Category: clients

  • Blogging Rules

    D.A. Confidential describes some of the rules he follows when writing blog posts: Do not write about ongoing cases. If I want to draw attention to one of my cases, say it’s going to trial, then I let people know it’s going to trial and I post a link to a news story about the […]

  • Know What? Never Mind.

    Why have I been repeating for three years (okay, for a lot longer than that) that lawyers should not waive detention hearings without good reason and that good reason means "because having a detention hearing will prejudice the accused"? Because better representation in a federal criminal case begins with a detention hearing, and for some […]

  • I Wish I’d Said It

    Believe it or not, sometimes criminal defendants have a serious lack of judgment, reason and/or common sense. Some even possess what might be considered a reckless disregard for what’s in their best interests. (Not my clients, mind you, but I’ve noticed that other criminal-defense lawyers seem to represent people who are a mess.) Todd Taylor, […]

  • Voir Dire Notes: The Accused

    When I sat on a jury panel this week, one thing that jumped to my attention was the behavior of the accused. He, a non-English speaker wearing headphones to listen to the simultaneous translation of the proceedings, had his head down, chin against his chest, for — as far as I could tell — the […]

  • From the Mailbag

    From a Defending People reader’s description of his experience with the criminal justice system: So, I got a good attorney. My bond was $5,000, and I was out for almost a year keeping my nose clean. Then he called me in and announced that he couldn’t do anything for me and that I was getting […]

  • What Kind of Schmuck Would Hire Frank Pignatelli?

    From a post, The Nature of the Job, last October: Clients sometimes think that they want a lawyer who will act unethically for them, but they don’t: first, because a defense based on lies is almost always doomed to fail; and second, because clients need lawyers they can trust. Unethical lawyers are . . . […]

  • I Would Bet That It Has

    In Broward County, Florida, the judge has kicked the whole DA’s office off a murder case because two prosecutors had listened to two phone calls between the jailed accused and his lawyer. (H/T Social Services for Feral Children.) The trial started in September; it’s “on hold” now (not even a mistrial?). In her order, the […]

  • Bad Lawyer. No Cookie.

    Paraphrased actual letter from lawyer to first-time DUI client: Dear X, You have told me that you can’t afford to pay me to try your case. This forces me to ask the judge to allow me to withdraw from your case. Three bad things might happen as a result. First, the judge might revoke your […]

  • Because Sometimes We Buy Our Own Bullshit

    In the comments to Murphy’s Law of Investigation we had a little discussion of what a lawyer should do when his client maintains his factual innocence, and he discovers that there is evidence that, if analyzed, could either confirm that factual innocence or conclusively disprove it. Renaissance man Joel “JDog” Rosenberg wrote of a hypothetical […]

  • The Miami Motion to Substitute

    Miami criminal-defense lawyer David Markus blogs about a fight between criminal-defense lawyers on the steps of the jail (H/T Arkansas criminal-defense lawyer John Wesley Hall’s Law of Criminal Defense). I think that might be a natural extension of lawyers treating clients as property. (I wonder if I could take Ollie in a fight.)