Dale Chappell is the author of several books, including those shown here, and has hundreds of published articles on federal criminal-law issues. He has also been a guest on several criminal-law blogs.

  • My Blog Posts are a Preview to my Revised Insider`s Guide Books - If you want to know what`s in my Insider`s Guide series of postconviction books, just take a look at the federal habeas corpus posts on my blog lately. Most of these posts are adapted directly from those books. These writings are the culmination of years of fulltime study of federal habeas corpus procedures. I`ve taken […]
  • What Books Would You Recommend for Someone Seeking Federal Habeas Corpus Relief? - I`ve read many postconviction books over the years of working in the federal habeas corpus field and noticed there were always more questions I had while reading them that those books couldn`t answer. This led me to write my own postconviction books, mainly to answer those questions I had because I figured others had the […]
  • My Books Are Coming Late 2022 - After several setbacks over the last two years, all four of my books are slated to go on sale in late-2022. I learned a lot about how publishing works — and more about how it doesn`t work — since I signed a contract with a publisher in 2019 for my books. I was excited because […]

Write to the Zen Law Guy about these books

If you have questions or comments about any of the material on this page, Dale Chappell can be reached using the contact form below.

As always, while debate is welcome, hate speech is not. Let’s focus on helping people. Thanks!


Dale Chappell, the Zen Law Guy

By Dale Chappell

Everything is stacked against someone facing a federal sex offense. Judges call these cases the “worst of the worst,” lawmakers pass laws that seemingly hand an easy win to the prosecutors in sex offense cases, and society brands those accused (and convicted of) sex offenses as “worse than a murderer.” That’s why it’s important that anyone facing a federal sex offense has a full understanding of what’s going to happen to them from the first accusation to prison to living in society as a sex offender. Correct information is critical for surviving such as difficult path. This book has that.

Dale Chappell, in his no-nonsense style, goes over every detail of a federal sex offense. He shares his 15-plus years of experience in working with defendants and their attorneys at every stage of a federal sex offense case. It’s an intimate look at the unique problems involved with federal sex offense cases. “Worse Than a Murderer” is a must-have book for anyone dealing with a federal sex offense, including the attorneys, families, and friends supporting them.

By Dale Chappell and Brandon Sample

Since 97% of federal convictions and 94% of state convictions are obtained through a guilty plea, this book is essential for anyone challenging their conviction after a guilty plea. The courts require specific ways of arguing the validity of a guilty plea, and not fully understanding these methods usually dooms many promising guilty plea challenges. Joined by federal attorney Brandon Sample, Dale Chappell covers all of these methods in “Attacking the Guilty Plea,” unraveling complex topics while maintaining the “core” essence of the issues.

By Dale Chappell and Brandon Sample

A popular judge once called navigating habeas corpus in federal court a “twisted labyrinth of deliberately crafted legal obstacles that make it as difficult for habeas petitioners to succeed in pursuing the writ as it would be for a Supreme Court Justice to strike out Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle in succession — even with the Chief Justice calling balls and strikes.” Prisoners filing for habeas relief in federal court, then, need all the help they can get. This book is a great start.

Dale Chappell tackles federal habeas corpus for state prisoners in his usual style of brutally-honest legal writing, exposing the many pitfalls that await habeas petitioners. More than a how-to, Chappell is joined by noted federal attorney Brandon Sample on “why” things happen in a habeas case so that those seeking relief in federal court understand the critical procedures for a successful outcome.

By Dale Chappell and Brandon Sample

In this exhaustive study on every procedure in a case filed by a federal prisoner under 28 U.S.C. 2255, Dale Chappell lays out the raw details of obtaining postconviction relief in federal court. With federal attorney Brandon Sample on board, Chappell exposes the obstacles prisoners face and offers tips on how to get around them, providing examples of cases that have done just that. No stone is left unturned in this comprehensive study of section 2255 relief for federal prisoners.