10: Michael Cicchini & Amy Kushner, The Legal Watchdog Podcast: Creating a Podcast with Personality


If you want to gain some legal knowledge and listen to some intelligent conversation and entertaining banter, the Legal Watchdog podcast is for you. If you are interested in your own podcast, this conversation with Michael Cicchini and Amy Kushner might inspire you to get started!

On The Legal Watchdog Podcast, one learns about some of the crazy legal situations that actually occur in courtrooms and wherever a legal question might come up, for example, arrests. While a legal podcast like this could be tough for listeners to understand, Michael Cicchini, Amy Kushner, and Matthew Perz do a great job of making it all accessible. In addition, speaking to Michael and Amy shows the importance of letting your personality shine through in your work, whether it is writing a book, or hosting a podcast.

Michael Cicchini and Amy Kushner are close friends, who along with Matthew Perz started The Legal Watchdog Podcast. We discuss Michael and Amy’s backgrounds and how they met (at a Starbucks). Michael and Amy also discuss their professional careers including their thinking process in writing two legal books. They break down their writing process on this episode.

After the book discussion, we move onto their podcast, which you can tell they have a lot of fun with. The podcast has the advantage of staying current, and not requiring as much prep work as a full-length book. The podcast was Amy’s idea, and came out of Michael’s and Amy’s work on the two books, as well as Michael’s Legal Watchdog blog, which is the home of the podcast.

Michael and Amy are a lot of fun to listen to. Thanks for listening to our discussion on the Studiomouth Podcast.

Michael Cicchini, J.D., is a private defense attorney in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He is the author of two books, Tried and Convicted, and But They Didn’t Read Me My Rights! (with Amy Kushner). He also co-hosts The Legal Watchdog Podcast. He publishes the The Legal Watchdog Blog and produces and edits the podcast.

Amy Kushner, Ph. D., is a Lecturer in the English Department of University of Wisconsin – Parkside, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She is the author of But They Didn’t Read Me My Rights! (with Michael Cicchini). She also co-hosts The Legal Watchdog Podcast.

Matthew Perz (not interviewed) is a public defender, an International mini-golf champion, and co-hosts The Legal Watchdog Podcast. Two out of the three are true.

Resources and Links

Fact Checker

  • Shout out to Lincoln Blaisdell, Millie Blaidsell, Richard Hess, and Regina Derrico (not mentioned in the podcast; she helped me write my Yale essay). In the 1980’s they were all terrific English & Drama teachers from Williamsville East High School in East Amherst, New York.
  • Blue Jasmine is a Woody Allen film whose story is adapted from A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. Cate Blanchett won the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in this film.
  • “Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay.” – Christopher Hitchens
  • Amy Kushner’s dog, called Knight or sometimes Knightley, is a Northern Inuit – a mix of Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, and Alaskan Malamute.
  • Mr. Knightley is a character in Emma, a novel written by Jane Austen.

Spelling Bee-yond recognition

Here are three spelling bee-level words mentioned in the podcast. Even after you read the definitions, you will have NO idea what these words mean.

  • Heterochromia – A difference in coloration in two structures or two parts of the same structure that are normally alike in color. (The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary)
  • Expunge – 1. to strike or blot out; erase; obliterate. 2. to efface; wipe out or destroy.  (Random House Dictionary) Other forms include expungement and expunction.
  • Curtilage – the area of land occupied by a dwelling and its yard and outbuildings, actually enclosed or considered as enclosed. (Random House Dictionary)

TV on the Radio Podcast

  1. Law and Order is the long-time crime and law TV franchise in the United States, and coincidentally, can probably be seen through re-runs at any time of the day on every channel in the world. That might not be true.
  2. I am obviously clueless about legal television shows. I mentioned The Practice like it was a current series. It ended in 2004.
  3. Murder One was a series that ran for two seasons, beginning in 1995.
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