Take it to trial

Experience is a valuable teacher. Oftentimes, as a young attorney, I’m pegged by prospective clients as appearing inexperienced. "You look young," is a common comment upon seeing me for the first time. As a 26-year-old attorney, I don’t fault that perception. Who wants an inexperienced attorney when you’re facing 10-15 years of incarceration? Perhaps, someone with specks of grey in their hair – veritable witnesses of the attorney’s experience and wisdom — would be more to their liking. In my case, that hesitance tends to disappear when said prospective clients come to learn I’ve represented nearly 2,000 cases and tried nearly every type of criminal case . As a public defender, I was in court day in and day out, making appearances in several counties. In a recent article I discussed why I enjoyed the experience, and more importantly, why other young attorneys should consider applying for a position. One of my favorite things to do as a PD was observe how other attorneys handled their cases and clients. Over time, you came to learn the reputations of various local attorneys. Some have a reputation for being fighters, others not so much. To that end, it appeared and continues to be my observation that there is an apprehension on the part of some to take a case to trial.

One comment

  1. Great discussion. Coming to court ready for trial gives you and the client many options up to the last minute. So often a plea offer comes with the State knowing that no officers or witnesses are present. “On call,” you say? No thanks, we’ll go to trial. A nol pros is fine too, thank you.

    Equally important is the level of preparation. I’ve had a number of misdemeanor cases that would be considered “simple.” But, prepare for them like a major felony, and you are amazed at the details that come out. The state will not be as prepared, and your client has a much better chance of walking out the front door.

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