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» Entries tagged with "public defender"

Lots and Lots of Blog Posts…

And not a single one of them here. They’re all over at Fault Lines: MOB JUSTICE FOR A DEAD GORILLA NYPD GIVE FAR TOO MUCH CREDIT TO THE POP OUT BOYZ THOMAS VITANOVITZ’S LUCKY INTERVENTION…TO A POINT DONALD RAY MIDDLETON’S LIFE SENTENCE FOR OUR LAZINESS TURNING WADE NARAMORE’S TRAGEDY INTO A CRIMINAL CASE PESHWAZ AZAD WAISE’S CRAZY IS THE SCARY SORT TRICIA KORTES’ ANGER PROBLEM PROSECUTORS ASK COURT TO RELEASE GUY THEY WRONGFULLY CONVICTED WHY THE GUN CONTROL CONVERSATION ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE PRODUCTIVE RAYMOND JENNINGS’S ONGOING NIGHTMARE POLICE WHO CAN’T ARREST BRYTON MELLOTT ARREST BRYTON MELLOTT PROSECUTORS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT DEFENSE ATTORNEY’S ETHICAL DUTIES…OR MAYBE NOT RELEASE ROD BLAGOJEVICH CHOOSING BETWEEN A BRIGHT LINE AND TAKING THEIR WORD FOR IT GROWN UP PUNISHMENT FOR CHRIS CORREA’S CHILDISH CRIME TSA: LOOKING UP THEIR SKIRTS FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS WITH POWERFUL DEFENDANTS, “SPEEDY JAILING” ISN’T EASY DRUG WARRIORS CAN’T … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Life Of A Private Public Defender

Jamison Koehler put up a post this week about prosecutors and professionalism. Here’s the paragraph that resonated with me the most: I am always annoyed by prosecutors who stroll into the courtroom moments before the judge takes the bench. This results in a rush of defense attorneys toward counsel table seeking to speak with the prosecutors before our cases are called. It makes our job that much more difficult. And then the judge chastises us for not having worked out more of these issues in advance. His post was more about prosecutors being discourteous, but I am more interested in the effect on defense lawyers and some major problems with the system in general. There was a time in my career when I took appointed cases and carried a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Government Rants, Judges, Practice in General, Prosecutors, public defenders

Life’s Too Short

Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice put up a post earlier today about the disturbing phenomenon of new lawyers teaching continuing legal education courses. It’s a must-read that brings a story to mind. Pretty much every year I attend the Arizona Public Defender Association’s Annual Statewide Conference. I am perpetually surprised by the lack of the experience of many of the presenters and the depth of experience of most of those who sit in the audience. One particular situation arising from that continues to amuse me years later. For a few years, I’ve frequently sought advice from an appellate public defender I met through my wife. To say I admire him greatly would be an understatement. He’s amazing. He’s been licensed since 1975 and is an encyclopedia … Read entire article »

Filed under: CLE

Managing Caseload

Most lawyers plan for when times are bad. We tend to only joke about what we’d do with an enormous caseload if times got great. I’m certainly guilty of making off-handed comments about too much work being a good problem to have, but in reality, when too much work really does become a problem, it’s probably worse than the alternative. Before I had any real experience, I looked all over the place for guidance about caseload. I spoke with public defenders and met some who had 30 open felony cases. I met some with 60. Several public defenders who handled misdemeanors as well as felonies told me they typically had over 100 open cases at any given time. Relying to some extent on the stereotype … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Practice in General

Trial Reflections

I spent last week in trial. My client was charged with one count of aggravated assault. If he had been convicted and the state proved his priors and its allegation that he was on probation, he faced ten to fifteen years. The theory of the state’s case was that my client kicked his live-in girlfriend in the face five or six times, causing her “temporary but substantial disfigurement.” The jury acquitted my client after a four-day trial and an hour of deliberation. Like any trial, it was an interesting experience. A few things stood out though. I only had the case for about ninety days, and I was the client’s fifth or sixth lawyer, depending on whether you count his third (and last) public defender. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, lawyers, public defenders, Trial

No Public Defender's Office?

I found this post by Murray Newman at Life at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center fascinating. I’ve been thinking about it and figured I’d write something. I’ve never practiced in a county that doesn’t have a public defender’s office. I can see how it might work in a very small, rural county, but it’s incredible to me that one of the biggest counties in the US doesn’t have one. I think it’s natural that voters begin demanding that a giant, bureaucratic, government agency take over a task the moment they realize it’s sufficiently daunting. Indigent criminal defense for an entire major metropolitan area seems pretty overwhelming, so I’m amazed the people of Harris County haven’t insisted that committees of politicians be created to form an agency … Read entire article »

Filed under: public defenders

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