PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

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PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:27 pm

Hi, all -

New (2017 grad) lawyer here. Hoping that the TLS fam can help me out with some advice. :D

I'm a law clerk, committed through November. I've been interviewing at public defenders and firms with robust criminal practices in the greater NYC area. I'm down to choosing between one PD offer and one firm offer.

The issues for me are money and exit opportunities.

I think either would be a great fit for me, although the firm would be vastly more money. I'd be doing much the same substantive work at the firm that I would with the PD, with the benefit of paying off loans. There are also issues back home that would make more money useful, lol. Buuuut the PD office is my dream job, and the position literally just opened up.

The second concern is that the PD said they were moving money around to hire me, but they would need me to leave my current position by mid-August. I let them know that I'd need to clear that with my boss first.
The firm is flexible as to timing. If I can't leave my current position early (without burning bridges with my current boss), & have to decline the PD offer, am I burning the PD bridge? Would the same office - or another - be willing to hire me in the future?

Thanks.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:00 pm

OP here, bumping and still hoping for advice.

Rereading my post, I kind of come off as an entitled dick, but I am serious about the question of which to choose. I started down the firm route because of family issues, which money would help. But my passion is for PD work, and if rejecting an offer from LAS/BDS/Bx. Def. means I get blacklisted from PD work, well, I need to be careful.

Thanks again.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby deadpanic » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:35 pm

Let me caveat this by saying that I am not a criminal lawyer and never have practiced it, but wanted to throw in my 2 cents to see if this is possibly helpful. Some of this is probably common sense so I'm not being condescending, just trying to cover all bases.

First, if the PD job is your dream job, why would that not be a "great fit?"

Second, it is much more common to start out in a PD or DA office and move to private practice later. I don't think it would blackball you from ever joining a PD office, but that would be a weird move. It just seems unlikely because as you are getting older, money is going to be increasingly important if you are starting a family, buying a house, etc. So, you may not be able to go back financially and join the PD office and take a massive paycut if you have a mortgage.

You will have a much heavier caseload at PD. Have you ever interned at PD office? It can be a thankless job according to an acquaintance of mine who is also a true believer. You are going to have way too many clients to properly prepare and try several cases, although I am certain you will get a lot of courtroom & trial experience at PD or private practice.

The other tricky part is that you may not have an opening in private practice down the road if you go PD. Criminal defense (assuming this is mostly blue collar state crim defense (like DUI, drugs, robbery, etc.)) practices are very small operations that don't have the resources to just bring on another attorney at any time. You may have to strike out on your own.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby objctnyrhnr » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here, bumping and still hoping for advice.

Rereading my post, I kind of come off as an entitled dick, but I am serious about the question of which to choose. I started down the firm route because of family issues, which money would help. But my passion is for PD work, and if rejecting an offer from LAS/BDS/Bx. Def. means I get blacklisted from PD work, well, I need to be careful.

Thanks again.


You won’t agree, but here’s my two cents:

Defending guilty people who are probably mean to you and will probably reoffend even if you succeed just sounds shitty in general. When you really think about it in the micro sense, is society bettered by getting a rapist back on the street? Of course I understand it in the macro sense (right to counsel yada yada), but case to case it just sounds brutal. Anyway I realize and acknowledge somebody needs to do it, so cheers to you. I see one pro to each path.

Crim defense firm pros: money. You definitely aren’t making society better. Allowing rich people to pay their way out of Operating under influence fourth offense and then get behind the wheel again definitely doesn’t make society better, but it will get you paid. If you like getting paid and can swallow what you’re doing, do this.

PD pro: cool-aid. You can go to work everyday feeling like you’re battling the man, helping poor people, being a ENEMIES OF THE GATE, and, in effect, drinking the cool aid. If you believe in this kind of stuff (police are evil, minorities do no wrong, government’s war against the poor, etc), you’ll probably be able to walk in and out of work every day with your head held high in a way you wouldn’t at a firm and drink drink drink that cool-aid.

Good luck!

Edit: enemies of the gate = scocial jstucie wrarior

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby nixy » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:04 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:You won’t agree, but here’s my two cents:

Defending guilty people who are probably mean to you and will probably reoffend even if you succeed just sounds shitty in general. When you really think about it in the micro sense, is society bettered by getting a rapist back on the street? Of course I understand it in the macro sense (right to counsel yada yada), but case to case it just sounds brutal. Anyway I realize and acknowledge somebody needs to do it, so cheers to you. I see one pro to each path.

Crim defense firm pros: money. You definitely aren’t making society better. Allowing rich people to pay their way out of Operating under influence fourth offense and then get behind the wheel again definitely doesn’t make society better, but it will get you paid. If you like getting paid and can swallow what you’re doing, do this.

PD pro: cool-aid. You can go to work everyday feeling like you’re battling the man, helping poor people, being a ENEMIES OF THE GATE, and, in effect, drinking the cool aid. If you believe in this kind of stuff (police are evil, minorities do no wrong, government’s war against the poor, etc), you’ll probably be able to walk in and out of work every day with your head held high in a way you wouldn’t at a firm and drink drink drink that cool-aid.

Good luck!

Edit: enemies of the gate = scocial jstucie wrarior

Well that pretty much accomplished nothing except giving you the chance to diss criminal defense attorneys.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby objctnyrhnr » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:44 am

nixy wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:You won’t agree, but here’s my two cents:

Defending guilty people who are probably mean to you and will probably reoffend even if you succeed just sounds shitty in general. When you really think about it in the micro sense, is society bettered by getting a rapist back on the street? Of course I understand it in the macro sense (right to counsel yada yada), but case to case it just sounds brutal. Anyway I realize and acknowledge somebody needs to do it, so cheers to you. I see one pro to each path.

Crim defense firm pros: money. You definitely aren’t making society better. Allowing rich people to pay their way out of Operating under influence fourth offense and then get behind the wheel again definitely doesn’t make society better, but it will get you paid. If you like getting paid and can swallow what you’re doing, do this.

PD pro: cool-aid. You can go to work everyday feeling like you’re battling the man, helping poor people, being a ENEMIES OF THE GATE, and, in effect, drinking the cool aid. If you believe in this kind of stuff (police are evil, minorities do no wrong, government’s war against the poor, etc), you’ll probably be able to walk in and out of work every day with your head held high in a way you wouldn’t at a firm and drink drink drink that cool-aid.

Good luck!

Edit: enemies of the gate = scocial jstucie wrarior

Well that pretty much accomplished nothing except giving you the chance to diss criminal defense attorneys.


Disagree.

The post boils down to this:

1. Are you sure you want to be a criminal defense attorney?

2. If so, what motivates you?
A. If money, go firm
B. If it’s being a true believer, go PD.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:34 am

Also, it's Kool-Aid.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Great45 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:00 am

objctnyrhnr wrote:
nixy wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:You won’t agree, but here’s my two cents:

Defending guilty people who are probably mean to you and will probably reoffend even if you succeed just sounds shitty in general. When you really think about it in the micro sense, is society bettered by getting a rapist back on the street? Of course I understand it in the macro sense (right to counsel yada yada), but case to case it just sounds brutal. Anyway I realize and acknowledge somebody needs to do it, so cheers to you. I see one pro to each path.

Crim defense firm pros: money. You definitely aren’t making society better. Allowing rich people to pay their way out of Operating under influence fourth offense and then get behind the wheel again definitely doesn’t make society better, but it will get you paid. If you like getting paid and can swallow what you’re doing, do this.

PD pro: cool-aid. You can go to work everyday feeling like you’re battling the man, helping poor people, being a ENEMIES OF THE GATE, and, in effect, drinking the cool aid. If you believe in this kind of stuff (police are evil, minorities do no wrong, government’s war against the poor, etc), you’ll probably be able to walk in and out of work every day with your head held high in a way you wouldn’t at a firm and drink drink drink that cool-aid.

Good luck!

Edit: enemies of the gate = scocial jstucie wrarior

Well that pretty much accomplished nothing except giving you the chance to diss criminal defense attorneys.


Disagree.

The post boils down to this:

1. Are you sure you want to be a criminal defense attorney?

2. If so, what motivates you?
A. If money, go firm
B. If it’s being a true believer, go PD.


Just weird to question if someone is sure they want to be a criminal defense attorney when they clearly state that they've been interviewing at PD offices and firms (specifically citing their crim defense practices). OP wanted feedback regarding exit options and shared concerns about jumping ship early from his/her current position.

But sure, keep thing your "minorities do no wrong" blurb is helpful or relevant. lol

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Tanicius » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:40 am

OP, when you say the private firm job will cover your loans, what are we really talking about? That honestly surprises me to hear. Almost all of my friends who went private criminal defense feel completely trapped and unable to pay their loans at the rate they want to.

PD salaries tend to suck in NYC compared to the rest of the country, and that's before even accounting for the ridiculous COL of NYC. So that's a concern in and of itself. But I'd be shocked if the private firm is offering you enough that you can both afford the COL and any sizable student loan package. Are your loans just not that high?

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:54 am

Great45 wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:
nixy wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:You won’t agree, but here’s my two cents:

Defending guilty people who are probably mean to you and will probably reoffend even if you succeed just sounds shitty in general. When you really think about it in the micro sense, is society bettered by getting a rapist back on the street? Of course I understand it in the macro sense (right to counsel yada yada), but case to case it just sounds brutal. Anyway I realize and acknowledge somebody needs to do it, so cheers to you. I see one pro to each path.

Crim defense firm pros: money. You definitely aren’t making society better. Allowing rich people to pay their way out of Operating under influence fourth offense and then get behind the wheel again definitely doesn’t make society better, but it will get you paid. If you like getting paid and can swallow what you’re doing, do this.

PD pro: cool-aid. You can go to work everyday feeling like you’re battling the man, helping poor people, being a ENEMIES OF THE GATE, and, in effect, drinking the cool aid. If you believe in this kind of stuff (police are evil, minorities do no wrong, government’s war against the poor, etc), you’ll probably be able to walk in and out of work every day with your head held high in a way you wouldn’t at a firm and drink drink drink that cool-aid.

Good luck!

Edit: enemies of the gate = scocial jstucie wrarior

Well that pretty much accomplished nothing except giving you the chance to diss criminal defense attorneys.


Disagree.

The post boils down to this:

1. Are you sure you want to be a criminal defense attorney?

2. If so, what motivates you?
A. If money, go firm
B. If it’s being a true believer, go PD.


Just weird to question if someone is sure they want to be a criminal defense attorney when they clearly state that they've been interviewing at PD offices and firms (specifically citing their crim defense practices). OP wanted feedback regarding exit options and shared concerns about jumping ship early from his/her current position.

But sure, keep thing your "minorities do no wrong" blurb is helpful or relevant. lol


If y’all think my post was so useless where I broke down the two reasons to become a criminal defense attorney, specifically money and scocial jstuice wrrarior mindset in order to simply OP’s decision for him, then educate me—why else would somebody want to do it?

And yeah I was obviously being a bit hyperbolic; was clearly just trying to highlight the warrior mindset to contrast it with a lack thereof and a desire for money.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby nixy » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:24 am

I mean, clearly you don’t understand why anyone would do it because you clearly consider it contributes nothing to society, so not sure why you think that perspective would help someone who has already concluded that the PD office would be their dream job. And your definition of the Kool-aid was dismissive and insulting, so also not especially helpful to someone who wants to go into that field.

(And fwiw I’m not a defense attorney or anything close to it.)

(OP, I won’t fight about the above any longer. Unlike someone else here, I tend to think that going private is always an option for an experienced PD, but that it might be harder to go the other direction, if nothing else because taking a pay cut will be harder. Also it would be worth considering what kind of training you’d get at either place - both firms or PDs can vary a lot in this regard. It might be worth starting at the place with the best training, which could be either.

But if nothing else, I think both options are defensible here, so I don’t think you’re facing catastrophe with either one or anything like that. It will boil down more to your personal circumstances - how much difference the money makes and/or leaving in August and/or whatever else.)

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:59 pm

nixy wrote:I mean, clearly you don’t understand why anyone would do it because you clearly consider it contributes nothing to society, so not sure why you think that perspective would help someone who has already concluded that the PD office would be their dream job. And your definition of the Kool-aid was dismissive and insulting, so also not especially helpful to someone who wants to go into that field.



First of all, I acknowledged that everybody has a right to counsel but I personally couldn’t stomach it in my original post and that I, of course, understand it in a macro sense. I actually said good for OP for wanting to get into it because it’s important that somebody does.

Second, I named two very valid reasons why somebody might want to do it—money and believing that they are making a difference (with perhaps a bit of hyperbole to illustrate my point). I said that OP should make his decision on that. This was the whole point of the comment and the thread, but apparently you are too vicariously offended to have noticed that.

Lastly, although it gets a bit away from the point of the thread, your final sentence reads like a religious person who gets upset when an atheist pokes a hole in the notion of god. Don’t just dismiss one person’s opinion by calling it “offensive,” without explaining why it’s inaccurate, or what the poster might have missed. If there is something truly wonderful (that I did not acknowledge) about tricking juries into thinking that rich drunk drivers might not actually have been drunk driving BESIDES money (a valid end in and of itself to many), then please enlighten me. What is it?

Like I said, educate me. I have not been a state court defense attorney. Why would somebody want to do it, aside from the main points I already acknowledged.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby criminaltheory » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:24 pm

This is a nice problem to have. Personally I think the PD position offers more long-term options, but it depends on your family needs and debt load.

Having more money now is nice, but the calculus should also consider PSLF if you think you can/will stick around for 10 years. How much is vastly more money?

It also depends on the nature of the private firm - is it a Fancy Named Dude, and you're his associate who will go to status dates for continuances and generally play second-fiddle? Will you get good training? The experience at a private firm can vary. Is it a DUI firm, state, or do they take federal cases?

I think the NY offices have great reputations as PD offices, and as training offices. The exit options there will vary, but will be pretty good. You'll get lots of trial experience, be in charge of your cases, and perhaps most importantly, work in a large office of other defenders who will go on to do cool things. It's impossible to predict what doors might open up, but you'll develop a network.

The private firm might do the same, but you're also attached to the reputation of the Named Dude. This could be positive or negative. I'd also think about the extent to which you'll be expected/encouraged/allowed to bring in work or take cases on the outer-rim of your practice areas (post-conviction/appeals/etc) that might develop your skills/resume. A private firm also has to focus on getting cases; as a PD, you can focus on lawyering.

I don't think you'd be burning a bridge by not accepting the PD job, but if you're being offered your dream job, accept. Do you imagine just re-applying in 2 years? Why? I think it will be harder to join a PD office 5-10 years down the road, whereas if you want to go your own at that point, the PD will have prepared you to do so (and maybe even wiped out your debt).

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:26 pm

May I know which criminal defense firm is it? As far as I know, none of them are actively hiring new grads.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby nixy » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:First of all, I acknowledged that everybody has a right to counsel but I personally couldn’t stomach it in my original post and that I, of course, understand it in a macro sense. I actually said good for OP for wanting to get into it because it’s important that somebody does.

Second, I named two very valid reasons why somebody might want to do it—money and believing that they are making a difference (with perhaps a bit of hyperbole to illustrate my point). I said that OP should make his decision on that. This was the whole point of the comment and the thread, but apparently you are too vicariously offended to have noticed that.

Lastly, although it gets a bit away from the point of the thread, your final sentence reads like a religious person who gets upset when an atheist pokes a hole in the notion of god. Don’t just dismiss one person’s opinion by calling it “offensive,” without explaining why it’s inaccurate, or what the poster might have missed. If there is something truly wonderful (that I did not acknowledge) about tricking juries into thinking that rich drunk drivers might not actually have been drunk driving BESIDES money (a valid end in and of itself to many), then please enlighten me. What is it?

Like I said, educate me. I have not been a state court defense attorney. Why would somebody want to do it, aside from the main points I already acknowledged.

You’re making a liar out of me, but since you asked a direct question: Because they believe in the criminal justice system and believe that for it to work everyone gets to/has to hold the government to their burden. Which *isn’t* the same as believing the police are all evil and minorities can do no wrong and the bullshit stereotypes you relied on. I mean, you’re claiming it’s all tricking juries. I’m not going to deny that a lot of defense work involves muddying the waters, but if the government can’t make their case clearly enough the issue isn’t “tricking juries.” It’s inaccurate to dismiss the defense attorney’s job as “tricking juries.” I doubt you’d like it if I characterized prosecution as bludgeoning defendants into taking unfair deals as long as you can count the stat.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby anon sequitur » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:26 pm

Not enough pushback for the assertion that the firm pay is so great. OP, have you been given a salary range? Successful, experienced criminal defense attorneys can make a comfortable living, but firms that hire entry level attorneys? Are you sure you know what you’re getting into?

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Aptitude » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:07 pm

OP,

Make sure to vet the small firm before you make a decision. Small firms are really hit or miss. Remember, unlike at a big firm or government job, there's no HR so there aren't any management guidelines set out at all. You're really at the whim of whoever the partner or few partners are. And if you don't get along with your boss you're stuck with them. Another problem is, even at successful firms if there are two Partners, they may decide to split.

On the brightside, if it's a hit though, then it could be great, tight knit environment. Just make sure you can feel like you trust them and they're being sincere with you.

Also, I agree with the poster who mentioned PSLF as something to factor in (if you can manage to stay that long). Another thing to keep in mind is whether the PD office offers government benefits - the medical, pensions can be really good.

Some private criminal firms also handle public defense contracts, so you might be able to get the best of both worlds if your jurisdiction contracts firms for PD defense when there are conflicts.


Tanicius wrote:OP, when you say the private firm job will cover your loans, what are we really talking about? That honestly surprises me to hear. Almost all of my friends who went private criminal defense feel completely trapped and unable to pay their loans at the rate they want to.


I think it depends on what city that they're in in and what type of criminals they defend. I live in a very affluent city known for it's wealth from the tech industry (millionaires are quite common place), and there are criminal defense Attorneys here that do extremely well financially.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:05 pm

nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First of all, I acknowledged that everybody has a right to counsel but I personally couldn’t stomach it in my original post and that I, of course, understand it in a macro sense. I actually said good for OP for wanting to get into it because it’s important that somebody does.

Second, I named two very valid reasons why somebody might want to do it—money and believing that they are making a difference (with perhaps a bit of hyperbole to illustrate my point). I said that OP should make his decision on that. This was the whole point of the comment and the thread, but apparently you are too vicariously offended to have noticed that.

Lastly, although it gets a bit away from the point of the thread, your final sentence reads like a religious person who gets upset when an atheist pokes a hole in the notion of god. Don’t just dismiss one person’s opinion by calling it “offensive,” without explaining why it’s inaccurate, or what the poster might have missed. If there is something truly wonderful (that I did not acknowledge) about tricking juries into thinking that rich drunk drivers might not actually have been drunk driving BESIDES money (a valid end in and of itself to many), then please enlighten me. What is it?

Like I said, educate me. I have not been a state court defense attorney. Why would somebody want to do it, aside from the main points I already acknowledged.

You’re making a liar out of me, but since you asked a direct question: Because they believe in the criminal justice system and believe that for it to work everyone gets to/has to hold the government to their burden. Which *isn’t* the same as believing the police are all evil and minorities can do no wrong and the bullshit stereotypes you relied on. I mean, you’re claiming it’s all tricking juries. I’m not going to deny that a lot of defense work involves muddying the waters, but if the government can’t make their case clearly enough the issue isn’t “tricking juries.” It’s inaccurate to dismiss the defense attorney’s job as “tricking juries.” I doubt you’d like it if I characterized prosecution as bludgeoning defendants into taking unfair deals as long as you can count the stat.


Okay so I think that “hold government to its burden” falls into the general true believer camp, which would lean towards PD. I agree that it’s a valid reason to be a defense attorney. I really do; but it’s still a job that I could never do.

That said, I disagree on every other point you made.

To begin, of course the vast majority of times in state low-level court, the defense is trying to use the rules of evidence to trick the jurors into coming to the wrong conclusion. It’s a defense-friendly system, though, so there’s nothing legally or ethically wrong with that.

For example, let’s say deft is charged with 4th OUI and he refused breathalyzer because he has so much experience with being an OUI defendant. With all this info, of course judge defendant prosecutor defense counsel know the guy is guilty as sin, but the defense (lawfully) uses rules of evidence/constitution to exclude the fact that he refused to blow and bifurcate the trial so jury never knows it was his fourth. Now defense tries to convince jury he wasn’t drunk driving and prosecutor tries to convince jury he was. Who’s seeking truth/justice and who’s trying to trick the jury into coming to the incorrect conclusion (again, lawfully)?

Lastly, nobody bludgeons anybody into pleading to anything, particularly not in lower level state court. That’s ridiculous. Prosecutors can’t speak to defendants, and defendants get appointed lawyers (who they don’t pay for) to keep them from being unfairly bludgeoned. Furthermore, in lower level state court, the judicial branch acts as a safeguard to prevent defts from getting overcharged because charges go through them. Finally, prosecutors don’t care about stats; that’s a myth. Even if they did care about stats, those stats would be about jury trial victories; not pleas. Caseloads are just too large and random to know or care.

Sounds like you’re drunk on the kool aid as well. Maybe you should be a PD.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First of all, I acknowledged that everybody has a right to counsel but I personally couldn’t stomach it in my original post and that I, of course, understand it in a macro sense. I actually said good for OP for wanting to get into it because it’s important that somebody does.

Second, I named two very valid reasons why somebody might want to do it—money and believing that they are making a difference (with perhaps a bit of hyperbole to illustrate my point). I said that OP should make his decision on that. This was the whole point of the comment and the thread, but apparently you are too vicariously offended to have noticed that.

Lastly, although it gets a bit away from the point of the thread, your final sentence reads like a religious person who gets upset when an atheist pokes a hole in the notion of god. Don’t just dismiss one person’s opinion by calling it “offensive,” without explaining why it’s inaccurate, or what the poster might have missed. If there is something truly wonderful (that I did not acknowledge) about tricking juries into thinking that rich drunk drivers might not actually have been drunk driving BESIDES money (a valid end in and of itself to many), then please enlighten me. What is it?

Like I said, educate me. I have not been a state court defense attorney. Why would somebody want to do it, aside from the main points I already acknowledged.

You’re making a liar out of me, but since you asked a direct question: Because they believe in the criminal justice system and believe that for it to work everyone gets to/has to hold the government to their burden. Which *isn’t* the same as believing the police are all evil and minorities can do no wrong and the bullshit stereotypes you relied on. I mean, you’re claiming it’s all tricking juries. I’m not going to deny that a lot of defense work involves muddying the waters, but if the government can’t make their case clearly enough the issue isn’t “tricking juries.” It’s inaccurate to dismiss the defense attorney’s job as “tricking juries.” I doubt you’d like it if I characterized prosecution as bludgeoning defendants into taking unfair deals as long as you can count the stat.


Okay so I think that “hold government to its burden” falls into the general true believer camp, which would lean towards PD. I agree that it’s a valid reason to be a defense attorney. I really do; but it’s still a job that I could never do.

That said, I disagree on every other point you made.

To begin, of course the vast majority of times in state low-level court, the defense is trying to use the rules of evidence to trick the jurors into coming to the wrong conclusion. It’s a defense-friendly system, though, so there’s nothing legally or ethically wrong with that.

For example, let’s say deft is charged with 4th OUI and he refused breathalyzer because he has so much experience with being an OUI defendant. With all this info, of course judge defendant prosecutor defense counsel know the guy is guilty as sin, but the defense (lawfully) uses rules of evidence/constitution to exclude the fact that he refused to blow and bifurcate the trial so jury never knows it was his fourth. Now defense tries to convince jury he wasn’t drunk driving and prosecutor tries to convince jury he was. Who’s seeking truth/justice and who’s trying to trick the jury into coming to the incorrect conclusion (again, lawfully)?

Lastly, nobody bludgeons anybody into pleading to anything, particularly not in lower level state court. That’s ridiculous. Prosecutors can’t speak to defendants, and defendants get appointed lawyers (who they don’t pay for) to keep them from being unfairly bludgeoned. Furthermore, in lower level state court, the judicial branch acts as a safeguard to prevent defts from getting overcharged because charges go through them. Finally, prosecutors don’t care about stats; that’s a myth. Even if they did care about stats, those stats would be about jury trial victories; not pleas. Caseloads are just too large and random to know or care.

Sounds like you’re drunk on the kool aid as well. Maybe you should be a PD.


It is clear that you have no actual experience of any kind with how criminal justice actually works in most of this country. Actually, reading this post, I have trouble believing that you have even gone to law school.

For your edification, prosecutors and police routinely talk to criminal defendants without an attorney being present. (Although criminal defendants have a right to counsel, that right must be invoked, and it is quite common to *suggest* that a criminal defendant would be better off just having a friendly conversation.) Sure, there will be a lawyer by the time they actually enter the guilty plea, but at that point the right is pretty much useless.

As for the judicial system, in federal court, there is at least a relatively well established procedure for entering a guilty plea that requires answering yes to a number of questions. But those questions are often asked so quickly (and to a defendant without proper knowledge or context) that they are meaningless. Low level state criminal courts tend to resemble a cattle call more than the platonic ideal system you've seen in movies or, perhaps, read about in some pre-law textbook about the greatness of our constitutional system.

Sdowling

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Sdowling » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First of all, I acknowledged that everybody has a right to counsel but I personally couldn’t stomach it in my original post and that I, of course, understand it in a macro sense. I actually said good for OP for wanting to get into it because it’s important that somebody does.

Second, I named two very valid reasons why somebody might want to do it—money and believing that they are making a difference (with perhaps a bit of hyperbole to illustrate my point). I said that OP should make his decision on that. This was the whole point of the comment and the thread, but apparently you are too vicariously offended to have noticed that.

Lastly, although it gets a bit away from the point of the thread, your final sentence reads like a religious person who gets upset when an atheist pokes a hole in the notion of god. Don’t just dismiss one person’s opinion by calling it “offensive,” without explaining why it’s inaccurate, or what the poster might have missed. If there is something truly wonderful (that I did not acknowledge) about tricking juries into thinking that rich drunk drivers might not actually have been drunk driving BESIDES money (a valid end in and of itself to many), then please enlighten me. What is it?

Like I said, educate me. I have not been a state court defense attorney. Why would somebody want to do it, aside from the main points I already acknowledged.

You’re making a liar out of me, but since you asked a direct question: Because they believe in the criminal justice system and believe that for it to work everyone gets to/has to hold the government to their burden. Which *isn’t* the same as believing the police are all evil and minorities can do no wrong and the bullshit stereotypes you relied on. I mean, you’re claiming it’s all tricking juries. I’m not going to deny that a lot of defense work involves muddying the waters, but if the government can’t make their case clearly enough the issue isn’t “tricking juries.” It’s inaccurate to dismiss the defense attorney’s job as “tricking juries.” I doubt you’d like it if I characterized prosecution as bludgeoning defendants into taking unfair deals as long as you can count the stat.


Okay so I think that “hold government to its burden” falls into the general true believer camp, which would lean towards PD. I agree that it’s a valid reason to be a defense attorney. I really do; but it’s still a job that I could never do.

That said, I disagree on every other point you made.

To begin, of course the vast majority of times in state low-level court, the defense is trying to use the rules of evidence to trick the jurors into coming to the wrong conclusion. It’s a defense-friendly system, though, so there’s nothing legally or ethically wrong with that.

For example, let’s say deft is charged with 4th OUI and he refused breathalyzer because he has so much experience with being an OUI defendant. With all this info, of course judge defendant prosecutor defense counsel know the guy is guilty as sin, but the defense (lawfully) uses rules of evidence/constitution to exclude the fact that he refused to blow and bifurcate the trial so jury never knows it was his fourth. Now defense tries to convince jury he wasn’t drunk driving and prosecutor tries to convince jury he was. Who’s seeking truth/justice and who’s trying to trick the jury into coming to the incorrect conclusion (again, lawfully)?

Lastly, nobody bludgeons anybody into pleading to anything, particularly not in lower level state court. That’s ridiculous. Prosecutors can’t speak to defendants, and defendants get appointed lawyers (who they don’t pay for) to keep them from being unfairly bludgeoned. Furthermore, in lower level state court, the judicial branch acts as a safeguard to prevent defts from getting overcharged because charges go through them. Finally, prosecutors don’t care about stats; that’s a myth. Even if they did care about stats, those stats would be about jury trial victories; not pleas. Caseloads are just too large and random to know or care.

Sounds like you’re drunk on the kool aid as well. Maybe you should be a PD.


State level trial judges look out for the defendant’s sake? Prosecutors don’t care about their stats?

Ohhhhhh honey, bless your heart :lol:

nixy

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby nixy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First of all, I acknowledged that everybody has a right to counsel but I personally couldn’t stomach it in my original post and that I, of course, understand it in a macro sense. I actually said good for OP for wanting to get into it because it’s important that somebody does.

Second, I named two very valid reasons why somebody might want to do it—money and believing that they are making a difference (with perhaps a bit of hyperbole to illustrate my point). I said that OP should make his decision on that. This was the whole point of the comment and the thread, but apparently you are too vicariously offended to have noticed that.

Lastly, although it gets a bit away from the point of the thread, your final sentence reads like a religious person who gets upset when an atheist pokes a hole in the notion of god. Don’t just dismiss one person’s opinion by calling it “offensive,” without explaining why it’s inaccurate, or what the poster might have missed. If there is something truly wonderful (that I did not acknowledge) about tricking juries into thinking that rich drunk drivers might not actually have been drunk driving BESIDES money (a valid end in and of itself to many), then please enlighten me. What is it?

Like I said, educate me. I have not been a state court defense attorney. Why would somebody want to do it, aside from the main points I already acknowledged.

You’re making a liar out of me, but since you asked a direct question: Because they believe in the criminal justice system and believe that for it to work everyone gets to/has to hold the government to their burden. Which *isn’t* the same as believing the police are all evil and minorities can do no wrong and the bullshit stereotypes you relied on. I mean, you’re claiming it’s all tricking juries. I’m not going to deny that a lot of defense work involves muddying the waters, but if the government can’t make their case clearly enough the issue isn’t “tricking juries.” It’s inaccurate to dismiss the defense attorney’s job as “tricking juries.” I doubt you’d like it if I characterized prosecution as bludgeoning defendants into taking unfair deals as long as you can count the stat.


Okay so I think that “hold government to its burden” falls into the general true believer camp, which would lean towards PD. I agree that it’s a valid reason to be a defense attorney. I really do; but it’s still a job that I could never do.

That said, I disagree on every other point you made.

To begin, of course the vast majority of times in state low-level court, the defense is trying to use the rules of evidence to trick the jurors into coming to the wrong conclusion. It’s a defense-friendly system, though, so there’s nothing legally or ethically wrong with that.

For example, let’s say deft is charged with 4th OUI and he refused breathalyzer because he has so much experience with being an OUI defendant. With all this info, of course judge defendant prosecutor defense counsel know the guy is guilty as sin, but the defense (lawfully) uses rules of evidence/constitution to exclude the fact that he refused to blow and bifurcate the trial so jury never knows it was his fourth. Now defense tries to convince jury he wasn’t drunk driving and prosecutor tries to convince jury he was. Who’s seeking truth/justice and who’s trying to trick the jury into coming to the incorrect conclusion (again, lawfully)?

Lastly, nobody bludgeons anybody into pleading to anything, particularly not in lower level state court. That’s ridiculous. Prosecutors can’t speak to defendants, and defendants get appointed lawyers (who they don’t pay for) to keep them from being unfairly bludgeoned. Furthermore, in lower level state court, the judicial branch acts as a safeguard to prevent defts from getting overcharged because charges go through them. Finally, prosecutors don’t care about stats; that’s a myth. Even if they did care about stats, those stats would be about jury trial victories; not pleas. Caseloads are just too large and random to know or care.

Sounds like you’re drunk on the kool aid as well. Maybe you should be a PD.

Yeah, I don’t agree with any of this either. Using the laws of evidence to exclude isn’t “tricking the jury,” and my point about bludgeoning defendants - which can be done without ever speaking a word to them just through charging decisions - wasn’t so much that that’s a real thing as that it’s the rhetorical equivalent of saying the defense is all about tricking the jury - both are contentious and slanted ways to describe criminal practice.

That’s all. I really won’t answer again.

objctnyrhnr

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby objctnyrhnr » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First of all, I acknowledged that everybody has a right to counsel but I personally couldn’t stomach it in my original post and that I, of course, understand it in a macro sense. I actually said good for OP for wanting to get into it because it’s important that somebody does.

Second, I named two very valid reasons why somebody might want to do it—money and believing that they are making a difference (with perhaps a bit of hyperbole to illustrate my point). I said that OP should make his decision on that. This was the whole point of the comment and the thread, but apparently you are too vicariously offended to have noticed that.

Lastly, although it gets a bit away from the point of the thread, your final sentence reads like a religious person who gets upset when an atheist pokes a hole in the notion of god. Don’t just dismiss one person’s opinion by calling it “offensive,” without explaining why it’s inaccurate, or what the poster might have missed. If there is something truly wonderful (that I did not acknowledge) about tricking juries into thinking that rich drunk drivers might not actually have been drunk driving BESIDES money (a valid end in and of itself to many), then please enlighten me. What is it?

Like I said, educate me. I have not been a state court defense attorney. Why would somebody want to do it, aside from the main points I already acknowledged.

You’re making a liar out of me, but since you asked a direct question: Because they believe in the criminal justice system and believe that for it to work everyone gets to/has to hold the government to their burden. Which *isn’t* the same as believing the police are all evil and minorities can do no wrong and the bullshit stereotypes you relied on. I mean, you’re claiming it’s all tricking juries. I’m not going to deny that a lot of defense work involves muddying the waters, but if the government can’t make their case clearly enough the issue isn’t “tricking juries.” It’s inaccurate to dismiss the defense attorney’s job as “tricking juries.” I doubt you’d like it if I characterized prosecution as bludgeoning defendants into taking unfair deals as long as you can count the stat.


Okay so I think that “hold government to its burden” falls into the general true believer camp, which would lean towards PD. I agree that it’s a valid reason to be a defense attorney. I really do; but it’s still a job that I could never do.

That said, I disagree on every other point you made.

To begin, of course the vast majority of times in state low-level court, the defense is trying to use the rules of evidence to trick the jurors into coming to the wrong conclusion. It’s a defense-friendly system, though, so there’s nothing legally or ethically wrong with that.

For example, let’s say deft is charged with 4th OUI and he refused breathalyzer because he has so much experience with being an OUI defendant. With all this info, of course judge defendant prosecutor defense counsel know the guy is guilty as sin, but the defense (lawfully) uses rules of evidence/constitution to exclude the fact that he refused to blow and bifurcate the trial so jury never knows it was his fourth. Now defense tries to convince jury he wasn’t drunk driving and prosecutor tries to convince jury he was. Who’s seeking truth/justice and who’s trying to trick the jury into coming to the incorrect conclusion (again, lawfully)?

Lastly, nobody bludgeons anybody into pleading to anything, particularly not in lower level state court. That’s ridiculous. Prosecutors can’t speak to defendants, and defendants get appointed lawyers (who they don’t pay for) to keep them from being unfairly bludgeoned. Furthermore, in lower level state court, the judicial branch acts as a safeguard to prevent defts from getting overcharged because charges go through them. Finally, prosecutors don’t care about stats; that’s a myth. Even if they did care about stats, those stats would be about jury trial victories; not pleas. Caseloads are just too large and random to know or care.

Sounds like you’re drunk on the kool aid as well. Maybe you should be a PD.


It is clear that you have no actual experience of any kind with how criminal justice actually works in most of this country. Actually, reading this post, I have trouble believing that you have even gone to law school.

For your edification, prosecutors and police routinely talk to criminal defendants without an attorney being present. (Although criminal defendants have a right to counsel, that right must be invoked, and it is quite common to *suggest* that a criminal defendant would be better off just having a friendly conversation.) Sure, there will be a lawyer by the time they actually enter the guilty plea, but at that point the right is pretty much useless.

As for the judicial system, in federal court, there is at least a relatively well established procedure for entering a guilty plea that requires answering yes to a number of questions. But those questions are often asked so quickly (and to a defendant without proper knowledge or context) that they are meaningless. Low level state criminal courts tend to resemble a cattle call more than the platonic ideal system you've seen in movies or, perhaps, read about in some pre-law textbook about the greatness of our constitutional system.


I have prosecuted several years, fedclerked, done biglaw, and am an adjunct professor at the local ttt.

I am confident that I have tried more cases, worked with more prosecutors, more small-time defense lawyers, and spent more time in the type of courts (in terms of level—not federal, not courts that try murders, but low level state courts) that OP would being going into than anybody else on this thread...possibly than everybody else on this thread combined.

I was struggling to understand where all of these crazy-sounding ideas were coming from. For example, prosecutors in my jurisdiction at this level certainly don’t keep stats on pleas. The caseload is too large and it’s not favored to get the plea or conviction at all costs. I did, personally, keep my jury trial stats (making up less than 5% of the cases I prosecuted), but did so in my own head and would never broadcast my stats because, I swear, in my office it wouldn’t get looked upon favorably. In my jurisdiction at this level, charging decisions are primarily made between police and clerk magistrates before the cases even get to prosecutors. There is no bludgeoning. In fact, prosecutors would rather try to cases to get the experience (even if they’ll be NGs) than get the pleas. To say otherwise (in my jurisdiction) is asinine. Nobody from the prosecutors office talks to defts...ever. Finally, plea colloquys can take 30-40 minutes where judges ask defts if they understand after every single question and then ask their attorneys to confirm it. It’s kind of painful to sit through, but of course important...particularly if there’s a motion for new trial or issue with plea on appeal.

So again, I find myself wondering why we have such different ideas and then it hit me. I prosecuted in an intensely blue state where there is a decent amount of anti prosecutor and pro defense sentiment. A long line of democratic governors and judges who get appointed has resulted in a shitton of former defense attorneys on the bench and often screwing prosecutors in every possible way they can (including literally refusing to sentence defts after lower level felony convictions; I kid you not).

Everything you and other disagreeing posters describe sound like stuff that occurs in red states (or at least purple) where police shoot innocent black people and where there’s far less “cure crime by giving defendants hugs” sentiment (again, hyperbole). I am confident that that what you all describe is not the experience of anybody in my jurisdiction—prosecutors, defendants, defense attorney, and judges.

So maybe before people accuse me of having no experience in the area, they should think about how experience in a variety of courts in a variety of states might differ. Just a thought.

objctnyrhnr

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby objctnyrhnr » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:25 pm

But, now that I’ve laid a bit of background foundation regarding the space from which my relevant experience originated, to return to the original point (and perhaps closer to the point of this thread) when I was an ada at this level, I faced 3 types of defense attorneys:

Solo defense attorneys repping private clients (these were likely in a small firm that Op is considering going to. The small firms were either just the attorney or maybe a few attorneys doing similar work)

Solo defense attorneys representing indigent clients, paid for by tax payers (think early better call saul)

People who work for the local PDs.

Since attorneys in category 2 can differ so much attorney to attorney, I won’t discuss those anymore and I also doesn’t seem super relevant to OP.

Many of the private attorneys in my jurisdictions are snakes. They are snakes in a way that PDs and prosecutors aren’t. Prosecutors and PDs just don’t have a ton to gain from a win at all costs mindset in this jurisdiction because they get paid regardless, so it’s not worth risking reputation by lying to judges, tricking juries, lying to other prosecutors, etc.

The private attorneys want to win at all costs because it gets them paid. If an attorney is on retainer for a big drug trafficker and gets that drug trafficker off by secretly convincing a judge to schedule a short trial date (remember what I told you about judges in my jurisdiction—this happens), and delaying when the prosecutor learns of this by some days or a week and then moving to dismiss when the prosecutor isn’t ready, that’s a great result for him. He gets paid and his scumbag client will tell his other scumbag potential client friends that this attorney is awesome and the attorney will get paid in drug money and his practice will flourish. Trust me this happens a ton, although I acknowledge it’s a bit of an extreme example (though necessary to illustrate my point). Anybody on this thread who says otherwise is an idiot and actually completely lacks pertinent experience.
Since any given private attorney will rarely be in the same court twice in one month, and since ada turnover (or at least lateral moves) is high, there is not much to be lost by this approach.

Contrast that with the PD who spends a long stint taking indigent clients from the same court over and over again, and therefore working with the same Adas over and over again. Since PDs are true believers, it would mess with their philosophy to pull snake moves like the situation described above. Additionally, they get paid regardless and cannot take their own clients (and, by extension, are not looking to grow their own practice), so there is way more to risk and way less to gain by being snakey. When PDs get their clients off, in my experience, it’s often (but definitely not always) by being good attorneys and playing by the rules.

OP, of course different people will have different experiences in different courts and different jurisdictions. I don’t know your jurisdiction and I won’t out myself by sharing mine because I’ve already given so much info about myself.

But from a former ada’s Perspective on private attorneys vs PDs, their reputations with the court and different motivation, i hope that you can gain additional insight into your decision that you might not otherwise have gained.

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anon sequitur

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby anon sequitur » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:29 pm

Get your own blog bro.

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Re: PD v. Crim. Defense Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:22 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
nixy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:First of all, I acknowledged that everybody has a right to counsel but I personally couldn’t stomach it in my original post and that I, of course, understand it in a macro sense. I actually said good for OP for wanting to get into it because it’s important that somebody does.

Second, I named two very valid reasons why somebody might want to do it—money and believing that they are making a difference (with perhaps a bit of hyperbole to illustrate my point). I said that OP should make his decision on that. This was the whole point of the comment and the thread, but apparently you are too vicariously offended to have noticed that.

Lastly, although it gets a bit away from the point of the thread, your final sentence reads like a religious person who gets upset when an atheist pokes a hole in the notion of god. Don’t just dismiss one person’s opinion by calling it “offensive,” without explaining why it’s inaccurate, or what the poster might have missed. If there is something truly wonderful (that I did not acknowledge) about tricking juries into thinking that rich drunk drivers might not actually have been drunk driving BESIDES money (a valid end in and of itself to many), then please enlighten me. What is it?

Like I said, educate me. I have not been a state court defense attorney. Why would somebody want to do it, aside from the main points I already acknowledged.

You’re making a liar out of me, but since you asked a direct question: Because they believe in the criminal justice system and believe that for it to work everyone gets to/has to hold the government to their burden. Which *isn’t* the same as believing the police are all evil and minorities can do no wrong and the bullshit stereotypes you relied on. I mean, you’re claiming it’s all tricking juries. I’m not going to deny that a lot of defense work involves muddying the waters, but if the government can’t make their case clearly enough the issue isn’t “tricking juries.” It’s inaccurate to dismiss the defense attorney’s job as “tricking juries.” I doubt you’d like it if I characterized prosecution as bludgeoning defendants into taking unfair deals as long as you can count the stat.


Okay so I think that “hold government to its burden” falls into the general true believer camp, which would lean towards PD. I agree that it’s a valid reason to be a defense attorney. I really do; but it’s still a job that I could never do.

That said, I disagree on every other point you made.

To begin, of course the vast majority of times in state low-level court, the defense is trying to use the rules of evidence to trick the jurors into coming to the wrong conclusion. It’s a defense-friendly system, though, so there’s nothing legally or ethically wrong with that.

For example, let’s say deft is charged with 4th OUI and he refused breathalyzer because he has so much experience with being an OUI defendant. With all this info, of course judge defendant prosecutor defense counsel know the guy is guilty as sin, but the defense (lawfully) uses rules of evidence/constitution to exclude the fact that he refused to blow and bifurcate the trial so jury never knows it was his fourth. Now defense tries to convince jury he wasn’t drunk driving and prosecutor tries to convince jury he was. Who’s seeking truth/justice and who’s trying to trick the jury into coming to the incorrect conclusion (again, lawfully)?

Lastly, nobody bludgeons anybody into pleading to anything, particularly not in lower level state court. That’s ridiculous. Prosecutors can’t speak to defendants, and defendants get appointed lawyers (who they don’t pay for) to keep them from being unfairly bludgeoned. Furthermore, in lower level state court, the judicial branch acts as a safeguard to prevent defts from getting overcharged because charges go through them. Finally, prosecutors don’t care about stats; that’s a myth. Even if they did care about stats, those stats would be about jury trial victories; not pleas. Caseloads are just too large and random to know or care.

Sounds like you’re drunk on the kool aid as well. Maybe you should be a PD.


It is clear that you have no actual experience of any kind with how criminal justice actually works in most of this country. Actually, reading this post, I have trouble believing that you have even gone to law school.

For your edification, prosecutors and police routinely talk to criminal defendants without an attorney being present. (Although criminal defendants have a right to counsel, that right must be invoked, and it is quite common to *suggest* that a criminal defendant would be better off just having a friendly conversation.) Sure, there will be a lawyer by the time they actually enter the guilty plea, but at that point the right is pretty much useless.

As for the judicial system, in federal court, there is at least a relatively well established procedure for entering a guilty plea that requires answering yes to a number of questions. But those questions are often asked so quickly (and to a defendant without proper knowledge or context) that they are meaningless. Low level state criminal courts tend to resemble a cattle call more than the platonic ideal system you've seen in movies or, perhaps, read about in some pre-law textbook about the greatness of our constitutional system.


I have prosecuted several years, fedclerked, done biglaw, and am an adjunct professor at the local ttt.

I am confident that I have tried more cases, worked with more prosecutors, more small-time defense lawyers, and spent more time in the type of courts (in terms of level—not federal, not courts that try murders, but low level state courts) that OP would being going into than anybody else on this thread...possibly than everybody else on this thread combined.

I was struggling to understand where all of these crazy-sounding ideas were coming from. For example, prosecutors in my jurisdiction at this level certainly don’t keep stats on pleas. The caseload is too large and it’s not favored to get the plea or conviction at all costs. I did, personally, keep my jury trial stats (making up less than 5% of the cases I prosecuted), but did so in my own head and would never broadcast my stats because, I swear, in my office it wouldn’t get looked upon favorably. In my jurisdiction at this level, charging decisions are primarily made between police and clerk magistrates before the cases even get to prosecutors. There is no bludgeoning. In fact, prosecutors would rather try to cases to get the experience (even if they’ll be NGs) than get the pleas. To say otherwise (in my jurisdiction) is asinine. Nobody from the prosecutors office talks to defts...ever. Finally, plea colloquys can take 30-40 minutes where judges ask defts if they understand after every single question and then ask their attorneys to confirm it. It’s kind of painful to sit through, but of course important...particularly if there’s a motion for new trial or issue with plea on appeal.

So again, I find myself wondering why we have such different ideas and then it hit me. I prosecuted in an intensely blue state where there is a decent amount of anti prosecutor and pro defense sentiment. A long line of democratic governors and judges who get appointed has resulted in a shitton of former defense attorneys on the bench and often screwing prosecutors in every possible way they can (including literally refusing to sentence defts after lower level felony convictions; I kid you not).

Everything you and other disagreeing posters describe sound like stuff that occurs in red states (or at least purple) where police shoot innocent black people and where there’s far less “cure crime by giving defendants hugs” sentiment (again, hyperbole). I am confident that that what you all describe is not the experience of anybody in my jurisdiction—prosecutors, defendants, defense attorney, and judges.

So maybe before people accuse me of having no experience in the area, they should think about how experience in a variety of courts in a variety of states might differ. Just a thought.


You sound awful, and 12 years old.



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