Is This Legal?

Ep. 55 - Derek Chauvin - Guilty and Prison Bound
Wed, 21 Apr 2021 13:00:00 -0400

On April 20, 2021, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd almost a full year before. Floyd’s death while he was restrained face-down on the street elicited nationwide protests, counter-protests, endless news coverage, and impassioned arguments from all sides on the nature of policing in America and the best way to bring law enforcement agencies into harmony with their host communities. In this momentous episode of Is This Legal?  Colin and Russ examine the Chauvin trial, talk about the strategies both sides employed, predict the outcome of Chauvin’s sentencing, and unveil a brand new interview segment that will feature guest speakers from far and wide. Sit back and enjoy a legal perspective on what in the future will no doubt be seen as a milestone in American history.

For the full transcript, click here.

Ep. 54 - Do You Have a Right to Hate? How America Treats Bias-Motivated Crime
Fri, 09 Apr 2021 06:00:00 -0400

Taylor Swift called it: the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate.  Episode 54 of Is This Legal? covers bias-motivated crime in America, from the history of and rationale for hate crime laws as we know them now, to the elements that make an offense go from merely illegal to legally hateful, including real world examples such as the Atlanta massage parlor shootings of this year.  With plenty of hypotheticals and thought experiments along the way, attorneys Colin and Russ break down this category of crime into bite-sized pieces for your delectation.  Bon appetit!

To view the full transcript, click here.

Ep. 53 - Take a Gander at This Slander: Sidney Powell, Defamation, and Amish Facebook
Fri, 26 Mar 2021 06:00:00 -0400

Sydney Powell, ex-lawyer to Donald Trump, made numerous statements in the aftermath of the 2020 election accusing Dominion Voting Systems of election crimes. Now, Powell finds herself on the wrong end of a defamation suit filed by Dominion. What defense will she put forward? What elements are required for a successful defamation suit? What's the difference between defamation, libel, and slander? These questions and more are on the docket in this episode of Is This Legal? , along with everyone's favorite recurring segment, Dumb Criminal of the Week.

For the full transcript, click here.

Ep. 52 Barking Mad: Dogs and the Law
Fri, 12 Mar 2021 06:00:00 -0500

Calling all dog fans!  Denver attorneys Russell Hebets and Colin McCallin share their love of dogs in the latest lighthearted Is This Legal episode.  How are dogs treated under the law, how do dogs run afoul of the dreaded "dangerous animal" designation, and some of the all-time great dogs of pop culture are on the agenda.  Curl up with your favorite furry companion and enjoy!  For the full transcript, click here.

Ep. 51 The Tragedy of Elijah McClain
Fri, 26 Feb 2021 06:00:00 -0500

One result of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 was a resurgence of public interest in Elijah McClain’s death several days after he was given an overdose of ketamine during police contact. In the push for criminal justice reform, McClain’s name has become shorthand for police misconduct and the damage it can do. In this episode of Is This Legal? Russ and Colin examine the detention and death of McClain, the subsequent internal investigations of the incident by the Aurora Police Department, and talk about what lessons this tragedy may hold for all of us as we navigate police contact in our own lives.

For the full transcript, click here.



Ep. 50 Fake it Until You're Indicted: The Elizabeth Holmes Story
Fri, 12 Feb 2021 06:00:00 -0500

In the early 2000s, plucky entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of college and started a company called Theranos,  promising to revolutionize blood screenings for medical patients. By 2014, Theranos was valued at almost 10 billion dollars. Fast forward a few years, and Theranos is gone, while Elizabeth Holmes awaits trial later this year on multiple counts of wire fraud. What happened? Criminal defense attorneys Russell Hebets and Colin McCallin take a look at this fascinating case, the likely defenses Ms. Holmes' attorneys will use, and the problems with those defenses. Get your popcorn!

For the full transcript, click here.

Ep. 49 - Q&A Mailbag - Ask the Experts!
Fri, 29 Jan 2021 06:00:00 -0500

Russ and Colin dig deep into the Is This Legal mailbag to answer the best and brightest legal questions from our listeners.  Topics covered include eating marijuana edibles out of state, criminal charges and gun rights, and the introduction of our brand now segment: Dumb Criminal of the Week!  Don't miss out, it's going to be a fun ride!

For the full transcript, click here.

Ep. 48 Insurrection at the Capitol
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 13:00:00 -0500

Colin and Russ break down the criminal charges and other fallout from the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.  These charges will be investigated by the FBI in cooperation with other law enforcement groups such as the ATF and the Marshalls Office, and include a cavalcade of protesters turned rioters, some facing decades in federal prison.  They examine potential criminal charges of the insurrectionists as well as President Trump himself.  Check it out!

Ep. 47 - Bail and Bondsmen and Bounty Hunters, Oh My!
Fri, 08 Jan 2021 06:00:00 -0500

Your favorite legal analysts from Hebets & McCallin discuss the cash bond reform craze that is sweeping the nation.  From Michigan prosecutor Eli Savit's move to eliminate cash bail, to California's failed bid to remove cash bonds in the most recent election, states are increasingly including bond reform in their general criminal justice reform agenda.  Bondsmen and bounty hunters are voicing their objections locally and nationally, despite widespread acknowledgment of wealth and racial disparities in the cash bail system.

Ep. 46 Legal Year in Review and Holiday Spectacular
Thu, 24 Dec 2020 07:00:00 -0500

Attorneys Russell Hebets and Colin McCallin make the yuletide gay with a review the year's most notable cases from the Supreme Court and beyond in this holiday spectacular.  Cases from Trump's attempt to quash subpoenas to major developments in the rights of religious institutions are explained.

Ep. 45 You'd Have to be Crazy: The Insanity Defense
Fri, 11 Dec 2020 06:00:00 -0500

Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets go crazy on the latest episode of Is This Legal.  The insanity defense to criminal charges has been around for thousands of years, but has gone through major transformations throughout the years.  The guys at Hebets and McCallin talk the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan by John Hinkley Jr., what happens when someone is found not guilty by reason of insanity, and how difficult it is for defendants to mount an insanity defense.  Kick back and go nuts listening!

Ep. 44 Are Oregon Voters High? Decriminalizing Hard Drugs
Fri, 13 Nov 2020 06:00:00 -0500

Oregon decriminalized personal use of hard drugs with the passage of Measure 110 in the 2020 election.  Criminal attorneys and former prosecutors Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets dive into the benefits and risks of this decriminalization.  Is decriminalization the same as legalization?  Does this apply to all drugs?  How will the police and jails be affected by Measure 110?  Will decriminalization reduce overdoses and increase treatment, or will it encourage illicit drug use?  Will it raise or lower the crime rate? These and other questions will be answered from Russ and Colin’s unique criminal law perspective.



Ep. 43 Is Drinking and Driving Legal?
Fri, 30 Oct 2020 06:00:00 -0400

Russell and Colin break down DUI stops, including what you should do, and what you should definitely not due if you've been drinking but aren't drunk driving.  Topics include roadside sobriety tests, blood alcohol tests, breath alcohol tests, and refusals, as well as how to interact with the police officer during an alcohol related stop.  Pull up a chair, crack a cold one (but not if you're driving), and enjoy all things DUI!

Ep. 42 Why You Shouldn't Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight
Fri, 16 Oct 2020 06:00:00 -0400

Attorney Russell Hebets and Colin McCallin talk all things self defense; highlighting the arrest of Matt Dollhoff in Denver.  When can you use lethal force?  Can you use self-defense in defense of others?  In defense of property?  What happens if someone breaks into your home?  When are you justified?  All these questions and more are covered for your listening pleasure!

Ep. 41 Is Donald Trump Going to Jail?
Fri, 02 Oct 2020 06:00:00 -0400

Can President Donald Trump be charged with a crime in office?  Does it matter if it's a federal or state crime?  If so, can he pardon himself or use executive privilege to avoid prosecution?  How will the 2020 election affect his criminal liability?  Can he hide in office for a second term and let the statute of limitations lapse?  Let's find out!

Ep. 40 Legal Trivia: Test Your Smarts
Fri, 18 Sep 2020 06:00:00 -0400

Colin and Russ have dialed up 13 legal trivia questions to keep their faithful listeners on their toes!  How many questions can you answer correctly?  Have fun and good luck!

Ep.39 But I Really Didn't Do It! Exonerations through DNA Testing
Fri, 04 Sep 2020 07:00:00 -0400

Colin and Russell discuss the tragedy of wrongful convictions in America.  They talk about specific cases of exoneration, how DNA technology has played a role, and the importance of the Innocence Project.  

Ep. 38 Democracy Under Attack? The Post Office Controversy
Fri, 21 Aug 2020 06:00:00 -0400

Colin and Russ explain the current controversy regarding President Trump, the Postal Service, and 22 states who have filed a lawsuit claiming their rights to a fair election are being infringed.  Let's go postal!

Ep. 37 Should We Abolish the Police?
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:48:04 -0400

Using the scandal-ridden Aurora Police Department as a case study, Colin and Russ discuss the police in 2020 and what practical reforms can be put into place to make police agencies better, for both their officers and the communities they police.

Ep. 36 The Scoop on SCOTUS
Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:48:16 -0400

Colin and Russ give you the skinny on the highest court in the USA. They take on all things Supreme Court in this fact-packed episode!

Ep. 35 Are Mask Mandates Constitutional?
Thu, 09 Jul 2020 18:55:52 -0400

Masks or no masks? Colin and Russ discuss the laws regarding how businesses and governments can require (or not) facial mask coverings in the wake of COVID-19.

Ep. 34 Q&A Mailbag- Ask the Experts!
Fri, 26 Jun 2020 14:18:52 -0400

Colin and Russ answer questions from the listener mailbag. Contact us on twitter @IsThisLegalPod or on our FB page- HebetsMcCallin if you have a question for an upcoming episode! Also- NEW THEME MUSIC! Thanks Jason!

Ep. 33 The Killing of Rayshard Brooks
Thu, 18 Jun 2020 17:26:51 -0400

Colin and Russ break down the charges that two Atlanta police officers are facing for their roles in the killing of Rayshard Brooks.

Ep. 32 The Killing of George Floyd
Wed, 03 Jun 2020 16:20:41 -0400

Colin and Russ examine the tragic killing of George Floyd from a legal perspective. How will the prosecutor handle the case? What are possible defenses? Are the other three officers culpable? Russ and Colin try to make sense of the legal issues.

BONUS EPISODE - Wisconsin COVID-19 Update
Thu, 14 May 2020 16:55:54 -0400

Hebets & McCallin updates the latest developments in the Wisconsin Supreme Court legal battle pitting GOP opponents of the Stay at Home Order against the Governor.

Ep. 31 Do COVID-19 Lockdowns Violate Civil Rights?
Tue, 05 May 2020 15:58:53 -0400

Colin and Russ discuss the constitutional authority of the President, Governors, and Mayors with regard to lockdowns and stay at home orders, and what happens if these orders are in conflict with one another.

Ep. 30 COVID-19 and the Law
Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:59:52 -0400

Russ and Colin break down how the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 is wreaking havoc with the criminal justice system, and how judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys are responding.

Ep. 29 Everything You Never Knew You Didn't Know About Criminal Law
Fri, 31 Jan 2020 17:58:14 -0500

Civil v. Criminal? Felony v. Misdemeanor? Prosecutor v. Defense lawyer? Jail v. Prison? Colin and Russ go back to basics with this primer on general criminal law topics. See how you do on our quiz at the end of the episode!

Ep. 28 May the Fourth Be With You! Part 2
Fri, 20 Dec 2019 18:13:18 -0500

Russ and Colin are back with part 2 of their discussion of the Fourth Amendment. Can the police search your car? How about your phone? Do you have to provide your passcode? We answer these questions and more!

Ep. 27 May the Fourth Be With You! Part One
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 18:33:44 -0500

In this multi-part episode, Colin and Russ introduce the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. They discuss its importance, history, interpretation by the Supreme Court, and whether or not the cops need a warrant to enter your weed grow house, etc.

Ep. 26 Marijauna Now- How High Are We?
Fri, 27 Sep 2019 17:49:47 -0400

Colin and Russ talk about the legality of marijuana in 2019. Can you mail weed? Do the feds care about marijuana anymore? Can you get a loan from a bank to set up a dispensary? We tackle all these and more in our latest ep!

Ep. 25 Prison's Right to Privacy?
Mon, 09 Sep 2019 17:31:49 -0400

Colin and Russ discuss the role of private prison and other for-profit enterprises involved in the criminal justice system, and whether they belong there at all.

Ep. 24 But I Didn't Mean to Kill Anyone...
Fri, 14 Jun 2019 12:47:41 -0400

In this episode, Russ and Colin look at the different mental states required to demonstrate proof of a crime with a wildly hilarious hypothetical situation that will blow (someone's) mind!

Ep. 23 Legal Mythbusters, Round 2
Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:17:31 -0400

When can you use deadly force on an intruder? If the cop got my name wrong on my ticket, my case is dismissed right? Can I get a DUI on horseback? Due to popular demand, Colin and Russ are back at it debunking legal myths! Check it out!

Ep. 22 Where's The Body?
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 17:40:48 -0500

In this episode, Colin and Russ talk about the legal concept of corpus delecti- evidence needed for a criminal case to go forward. Can you be convicted of murder without a corpse? We talk serial killers, Natalee Holloway, and pros and cons of this obscure rule.

Ep. 21 Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort And Witness Flipping
Tue, 25 Sep 2018 18:16:54 -0400

Don't flip out! In this episode, Russ and Colin talk about witness flipping. In the wake of the guilty pleas entered into by Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, we examine why, and under what circumstances witnesses turn on others in their criminal enterprise.

Ep. 20 Gun Laws In America
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 18:04:47 -0500

Just over 2 weeks removed from the Parkland, FL school shooting, Russ and Colin provide an overview of gun laws in America. They cover the 2nd Amendment, the Supreme Court opinion that gave it new life, and gun control measures currently on the books.

Ep. 19 What Roy Moore Teaches Us About The Court Of Public Opinion
Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:11:14 -0500

In this episode, Russ and Colin talk about the allegations facing GOP Senate Candidate Roy Moore, and how the court of public opinion is very different from the criminal courthouse, and whether or not that should be the case.

Ep. 18 Is Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Legal?
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:44:50 -0400

In this Season 4 premiere, Russ and Colin tackle DUI cases involving marijuana. We discuss how they differ from alcohol cases, how law enforcement is detecting them, how different states prosecute, and of course, funny stories that we can all learn from.

Ep. 17 To Film Or Not To Film
Thu, 24 Aug 2017 16:40:15 -0400

In this episode, we discuss the do's and don'ts of filming people in public. Inspired by a listener question, we talk about the surreptitious filming of women, filming the cops during a traffic stop, and the rights of the paparazzi.

Ep. 16 Grand Juries
Tue, 08 Aug 2017 18:26:26 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury in the Russian collusion affair, and it has prompted us to discuss what a grand juries do, how they work, and why they will always indict a ham sandwich.

Ep. 15 Double Jeopardy
Mon, 17 Jul 2017 12:19:20 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. We talk about the legal ins and outs of double jeopardy. We look at the O.J. Simpson trial and several other cases, and how it's possible to get away with murder.

Ep. 14 Suicide By Text
Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:25:09 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In this case, we look at the manslaughter conviction of Michelle Carter, who urged, but did not physically assist, her boyfriend to commit suicide. Did the judge get it right? We discuss this fascinating case.

Ep. 13 Can You Keep A Secret?
Tue, 02 May 2017 18:46:02 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In this episode, Colin and Russ discuss legal privileges: attorney/client, priest/penitent, etc, and break down who can keep secrets and why, and of course, what can go wrong.

Ep. 12 Slugfest 2017, Sponsored By United Airlines
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 18:16:09 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In the Season 3 opener, Russ and Colin break down the United Airlines overbooking debacle of 2017 from a legal perspective.

Ep. 11 The Great Clown Panic Of 2016
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:14:40 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In this episode: Clowns! We discuss the creepy clown appearances across the country that have us scared silly. Have any laws been broken? We discuss. So put on your squeaky red nose and give us a listen!

Ep. 10 Defense Attorneys
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:43:04 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In this episode, we discuss criminal defense attorneys- their roles, how they work, dos and don'ts, and of course, defense lawyers getting in trouble!

Ep. 9 Prosecutors
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:57:57 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In this episode, we talk prosecutors: their powers, responsibilities, and of course, how they can end up in trouble, with plenty of examples!

Ep. 8 You Be The Judge!
Wed, 17 Aug 2016 17:10:04 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In this episode, we examine the role of the judge- their powers, responsibilities and quirks. We also have some funny stories of judges getting in trouble!

Ep. 7 We Are On Probation!
Tue, 09 Aug 2016 14:51:04 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In this episode, we talk about probation- how it works, different requirements, and the thankless job of the probation officer.

Ep. 6 Social Media And The Law
Tue, 02 Aug 2016 18:24:48 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In the Season Two premiere, we tackle social media and how it can intersect with criminal law in serious, yet often humorous ways.

Is This Legal Ep.5 Legal Mythbusters
Wed, 20 Apr 2016 18:38:12 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In this episode, Colin and Russ debunk some common myths in criminal law, including Miranda, undercover cops, and whether you really have a right to see the radar gun if you've been caught speeding.

Is This Legal? Ep.4 Jury Stuff
Tue, 22 Mar 2016 12:57:44 -0400

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In this episode, we discuss juries- their role, their origins, and some funny stories of juries gone wild.

Is This Legal Ep.3 Interacting With The Police
Thu, 10 Mar 2016 12:10:30 -0500

Criminal Defense Attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets break down various topics in criminal law. In this episode, we discuss what to do and not to do when it comes to interacting with the police.

Is This Legal Ep. 2 Legal Guide To Marijuana
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 13:34:19 -0500

Criminal defense attorneys Colin McCallin and Russell Hebets discuss various legal topics. In this episode, we break down recreational marijuana laws in Colorado.

H&M Podcast 1- Felony DUI 2
Sun, 21 Feb 2016 19:00:00 -0500

A podcast with Russ and Colin about the new felony DUI law in Colorado, and how that will effect DUI cases.