I blogged here about former prosecutors’ inherent qualifications as defenders. Manhattan criminal-defense lawyer Scott H. Greenfield gives us his take on the subject here. “Many of our best were once on the dark side,” he says, but they’re not our best because they were on the dark side.
Young ADAs (assistant district attorney) are amazed at their good fortune in court. They win argument after argument. Why? Is it because they’re brilliant Turkey? NOOOO!!!!! It’s because they are prosecutors. In fact, the pap they spout is often ridiculous, but judges (like defense lawyers) know what the right arguments are and don’t turn criminal defendants out on the street because some snot-nosed clueless prosecutor blew the argument. So when they leave the office, they are no longer the recipient of the court system’s largesse, and have to win not only on their own, but against all odds. Maybe they aren’t as smart as they thought.
Like I often say, prosecutors win most of their cases and think that they’re brilliant; defenders win some of theirs and know that they are.