Brown & Little, P.L.C. » Entries tagged with "Ethics"

Who Needs Lawyers Anyway?

I came across a fascinating post about the unauthorized practice of law after Mauricio Hernandez at the Irreverent Lawyer wrote a post of his own discussing it. It was the sort of thing that took a little time for me to digest before writing about it. For those too lazy to click through, the original article is about a woman with a very strong background in criminal law who moved here then took and passed the Arizona bar before becoming a capital staff attorney in Maricopa County. Ignoring some off-putting personal attacks that may or may not be deserved and a bizarre part in the closing paragraph that tries to make it a red-state-blue-state political problem, it’s a thought-provoking piece about the flagrant unauthorized practice of law by a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Ethics, lawyers, Practice in General, Professionalism

The Future Former Lawyer of Lindsay Lohan

Every lawyer wants his name in lights, right? We all crave billboards and bus stop signs and seeing our faces on the evening news at least once a week, right? Any attention is good attention, isn’t it? Why then aren’t lawyers throwing elbows to help out tabloid superstar Lindsay Lohan? This blurb at the Superficial amusingly jokes about Lindsay Lohan’s newest lawyer’s performance and her reaction: Within the first five minutes of representing her in court he hit on the judge then spent the rest of the time rubbing his lucky rabbit foot which even to someone as dumb as Lindsay Lohan, was a sure sign she’s going right the fuck to jail. So now she wants a new lawyer, but surprisingly there’s not one in Hollywood who will … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, lawyers

Unauthorized Practice

So there’s this lawyer named Rachel Rodgers. In June, Scott Greenfield called her out on a few things here. Earlier this week, she wrote something entitled “Ethics Should Not Be Used as a Weapon Against Young Lawyers.” Brian Tannebaum quickly took her to task. I normally stay out of these things, but this is close to home. You see, Ms. Rodgers lists a Phoenix, Arizona address on her website. She offers services that look like legal services. Ms. Rodgers is not a licensed Arizona attorney. I checked. She never explicitly claims to be licensed in Arizona, but she also never offers any kind of disclaimer clearly explaining that she isn’t licensed here. That wouldn’t matter anyway, as I’ll explain in a second. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ethics

Rethinking the Plea

I work with all kinds of different prosecutors. When it comes to plea bargaining, the differences often become particularly apparent. A lot of prosecutors send out a letter with the first plea offer saying how any subsequent offers will be substantially harsher. They tell you the first offer goes away as soon as they have to do work, and they may view counter-offers as rejections. They have to think about your proposal, don’t they? Plea negotiations are a game where the plea isn’t intended to fairly resolve the case based on its unique facts and the unique history of the defendant, but to minimize workload and maximize the efficient use of state resources. Some prosecutors make offers that plainly indicate they fear trial and will do almost anything … Read entire article »

Filed under: Prosecutors

Missing the Point

You can imagine my surprise yesterday when this ten-day-old post suddenly lit up with new comments. They read like typical troll comments, but they were from lawyers. Local lawyers, in fact, and ones who seem to have quite a bit of experience. I believe I have multiple mutual friends with at least one of them, though I doubt he realizes that. I have no clue what possessed all of them to comment at once. Like typical troll comments, they made ad hominem attacks. One writer accused me of presuming my clients guilty, another accused me of going off “half-cocked” without knowing my facts, and yet another seems to think I merely hold myself out as someone who practices criminal defense and accused me of throwing gossip … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Professionalism

A Tricky Situation

Article 2, Section 22 of the Arizona Constitution says that “[a]ll persons charged with crime shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except . . . [f]or felony offenses committed when the person charged is already admitted to bail on a separate felony charge and where the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the present charge.” Knowing that, what do you say when you know your client’s new offense was allegedly committed while he was out on bond for another felony offense and the judge asks, “counsel, do you have any recommendations regarding bond?” Does it matter if the same judge is assigned to the client’s other case and presumably knows that the client was out on bail when he or she supposedly committed the new offense? … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arizona Constitution, Clients, Courts, Ethics, Practice in General, Professionalism, Prosecutors

Promises, Promises

One of the most common things I hear in initial consultations is that “attorney so-and-so said he could definitely get me X deal.” It can be a frustrating situation when the client was promised something that no defense attorney in their right mind would promise. Sometimes, it ends up being an amusing situation when the “deal” prospective clients claim they were promised really can be guaranteed. Multiple clients have said to me that local high-volume DUI firms told them, “if you hire us for your first time regular DUI, we can get the judge to suspend all but one of the ten mandatory days of jail.” That’s true. It’s a reasonable guarantee because it’s a virtual certainty, but it’s misleading for that same reason. That result has … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Ethics, Practice in General

Dear Bad Prosecutor:

Your job is not to argue with everything I say. The interests of justice do not always require that my client receives the maximum fine or prison sentence. Many of my clients deserve bail or commutation. You are allowed to concede points when you do not have a good reason to disagree. I promise. Believe it or not, I am not going to lie and cheat in order to gain some kind of advantage. My goal in this pretrial is not to trick you. Although you are just covering, I am not a high school student, and I do not view you as a substitute teacher. I do not intend to do anything to jeopardize my bar license, now or ever. You have looked over … Read entire article »

Filed under: Government Rants, Prosecutors

I Will Never Recommend These Lawyers to Anyone

Last week, I discovered one drawback of having some of my favorite blogs link to us. With the increase in traffic has come spam. Lots of it. Occasionally, an obvious spam comment slips past our filter, but it doesn’t bother me. I delete it, and life goes on. It normally involves male enhancement or someone willing to do something that’s illegal in the deep south. It looks like some new lawyers have jumped into the fray. Taking a cue from viagra vendors, some scumbag attorneys have decided to spam my poor little blog. They put up stupid comments talking about how great they are and linking to their website. The spam comments were completely unrelated to the posts. I won’t provide a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ethics, Marketing, Practice in General, Professionalism

Contract Attorney Conflicts

Some Arizona jurisdictions have diversion programs where the county attorney will notify a potential defendant that they are going to be charged with a crime. The state sends defendants a letter explaining they have been selected for diversion and that, if they agree to participate in the program and successfully complete it, the state will not indict them. It isn’t just a dismissal; it’s almost as if it never happened. One county’s program is particularly great. The woman who runs it is knowledgeable, fair, and very easy to deal with. Most importantly, she seems genuinely concerned with making sure everyone she supervises succeeds. Often, I get the feeling diversion programs and probation departments are run by people who hate criminal defendants, see no problem with forcing … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ethics, Practice in General, Professionalism

Articles Comments

Web Design by Actualize Solutions