Is This Legal?

Ep. 66 - Is Kyle Rittenhouse Guilty?
Thu, 11 Nov 2021 13:00:00 -0500

This week's Is This Legal takes a trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to analyze the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. Armed with an assault rifle, baby-faced teenager Kyle Rittenhouse took to the streets, answering a call to protect property. The night took a tragic turn as 2 men were killed and another wounded at the hands of Mr. Rittenhouse.  Russ and Colin break down Rittenhouse's case for self defense and give their best educated guesses as to whether he will be convicted.  All this, plus another fan-favorite round of Is This Legal and of course, the always hilarious Dumb Criminal of the Week for some much needed LOLs. 

Ep. 65 - You're Under Arrest! (But I'm Not a Cop): Ahmaud Arbery, Confederate Flags, and Citizen Arrests
Tue, 02 Nov 2021 06:00:00 -0400

Russ and Colin are back to discuss the tragic Ahmaud Arbery killing that spurred protests and outrage across the country. Is citizen's arrest a legal defense tactic? What evidence will be admissible at trial? Answers in this episode. Plus: A spicy round of "Is This Legal?" and our much-loved "Dumb Criminal of the Week."


Ep. 64- The Gabby Petito Murder Part 2 – Strangulation, Domestic Violence & The Moab Police Department
Fri, 15 Oct 2021 06:00:00 -0400

Here is the sequel you’ve been waiting for. The boys are back and bringing you the newest developments in the tragic Gabby Petito case. Russ and Colin discuss strangulation, domestic violence, and whether the Moab Police Department are to blame for Gabby Petito’s death. Plus, we put a loyal listener to the test and bring you another Dumb Criminal of the Week.

For anyone interested in helping bring some holiday cheer to children in need, please consider donating to kenziscauses.org.

Ep. 63 The Gabby Petito Murder. Are Brian Laundrie's Parents Liable?
Fri, 01 Oct 2021 12:00:00 -0400

The discovery of Gabby Petito's body recently in Wyoming, and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie's unusual behavior in the weeks after her disappearance, raise legal questions: could Laundrie's parents be liable for helping cover up a crime? What tactics will authorities use to draw out information in the case? Also features an intriguing Is This Legal? issue to consider and a rollicking new DCOTW (Dumb Criminal of the Week).

Ep. 62 - Karen Garner and the Downfall of Loveland PD, Featuring Sarah Schielke
Fri, 17 Sep 2021 15:00:00 -0400

Ooh boy, this one's a sizzler. First, the backstory: in episode 56, Colin and Russ discussed the widely-publicized assault on Karen Garner, an elderly woman with dementia, by officers of the Loveland Police Department in Colorado. In this episode, the guys are joined by Karen's attorney, Sarah Schielke, fresh off securing a three-million dollar settlement from the city of Loveland to recompense Karen for her hardship. Sarah breaks down the initial criminal case against Karen, the civil suit Karen's family appointed Sarah to handle subsequently, and the ongoing criminal cases against the Loveland officers involved in the assault. Get your popcorn, and settle in.

Ep. 61 - Murder without a Body? The Barry Morphew Case
Thu, 02 Sep 2021 13:00:00 -0400

Here's one for all the true crime fans. Suzanne Morphew's disappearance has attracted a lot of media attention lately, and it's clear why: the story has a love triangle, mysterious circumstantial evidence, and plenty of room for juicy speculation. The case is now before a judge to decide whether there's probable cause to proceed to trial. What are the arguments the prosecution will use to advance the claim that Barry Morphew murdered his wife? What evidence will the defense use to exculpate Morphew? And just as importantly, will our guest Alex Stafford be able to answer the age-old question, "Is this legal?" Settle in and find out!
Also, be sure to check out Alex's Instagram for pithy craft beer expertise.

Ep. 60 - Do Guilty People Deserve a Legal Defense? Featuring Donald Cameron Clark Jr.
Fri, 20 Aug 2021 06:00:00 -0400

The boys are back in town! After a little summer hiatus, Russ and Colin jump back on the mic to discuss a topic you've probably wondered about: why should we bother defending people who are obviously guilty? Why give them the chance to evade justice? Why should someone like Bill Cosby go free on a technicality, when he was already convicted in a court of law by a jury of his peers?  To help answer these questions, our intrepid podcasters turn to a guest speaker:  Don Clark, fellow attorney and author of the new book Summary Judgment. In that book, and in this interview, Don recounts his time appealing the sentence of a death row inmate in Alabama, offering  valuable insights into the justice system and our own moral code. Missing this one would be indefensible!

Ep. 59 - What Chrissy Teigen Teaches us About Cyber Bullying
Fri, 18 Jun 2021 06:00:00 -0400

Chrissy Teigen's past social media activity has landed her in trouble recently. In 2014, the model and television personality directed unfavorable tweets at Courtney Stodden, including some that expressed a wish to see Stodden dead. Those tweets have now surfaced, and Teigen finds herself at the center of a renewed national conversation over cyberbullying. Colin and Russ use this incident as a starting point for the latest Is This Legal? episode, exploring the legal definitions and limits of cyberbullying, the consequences, and contrasting Teigen's troubles with the criminal case of Michelle Carter in 2015. Also features an interactive pop quiz for all you lovely listeners and a piping hot Dumb Criminal of the Week! #banger

Ep. 58 - To Record or Not to Record - Interacting with the Police Part 2
Fri, 04 Jun 2021 06:00:00 -0400

Ready for more tips? Russ and Colin keep the legal tips flowing with more advice on what to do and what not to do when you're dealing with the police. If you see someone getting hassled unfairly, are you allowed to record the interaction? When do you have to answer questions that the police inevitably ask, and will it get you arrested if you don't cooperate?  What about your Miranda rights?  What if they didn't read you your rights?  All these questions and more are answered so gather the family around and let the elucidation begin!

For the full transcript, click here.

Ep. 57 - To Speak or Not to Speak - Interacting with the Police Part 1
Fri, 21 May 2021 06:00:00 -0400

Get your notepads out! Episode 57 is overflowing with useful advice. In this one, Russ and Colin go over what to say and do, and more importantly what NOT to say and do, when you're dealing with the police in situations that come up in criminal defense all the time. When the cops stop you on the street and ask your name, what should you say? When they execute a traffic stop and ask if you know why you were pulled over, what should you say? All these questions and more are up for review. Also, the guys interview Klint Rudolph and go through the ever-riotous Dumb Criminal of the Week segment. With an episode this good, it would be criminal to skip it!

For the full transcript, click here.

Ep. 56 When Does Resisting Arrest Become Resisting Arrest?
Fri, 07 May 2021 06:00:00 -0400

In this episode, Russ and Colin take you on a tour of the Karen Garner case out of Loveland, CO, using it as a launchpad for a discussion of resisting arrest in general. Does the law uphold the decision of Loveland PD officers to tackle this elderly woman over a minor shoplifting offense, injuring her in the process? Plus, fellow podcaster Joy Parrish stops by to reminisce about her lawbreaking days and play "Is This Legal?" Should be a good one; don't resist the urge to listen!

Find the full transcript here.

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. 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.