Weekend Bloggers


On weekends, it is a time for the blog to hear different voices and perspectives. We are fortunate to have a group of popular weekend bloggers from a broad array of different backgrounds from law enforcement to teaching to psychology. These contributing writers post from Saturday morning to Sunday night every week. We occasionally will have Guest Bloggers on the weekend on a trial or temporary basis.

Postings by both Weekend Bloggers and Guest Bloggers express only their views and not the views of the host (Jonathan Turley) or others on this blog. They post their own material under their own name and are solely responsible for the content and displayed material in their columns. They are not edited or approved by the host in advance of postings.

Here is our weekend team:


Mike Appleton

Mike AppletonMike Appleton is in private practice in business and commercial litigation and appeals. His pro bono work is focused on the representation of abused and neglected children as a guardian ad litem through the Orange County (Florida) Bar Association. A little known fact is that Mike once once represented Linda Lovelace in a contract dispute. Mike was born in New York but was raised mostly in the west and southwest. He graduated from high school in El Paso, Texas in 1964 and entered the Jesuit novitiate at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Within six months he determined that the priesthood was not his calling and left. He entered Harvard in the fall of 1965 and took an A.B. in philosophy. He returned to Texas and received a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1972, where he served on the prestigious Texas Law Review.

Kimberly Dienes

Kimberly DienesKimberly Dienes is an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and also has a part time private therapy practice. Her research focuses on stress sensitivity, psychoneuroendocrinology, and depression, and her clinical work centers on relational issues and stress. She has published in the areas of bipolar disorder, depression, cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, relational therapy, and psychoneuroendocrinology. Kim received her B.A. in Human Biology and M.A. in Psychology from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA. She completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. In summary, she was born in Maryland, lived for 12 years in California, and now resides in the Midwest; the true all-American experience. Kim spends her free time reading, watching terrible reality TV, and lifting heavy weights in the gym with her husband of one year, Simon Williams. In the last year Kim has lived in Chicago, Cambridge, Cardiff, and Bethesda. She is about to take part in probably the only Welsh-American wedding in Northern Ireland (the civil ceremony was last year in Las Vegas).

Cara Gallagher

Cara GallagherCara Gallagher started teaching government, politics, and law to high school students in 2006. Today she teaches at The Latin School of Chicago. Her affinity for the law and legal education began in college when she first joined the Mock Trial team as a student at the University of Illinois-Chicago. In 2004 she began working as a paralegal during the summers and continues that work today. Since 2010, Cara has spent every summer creating her own legal education by taking courses and workshops at Georgetown, Stanford, and Yale Law Schools. Cara served as the Senior Education Fellow for C-SPAN in 2013 and spent June of 2013 and 2014 reporting for the network on the U.S. Supreme Court. She’s published several entries on police procedure in CQ Press’ Encyclopedia of the 4th Amendment, and in the fall of 2013 she merged her passions for both education and the law by creating http://www.SupremeBystandr.com. SupremeBystandr is a website and podcast for students, educators, and Supreme Court fans. Cara bleeds Cubbie blue.

Lawrence Rafferty

Lawrence RaffertyLawrence Rafferty is an attorney in Illinois with over 30 years of varied legal experience in private practice, Trust and Title insurance companies. Happily married for 37 plus years with 4 adult children and two grandsons and a granddaughter, Larry comes from an Irish-German-Swedish American family of 5 and was raised by his mother. He hold a bachelors degree in Political Science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School of Chicago. He attributed his success in life to his family and “the good Benedictine Sisters of St. Lambert’s School who somehow got me through 8 grades of Catholic school while spending a few of those years out in the hall!” He is an ardent fan of the Chicago White Sox, Bears and Bulls and college basketball, especially the Salukis. He is an avid biker in his spare time as well as messing around with his Yellow Lab Buster.

Darren Smith

Darren Smith is a former law enforcement officer and retired as a Deputy Sheriff. He specialized in patrol operations with emphasis on developing anti-crime programs, which have significantly reduced offenses in several communities. He also investigated financial crimes, bank fraud, and forgery of currency, government documents and identification. He has expertise in computer forensics and cyber-crimes. After working nine years as a software engineer at firms including Microsoft and as a manager for e-Software Inc. and Direct Source Global Purchasing, he became (and continues as) a small business owner with ventures in retail and real estate. Darren received an AAS degree in Administration of Justice from Spokane College (1988) along with later coursework in accounting and investments. He graduated from the Washington Criminal Justice Academy in 1991. He enjoys travel and visited countries throughout Europe and Asia, including the Soviet Union in 1985. Darren has been married since 2000 and shares hobbies such as antique computers, outdoor recreation, reading, antiquities, and the arts.

50 thoughts on “Weekend Bloggers”

  1. Why didn’t the three judge panel of the DC Appeals Court render a judgment to Michael Flynn’s writ of mandamus?

  2. Darren Smith, has there been a font change? The font seems larger than usual today.

  3. Darren Smith, why is the Turley Blog persistently cluttered with “Ping-backs?”

    Can they not be blocked or eliminated?

    1. The functionality permits the site owner a choice to allow or disallow the display of ping-back notices. I believe the default behavior of WordPress, this site’s system software, is to allow. This manifests in the configuration pages as a pre-checked box that reads “Allow Ping Backs”. There is a global setting for this (site wide) as well as a specific setting for each article/post.

      I did forward your concern to Professor Turley for his consideration and I don’t know if you saw this but I replied earlier to your concern:


      1. Darren Smith, I’m not the sharpest tool in the drawer. I must admit, I missed it. Perfect! Thank you very much.

  4. Thank you for assembling a healthy cross-section of professional experience and opinions with respect to legal matters… I am now following your blog and value the information I gain here.

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