Tuesday, June 3, 2008

CLIENTS: Hand Me a Broom

I do everything I can to resolve cases in my client's best interest. I investigate their claims, get investigators involved, and dive into discovery the best I can. But one thing gets in the way the most..the facts.

Sometimes I feel like that man at the end of the parade who sweeps up the confetti and scoops up the poop after everyone has partied and made a mess of things.

Don't get me wrong--I have represented clients who were found not guilty at trial who clearly were wrongly accused and I believed in them. But often some of my clients are in need of a magician more than a lawyer. For them, it's a difficult ride.

What about that hypothetical situation where a person is on a second degree deferred adjudication and then involves themself in an aggravated robbery where a person is shot? Can they realistically believe they should get continued on probation and then probation on the new case? The prosecution has two bites at the apple to send them to prison by revoking their probation and then pursuing the new case (and of course stacking). Complicating this is the judge setting the probation revocation first so if there is a trial and the client had been revoked, they won't be eligible for probation.

Explaining this parade of horribles is the most difficult of tasks to the client and/or family. All of a sudden, I am supposed to fix everything by virtue of my few short months on the case, when the underpinnings of this conduct of the client has been brewing for decades. In short, there is a complete disconnect by the client and/or family between actions and consequences. When the consequences play out, they attempt to justify the actions or blame the lawyer.

Every case is different, but when we get the feeling that we are that man at the end of the parade, we should at least thank goodness we are not the ones who eventually pay for the mess that they themselves created.

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