» Entries tagged with "arraignment"

Clients, Contracts, and Good Deeds

I could barely understand what she was saying. The woman on the phone was hysterical. She called me that afternoon out of desperation and was so distraught she didn’t make an awful lot of sense. I could piece together that her son was charged with a felony, that his arraignment was coming up very soon, and that he would lose his job if he had to request that day off of work. She insisted I was her son’s new public defender. It didn’t take me long to realize what was happening. Years ago, indigent defense contract work was a key component in our business model. People don’t line up to retain lawyers in their mid-twenties with about ten seconds of experience. Not if the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Practice in General

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

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