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Showing posts from February, 2017

Attitude is Everything (Kvetching Gornish Helfin)

There is an old yiddish saying that goes Kvetching Gornish Helfin. Simply translated it means that you can whine all you want, it isn't going to make a damn difference anyway! This is something that not only every defendant should keep in mind, but any person who is facing any sort of adversity.

For a defendant, and perhaps more so one who feels he is being unfairly targeted the temptation wo complain, to employ a "why me" or "woe is me" attitude is very real. As mentioned a few weeks back, he feels the system is supposed to be fair and yet feels he is not being treated fairly. A defendant will spend his days complaining to just about anyone who is listening about what his life has become as a result of his predicament. He will spend his day awash in self pity at the precarious set of circumstances that he is forced to confront. He will worry all day and all night about what will happen if and when he goes to prison. His fears will be with him all day and night…

Choosing a Lawyer (slightly worse than root canal)

At some point, usually early on, a defendant has to choose a lawyer. The process of choosing a lawyer ranks right up there with route canal and getting a colonoscopy. It is grueling, stressful and mentally taxing. A defendant is there not by choice but by necessity. It is going to cost, at least a moderate sum of money and the outcome is not even assured. It is also, quite possibly the most important decision a defendant has to make.

Before going into what to look for in a lawyer, it is important to realize what a lawyer is not. A lawyer is not a yes-man. Just because a defendant has a view of something that doe not mean the view is correct. If a defendant wants a lawyer who just agrees with everything he says, then he might as well save his money and hire himself. A lawyer is not a life coach who is there to help deal with personal problems. A lawyer is not a friend. A lawyer is not there to predict the outcome of a trial and say one way or another if a defendant will be found guilty…

No One Ever Said It Was Going To Be Fair!

Another fallacy of the of the criminal justice system is that it is "fair". We are told that we are going to get a "fair" trial. The whole process is supposed to be "fair". But what is "fair"? One would assume that it means we are dealing with a level playing field. That the prosecutors, as officers of the court will take an unbiased view of the case and would never prosecute if they think a potential defendant is innocent. We believe the process, from the beginning of the investigation through trial is "fair". Well guess what? It isn't, and the sooner a defendant accepts that reality, the sooner he can effectively plan a defense.

The real question should ask ourselves is why do we think the system should be fair and what would a fair system look like. As we all know, there are effectively five parties in any trial; the defendant, his lawyer, the prosecutor, the jury, and the judge. Each of these individuals has a role. One would h…