I’ve said before that I would choose a lawyer who sometimes loses over one who always wins. But today I was reminded how much losing a criminal trial sucks.
The case: a “DWI-first no test no accident” in the argot. That is, a driving while intoxicated case, which was my client’s first, and in which she had no accident and did not blow in the breathalyzer. (She did perform the field sobriety tests, which made hers a “no test” rather than a “total refusal” test in the lingo.)
I was assisted by up-and-coming criminal-defense lawyer Nathaniel Tarlow, who provided me with many invaluable suggestions.
The postmortem: Assistant District Attorney Angela Mecca, the new prosecutor trying the case, did an excellent job trying a case with a cop who wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and a DWI video that I thought could go either way. She fought hard, and generally fair (a couple of foul shots, I was able to take care of before the jury; I don’t think they helped the State).
What could I have done better? I’m going to have to sleep on that. It’s possible to try a flawless case and still lose (we don’t, after all, make the facts), but that’s not what happened here; I hope to isolate at least a couple of lessons from this trial, other than the title of this post.