivities  Interestingly enough, i have had no food coma either.  I have resisted buying a sofa for my office fearing that i might end up napping there like a mountain lion every afternoon.  I have had no desire to take those dreaded afternoon naps in the office either... i have not sat behind the computer, staring at the screen like a vacant brained zombie either.

i have been energetic, peppy, fresh.  For those of you, who like me, are over the age of 40 and find yourself waking up at night, for a number of different reasons... i have NOT woken up either.  Last night, i slept like a log, [the first time in MONTHS] that i slept thru the night without the need to pee, check on the kids, listen to the coyotes, pee, pull covers on top of me, push covers away from me, pee, think about my retirement, pee, think about my trials, ponder about existence,  build a survival shed in case of an earthquake...

The scale is not cooperating fully yet.  But that's ok.  I am cool with that.  As long as i don't come up to a plate of rice, tah-dig, barbari bread and lose complete will power,... or pasta, or "napoleon" or noun-khameyi! and i am glad to report that i was able to resist Sushi, Saki, Ghormeh Sabzi, absinthe and an amazing fabulous looking stuffed Poblano Pepper, etc...

Why am i sharing this with you?  because i know many of you, my friends or followers read my page and even if you don't make comments, you are present here.  So, if you have ever thought about doing this, don't hesitate.  DO IT.  Get rid of this Carb poisoning, and clean out your system.  It's really not that hard, not difficult and totally feasible.  

And maybe, we can share notes and compare experiences as we bump into each other in different bathrooms of town.

signing off...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


The greatest harm that takes place in our justice system, is not because the cops or the prosecutors are crooked or mean or have a hidden agenda.  It is because they are overworked, underpaid, over stressed and under funded...

So, naturally... details are lost... and sometimes, a man's innocence which could have been vindicated with only a small detail, a small bit of evidence, a tiny shred of the immutable truth gets buried and entombed... victim to sloth, to apathy, to languid indifference...

And i sit in my office, burning the candle..., knowing that the truth, like a naked child hiding from the public, is there... somewhere on my desk, in my binders, in my reports, in my research... I have it all in my head, 'cause I've analyzed it in my  head countless times as i've been prepping for the big day...

The adrenaline kick is strong.  It is an amazing sustained rush which keeps me going for hours.  Sleep means nothing. Hunger dissipates... My heart's elevated and rhythmic thumping synchronizes itself with the trance music playing in the background of the office...

And as I prepare my questions, my cross examination, the identification of the documentation;  slowly, the palms of my hands slowly sweat... my breathing has become throat is drying up...

 It's mounting, ... the force, the tension, the pressure... waiting for that one question, that one piece of evidence, and that one ruling... I can see it, i can taste it.. i want it .. i want to consume my release, to earn my victory, to make my mark, to achieve my vision, and to vindicate my client...

and yet i know, ... like all fantasies, it can be so beautiful and well planned in the head, and yet when it comes to execution, reality has a nasty way of interfering with life.

Until yet another victory.

Law Offices of Alaleh Kamran
15760 Ventura Blvd, Suite 1010
 Encino, Ca 91436

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Justice Delivered

And so the open roads call to me… The ever changing horizons, and the boundless sky which loses itself in the abundance of the green lush pastures in front of my wheels beckon to me…

It never fails!….the sheer vastness of the land washes over me like baptismal water.   And once again, I find myself welling up to tears at the immensity of the universe, and my singular existence within my own skin,

in this moment,
in this lifetime,
on this particular spot,

billions of years behind me, 
billions of years ahead of me, 
billions of planets and people and possibilities… 

And once again, I am alone, with me, in the lone solitude of the open road driving to some courthouse, to some detention facility, but really, trying to make sense of my own existence within the greater world at large.

The words of my Zen master prophetically dance in my ears as they have on previous occasions, as if divinely ordained to hallow my existence which is about to undergo yet another epiphany… “the lesson will reveal itself when the student is ready”….

I am ready!… although I don’t know for what.  Yet,  I know that I am here, thousands of miles away from home, in a part of the country that is so foreign and unfamiliar to me. I can feel the earth breathe rhythmically. I can feel the sky quivering with the same sheer excitement of a young girl about to experience her first passion...

I can sense the trees. The lush of the pastures extend their arms to me… There is a warm sense of welcome in these foreign lands.

I am watched over, I know it...
I can feel it.
I am connected to the earth, … and yet I am lost.

My phone is not picking up any signals…
I do not have a map.

And my secretary’s text messages deciphering the serpentine back roads of these god forsaken rural areas of Texas are innocuous at best. I am lost,  literally and figuratively. Lost in the world of my thoughts, and lost on the roads.

He had been a decorated Sergeant in the Shah’s Imperial guard. A man of valor, a man of integrity… a blue blood.  He never said so,.. but his stoic demeanor told me that his upbringing was one which had known the rigors of a disciplined life. A comfortable educated upper class demeanor gently and quietly revealed itself from behind the glass pane that separated me, the criminal defense attorney and him the criminal defendant held in the detention facility.

Opium: the religion of the masses, the quiet pain killer and the silent companion became his lover to soothe the pain of the Islamic Revolution, loss of position, loss of country, inability to cope with the new country, and his failure in not being accepted into the US Air Force. Fast forward 30 years, he was now sitting in custody on charges of transporting 20 kg of opium for distribution and facing potentially 96 months of incarceration….

I remember the first and only time his elderly mother came to see me in my office… She was a small, frail woman with the bone structure of a sparrow but the presence and sheer strength of character of a Lioness. She had come to bless me and surrender her son’s future in my hands. She, the lioness, had single handedly raised 7 kids by herself, … she was the matriarch of a family and was standing in my office, in front of me, to tender her son’s destiny to my hands. Her head was covered in a simple yet elegant gray and black scarf which covered the thin silver braid of hair that came down to the middle of her back. Hair that must have been thick and lush in her younger years streamed down a spine which undoubtedly stood proud and strong, despite her advanced years.

The innate knowledge that she might never see her son as a free man hung like an invisible somber cloud in my office. Her bony fingers trembled as she raised her hand to my head… she softly laid her hand on my head and closed her eyes. Tears, gently at first, and then with the ferocity of a spring shower, rolled down the lines on her face, which by now had turned into  rivers…. She blessed me with a prayer, a murmur under her breath. She asked her God to protect me, so that I could protect her son. I bent over to kiss her, and in the traditions of our forefathers, in an act reserved for feudal serfs to their masters, she kissed my shoulder.

"Riders on the Storm,  in this town were born". I am brought back to the road. The Doors as if by magic read my solemn mood. The guitar solo is wailing. Who are we? What are we? Why are we where we are? Why me? Why this lifetime? Why here? What is my purpose in life?  Why did my soul choose this body, this vessel, this juncture in time and space to experience this lifetime?

What is this deep profound yearning within me that is like a bottomless cavernous abyss dragging me to the deepest recesses of my existence only to heave me in the context of an epiphany to the boundless and infinite sphere of the universe?

Am I not the master of my choices? Do I not create my own reality? I have willed this, … I know this much. I am here by my own design, this much I know as well. I am the master of my own destiny…this fact, is an absolute certainty in my mind. Yet, what is the destiny? The purpose? The reason?

I am being. I know that.

I am experiencing the Journey of my soul… I know that as well… but where am I going??? And why? The teachings of Carlos Castaneda resonate in my mind:  death is the ultimate step in knowledge.  And perhaps not until I pass thru the gates of death will I know.   I pass thru the metal gates…Barbed wires protect the property.   Funny! I think…. Where would they go if they were to run away. The nearest civilization is billions of miles away. They’d die of  starvation! ….

I pass thru 5 set of locked doors in a federal facility that smells more like a meat shop. “Plump Rosy” greets me behind a glass partition and checks my credentials.  “California”, she exclaims, with the sophistication of a potato in a farmer’s market!  “Yes”, I said. “I am a long way from home”.

And within me, Rumi chants to me: "The Universe is your home… take wings my child, fly…"

Clank… clank... clank…..The doors open and shut one after the other….. The sound of his hands and feet in chains drag along the corridor…..He looks good. Cheeks are rosy. He has gained weight. He looks healthy. He shares the poems that his daughter has written for him. He shares his own writings with me. He shares his poetry. We talk about Rumi. He says: “what will become of me”?

“This”, I said…” was the easy part. Tomorrow is your sentencing…. The Judge can deviate from the agreement and sentence you above guideline range, and give you up to ten years… However, if he follows the agreement… you will only have another twelve to sixteen months to do… The real question, is what will you do once you go home? The hard work starts when you try to reintegrate within your own. How will you make amends to your wife? To your kids?  To your family? Your mother is dead… how will you explain this to her? How will you forgive yourself? How will you absolve yourself before your own conscience?”

How will anyone of us make amends to  ourselves for all that we have done or not done to our self? In the context of the greater Universe, is breaking the law the true crime? Isn’t the real crime not being true to our real self? Isn’t the ultimate transgression that which is done against our own existence, our own path? Our own Journey? Who answers for that? who punishes us for that? What is the real punishment for not having taken the right road, or having taken that one wrong left turn? What are these societal rules? What happens to personal ethics when they collide with the mores of the society?

I write out his colloquy to the Judge.  This is his one opportunity to address the Court and tell the Judge about his remorse. I have tried to keep it simple.. I used the words that I thought he might use.. not mine. With any luck, tomorrow, the hands of the Universe will be with me…

My legal arguments are ready…. My passion for my work is flowing like the Ganges ….  My need to find absolution and harmony in a world that is sadly lacking in such empowers me more than my legal arguments.  With any luck, I will find strength  from within…with any luck, once again my desire to perfection, for lust of words, and most importantly, my yearning for yet another epiphany will endow me with the power of speech to deliver justice.

I am for now, a criminal defense attorney, a constitutional defender… that is until such time as I find my true identity.

Alaleh Kamran
March 23, 2011 Dallas/Texas

Law Offices of Alaleh Kamran
 15760 Ventura Blvd, Suite 1010
 Encino, Ca 91436

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trial readiness

I don't know what justice is anymore... i don't know where the lines between right and wrong, black and white, just and unjust blur... i sit and wait in court, ... i have asked for certain documents for umpteenth million times, ... still not here. i have filed my motions, 4 months later, the opposition is filed last minute, ... no one has time, no one cares. Everybody is over worked, under paid. System is drained. The man without money is fucked, the one with money can buy justice. The lines are long, the clerks fed up, the judges tired. The building festers... it reeks. This cannot be maintained. The masses are being literally screwed on a daily basis... and no system where the masses are screwed can stand the test of longevity.

yes, your honor! Ready for trial.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I am Tahmineh!!- In Celebration of International Women's Day.

She confuses me…

Here I am mother, wife, woman.
She fascinates me…

Here I am activist, feminist, independent, lawyer.
She beguiles me…

Here i am free spirited, liberated, unchained.
​​She intimidates me….

There she is …
The daughter of the King of Samangan, beautiful, wise, young, passionate ambitious…
She claws her way through the pages of mythology, …
into my reality,
into my life,
into my head.

 She is powerful!  She is formidable!!   She is commanding!!

She roars like the Lions...
         She thunders like the ferocious skies ...
and then, she cries, and she whimpers. She sobs and she falls apart like chalk…

She grabs me by shoulders, she shakes me to my core, she questions my foundations, my beliefs, my reality.

Tahmineh has crossed the incredibly vast repository of Ferdowsi’s mind into the timeless pages of mythology, AND unto history…

only to penetrate my soul,

to infiltrate my being and
to stand by my road,
by my path,
on this part of my JOURNEY.

Tahmineh has name, she has fame. She has fortune.
She is the daughter of the king.
She needs nothing.

She is all want… all desire… and all passion.

She is brave and courageous.

She professes her love to Rostam. She tells him she has loved him from far away, through the legends that have made Rostam the Pahlavan that he is…

But is that LOVE? How can you love a man you’ve never seen?

Or is that lust?

Or is it desire?

Does our soul recognize our soul mate before we are aware of his presence? Or did she lust him for the warrior and incredible specimen of DNA that he was?

Or was it desire? The desire to conquer the infallible warrior on territory where only a woman can win?

Why does Rostam show up in Samangan in the first place and manage to lose his horse? Did Rostam call unto Tahmineh? Did Tahmineh call unto ROstam?
Is it fate?
Is it destiny?
Is it free will?

Did she create her own reality by choosing to act on her desires? Or were Rostam and Tahmineh pawns in a chess game divined by fate?     Tahmineh plunges me deep in the embrace of Molana…..

Tahmineh walk into his chambers… She makes it clear that she understands that the union, even though sanctified, is a short lived one. She wants the union to produce a Child.

and I ask my self… would I not do the same were I not placed in her position, in her shoes, face to face with one of the most formidable and desired men of my time? Would I not make the same choices, having had all that I’d need: Name, fame and fortune?

Would I not have laid besides the strongest, bravest and most courageous of warriors, knowing that the union may produce the perfect child?

I admit: I love the fact that she chooses to walk into HIS chambers, smelling of musk and much like the Lion in search of Prey, She walks in, intent on the hunt… filled with desire, fueled by passion, driven by the knowledge that Rostam, the undefeatable, will not be able to resist her beauty & intelligence, she hones in on the KILL.

Who amongst us, would not have done the same?

Tahmineh’s choice plunges me inside Plato’s discourse on Theories of Desire…

Does all my education, knowledge, wisdom, life experience, cries of liberation, feminism and independence suddenly give way to my need to become a mother, a creator, a goddess? Am I striving for immortality by wanting a child or am I being benevolent GOD by bringing a life into this world??

Tahmineh makes me question the fundamental issue of what it is to be a creator. She makes me question God and religion.

Why does she not tell Rostam that the child was a boy? Did she withhold the truth and thus betray Rostam? Does Rostam have any legitimate standing to inquire and demand the truth? Did he not forfeit his right to know when he chose to leave? What is Free Will? If she chose to lay by his side, and beget his child, did he not make the same choice? Did he not chose as well to lay with her, and give her that which she wanted the most? Was he not thus, responsible to inquire, to raise and to parent the child?

Tahmineh makes me question what it means to be a parent.

Why did it matter the child was a boy and not a girl… Why do we accept it as betrayal to not advise the father he’s had a son… But it’s not treason for the father to be absent from the child’s life, if she happens to be a girl??

Tahmineh raises issues of gender discrimination and misogyny.

Who does the child belong to? Whose reality is dominant? What is the truth? Tahmineh’s reality of wanting a child to make her the Queen is not the truth of Sohrab’s existence as Rostam’s child.
Sohrab’s truth has no meaning within the context of her intentions. Does she free Sohrab like the arrow from the Bow to live out his life … or was it Sohrab’s right to own his own reality by gaining knowledge of his lineage. Does she taint his truth in her ambition to become Queen?

Tahmineh channels Machiavelli’s notions that the ends justify the means.

Does it matter what our intentions are regardless of the end results?
Are we culpable for that which we set in motion but we do not will? ?
Is there a greater responsibility for intending things that are beyond our control?
What is the difference between intent, deliberation and rationalization..

Tahmineh slams me against the walls of legal jurisprudence.

How sweet it is to be free! … How thrilling it is to have free will… How refreshing it is to own oneself, one’s womanhood… How so very empowering to have the will, the knowledge, the desire and the power to want something, strive for it, obtain it and achieve it and savor the spoils of war…

But was she? Was she really free? Did she really own herself? Was she really empowered? Or was Tahmineh in need of child to become Queen, in need of man, to become a mother, in need of her father the King, to have the luxury of comfort in life and thus the ability to chose her prey?

When she is told of Sohrab, her son’s death, at the hands of Rostam, her lover… Tahmineh laments:

To whom shall I clasp upon my bosom now?
Who is there that will rid me of my grief?
Whom shall I call upon to take thy place?
To whom impart my pain and misery?

Tahmineh’s response… in looking outside of her self, looking for someone to “rid her of her grief” … or someone to whom to impart her pain and misery to… or someone to clasp upon her bosom… destroys me…

Is Tahmineh really a woman of free will, or is she, the quintessential victim of sexism who has to use manipulation to gain station in life?

I have to admit... it is quite an honor, perhaps one of the pinnacles of my life, to stand in front of hundreds, at the Palace of Fine Arts, on the International Celebration of Women's Day and speak among artists...And i am but a speck of dust in the Universe...But the whole of Universe reverberates tonight, within my existence... And surely, i know, the Universe, as i know it, would not be the same without me.

I want to say that i am humbled! i am not. i am not that important to be humbled. BUT I am proud... i am giddy... i am ecstatic, i am filled with joy to be a woman, an independent thinker, a rebel rouser, a revolutionary, and a skeptic.

I am thankful to all the Women who came before me... who suffered and triumphed ahead of me... who forged the way, who paved the road and who illuminated the road, so that i could become who i have.

None of us is alone… none of us wins alone, none of us suffers alone, none of us laughs alone.

We are sisters thru and true. We are mothers, we are lovers, we are wives, we are daughters, we are thinkers, believers, movers, shakers, creators….

We are god’s finest work, most precious work and most complex creation.

We have thousands of layers, hundred of moods, and dozens of facets

We are evanescent, and yet eternal
We are mercurial and yet consistent
We are passionate and yet logical
We are infallible yet fragile…

We are


Alaleh Kamran
March 8, 2013
San Francisco
Copyright 2013
in Celebration of the International Women's Day
in collaboration with

[i'd love to hear your opinion.  please let me hear YOUR voice]

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The LAPD and Christopher Dorner

I have approximately 4000 people on my page, twitter and FB account... Of this number, i can confidently say that approximately 50 of you, have been brutalized by the LAPD... You all know who you are: when you talked to the cops and they beat you up for no reason, when they arrested you and called you a fucking terrorist and put the cuffs on you so tight that you still have nerve damage... and somehow or another, none of those brutalities showed up in the police reports. You know when your money was seized, and only part of it showed up in the policer reports.

You know who you are because when I filed Pitchess Motions for you, the cases quietly were dismissed.

Christopher Dorner has gone off the deep end, but his version of the Cover up at the LAPD is not too far from the reality that takes place in the corrupt rank and file.

NOW IS YOUR TIME: So, pick up the phone, write emails, to the LA Times, to CNN, to NBC, to Fox News, ... tell them about your experience and the absolute failure of the LAPD to clean up the shit that has infiltrated it... A few bad cops are ruining it for a ton more.