20 Rules for Being a Criminal Defense Lawyer


Courtesy of Robb Fickman, and because Greenfield loves “list” posts, 20 rules for being a criminal-defense lawyer, given by Robb to Craig Still on the occasion of his leaving the DA’s Office and joining the Brethren of the Courts (annotations are mine):

Craig’s List on How to be a Criminal Defense Lawyer
1. Get the money up front.
2. If a client says money is no problem, that’s because he doesnt  have any.
3. If a client cries, charge him more.
4. Assume all clients are wired.
5. If a client asks you to use a ” land line” be concerned.
6. Never make a client’s bond.
7. Never have sex with a client, while representing the client.
8. Always use written contracts. Handshakes aren’t admissible.
9. Remember there are snitches on the listserve.
10. Don’t hold onto “originals.”
11. Don’t meet with the client to “help tidy up the scene”
12. Beware of clients who come In with no shirt on.
13. Any money you loan a client Is a “gift”.
14. If a client talks about God, just go along.
15. The more family that comes in, the less money the client has.
16. Never “deliver” anything to the client from the ” family”,
17. Don’t “hold money” for a client, particularly if they are from the valley.
18. The trust account is called the trust account for a reason.
19. Don’t make Tom Zaratti your partner.
20. Drink at the Char.


9 responses to “20 Rules for Being a Criminal Defense Lawyer”

  1. LOL. At first blush, it is just that; a list.

    On second look, it’s a very nice list (sans #19 and #20) of things that I learned the hard way.

    Hmm… maybe you should add: #21 Never ever, ever, ever (did I say never?) do a payment plan, especially one that is based upon the receipt of an income tax refund check.

  2. 22. Assume clients will have difficulty understanding and following simple instructions. Anticipate problems caused by this and plan accordingly.

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