If you’re an attorney who has just been hired for a major case and you’re uncomfortable trying your case because you haven’t had a recent trial, consider my services as a co-counsel. I will simply represent the individual with you, as the trial attorney. You will be able to focus your efforts on the client’s care and control and I will focus on the technical aspects of the trial, such as expert witnesses, cross-examination and effective presentation at the trial. I will not interfere or insert myself into your attorney-client relationship. I understand that is a major concern for attorneys.
The benefit of my 20 years of experience practicing criminal law exclusively can help avoid any future claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. I see many attorneys who become overwhelmed when they are assigned to an exceptionally complicated or difficult case that they may not regularly see in their jurisdiction. If you haven’t handled those cases in the past, you can find yourself in a malpractice case that’s going to cost you more than the original fee of the case at hand or what I would charge as co-counsel.
There’s very little practical experience that you get in law school. Even where someone has learned how to handle cases at a criminal defense clinic, they are never more serious than a “D” felony or a misdemeanor. They’re low-level felonies. A major felony is very complicated and the consequences are much more serious.
The more that you practice criminal law, the more expertise you develop in the nuances of trying a case that can make all the difference in the outcome. You amass certain experience with the practical use of the rules of evidence, for example, and the developing case law surrounding those rules. Certain evidence never gets in front of a jury if you have sufficient experience to keep it out. Other evidence that you may prove crucial for your client can only be introduced if you know the proper rules and how to get them in over the State’s objections.
For example, in sex crime cases, I will often see a State’s Attorney present a “child forensic interviewer”. These interviewers have a tendency testify to what the State needs to help get a conviction. These include such things as physical injuries consistent with child abuse. Without experience in cross-examining these “experts”, it’s difficult to show their bias to the jury who has a tendency to believe the testimony of what they believe to be an independent expert. You have to know the questions to ask, and how to ask them, because these “experts” frequently have more experience at trial than the attorneys. They also come with their own agendas that are not always easy to show. They’re extremely experienced in what needs to be said to the jury to motivate them to convict. They are trained to testify because often they have offered opinions in cases across the state.
This is just one example of many challenges that faces even the most experienced criminal defense attorney. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or wish to discuss the possibility of my involvement with a case that is proving more challenging than you expected.