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Breaking Down the Types of Crummy Criminal Defense Attorneys

Over at Ken Lammers' CrimLaw blog, he notes the recent flurry of discussion about incompetent attorneys who have a knack for somehow keeping their clients quite happy even while they are walking them "right off the plank and into the ocean." Lammers says this type of lawyer is well known in criminal defense circles, and he takes a shot at breaking down the different types of lawyers who fit this description, including:

  • Sturm und Drang: Lammers says this guy (women, too?) has figured out that the best strategy for attracting clients is to be loud and confrontational at all times, with no give on any issue. This lawyer is not concerned that "the thoroughly peeved prosecutor will ask the thoroughly peeved judge to throw the book at his client" as a result, since 50 percent of the people in the gallery are wowed by his fighting and it brings him business and big fees.
  • The Only: This guy is one of only two lawyers who have done criminal law in the County for the past 20 years, and has represented "entire clans - grandfather, fathers, sons, grandsons & granddaughters - as each generation makes it's way into court and on to jail." People come to him without even thinking about it. He's been doing it for so long "he must know what he's doing," even if he doesn't.
  • Miss Empathy: She makes illogical arguments in court and to prosecutors because she is convinced all of her clients "didn't really mean to do it." The problem is, Lammers says, that she has "believed it for the last 300 clients just as strongly and nobody trusts her judgment." At the end of the trial she'll be more upset about the adverse ruling and jail sentence than Mom is, which only makes her clients love her more.
  • MegaFirm International: Big shot from BigLaw whose "hair styling alone ... cost more than the combined value of the suits of all the trial lawyers in the room." Has his high-priced associates research all the shoplifting laws in the entire U.S. for the past 20 years instead of simply walking over to the prosecutor and asking that the first time shoplifting offense be taken under advisement for six months and dismissed after shoplifting classes and 50 hours community service. The client still loves that he found an obscure case that would have been helpful precedent, had the judge been remotely interested in such research.

Lammers nails several other crummy lawyer-types in his post, and more are being offered up in the comments section to the post. Read the entire post here.

Posted by Bruce Carton on March 22, 2010 at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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