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Confession of a S****y Defense Lawyer

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by: Ryan • December 27, 2012 • no comments

At a very popular political website, one of the contributors -- who also appears regularly on CNN -- wrote the following:

For five and a half years I was an indigent criminal defense attorney as one area of my law practice.
I never once represented an innocent person. They were all guilty. I never had a criminal trial. They were all willing to take deals. Most of them were black men between the ages of 18 and 35 and their crimes most often involved drugs.

So court-appointed criminal defense work was part of his practice, but it's hard to tell how big a part. Much easier to figure out is that the writer was a pretty bad defense lawyer.

A few thoughts: If -- after 5 1/2 years -- you've never had an innocent client, it's not because none of them are innocent; it's because telling yourself that made it easier to be a dumptruck.

Even clients who are guilty of something are routinely overcharged and should take their cases to trial.

Even "guilty" clients can be acquitted, or have the evidence suppressed, if the lawyer doesn't suck.

And then there are challenges -- constitutional challenges -- that can be made regardless of the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

Thank goodness this person isn't doing criminal defense anymore.