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

The Goal

Being a criminal defense lawyer is a funny thing sometimes. When I look at many of my colleagues, I feel like we live in completely different worlds. Some firms have mascots. Some lawyers put signs up all around the jails saying they guarantee the lowest price around. There’s a guy who does every DUI for a few hundred dollars, a guy with a catchy jingle that constantly plays on Mexican radio stations, and a guy who has a business card with a shark on it. Okay, well maybe two of those guys are same guy, but he’s a hell of a guy. Or so I’ve heard. It’s strange to look at someone who’s doing something so vastly different from what I do and realize that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General, 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

Unethical Lawyers

A lot of disgraceful attorneys have been making news lately. This post brings up some good points. It also poses some interesting questions. I think that law is for a number of attorneys a very desperate profession right now. A lot of lawyers are greedy, and many more are hesitant about reporting other lawyers’ ethical violations because they worry they might someday find themselves in the same situation. Law schools should do something, as they are primarily responsible for the current state of the legal profession. Unfortunately, I doubt that what they’re likely to do will make any difference. They will probably just add another course to the curriculum. Maybe some smart professors will convince the powers-that-be to change the language of the ethics … Read entire article »

Filed under: Ethics, Practice in General, Professionalism

Terrible Policies

I won’t name names here, but there is one prosecutor’s office in Arizona that has particularly rigid and often ridiculous office policies regarding plea bargains and a number of other important things that, in my opinion, should be left to the sound judgment of individual prosecutors. Some of the office’s policies are so draconian and inflexible that they are known by pretty much anyone who is even minimally involved with Arizona’s criminal justice system. I imagine 99% of people reading this post instantly knew which office I meant after reading the first sentence. Anyway, in two cases this year where I wrote the assigned prosecutors letters presenting overwhelming exculpatory evidence and requesting the cases be dismissed, I had conversations like this: Me: Have you looked over what I gave you? Them: … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General, Professionalism, Prosecutors

Courtroom Manners

In a certain jurisdiction where I regularly find myself practicing, defense attorneys line up to call their cases. Generally, it works out well. If I have a quick matter, like a continuance, the other attorneys let me go first. If I know I’m going to be there for a while, I’ll let other attorneys go ahead. Of course, my primary concern is what my client wants. If my clients want me to call the case as soon as possible, unless there’s a compelling reason not to, that’s exactly what I do. A couple months ago, an attorney showed up (I was the first person in the courtroom, but I was speaking with the bailiff) and went straight to the front. His entire demeanor was arrogant … Read entire article »

Filed under: Practice in General, Professionalism

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