The Tyro’s Return


This guy is back. Now he’s been retained to represent another of my former clients.

It’s beyond me why people hire this guy. He has handled five federal criminal cases to completion, all at least six years ago. Between 2001 and this year he didn’t have his name attached to a single federal criminal case in the Southern District of Texas. From a brief telephone conversation with him I was able easily to learn that he knew next-to-nothing about federal criminal defense. Now four people have hired him to represent them in serious federal criminal cases in the last eight months.

His apparent target market — people who want to rush as quickly as possible down to the U.S. Attorney’s office to sell their friends and themselves up the river for the possibility of a shorter sentence — is very different from mine. He’s not likely to take any business away from me. Should I just shrug my shoulders, say “these federal criminal defendants are big boys, and they’re grown-up enough to make their own mistakes” and go cheerfully on my way?

On the other hand, this guy exemplifies the problem of declining standards of representation in federal criminal cases. Do I have some responsibility to do something more than I’ve already done about that?


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