A Blog That Shouldn’t (Update)

I’m often attributed with the sentiment that “anyone can blawg; everyone can’t.”  I’ve found an exception to my rule.  Amongst the many who seek the attention of more establish blawgers are the newbies, hoping to make it onto our blogroll or, better still, get us to post about their existence. 

I received a fairly aggressive request from a woman  named Stef at a blog called Forward Movement, and in a moment of weakness, decided to take a look.  The blog bills itself as a home for wayward youth.

This general interest blawg is a collection of young professionals and their efforts to move their careers forward. Authors may be developing a side interest apart from their practice area, writing to enhance their name recognition, or searching for new employment. All authors are Attorneys or MBAs, and are within several years of having graduated.


I admit to having smirked at the “several years of having graduated” (how many years are there in a “several”), but I have a soft spot for kids and decided to look deeper.  So I took a look at what was posted under “Criminal Law” to see what the kids had on their mind.  I wish I hadn’t.

The latest post was by Keyana, who describes herself as “an aspiring criminal defense attorney” who has “not begun practicing law yet.”  One might suppose that either or both of this factors might influence her to remain silent.  One would be very wrong.  Not only does Keyana feel the need to express her thoughts, but on a subject of some significance.  Her post was entitled, How Attorneys Can Represent Their Guilty As Charged Clients In Good Conscience.


As an aspiring criminal defense attorney, the moral dilemmas that I will inevitably face trouble me. Especially in the arena of litigation, it seems to me all attorneys experience some degree of moral conflict at one point or another regardless of whether the trial involves a criminal or civil matter. And so the ultimate question is how does a criminal defense attorney in good conscience represent the guilty? And by the same token, how does a civil attorney in good conscience represent the wrong?

Like every tough question, there is no bright line answer. However, after given these questions much thought and reading what other people have to say about this issue, I believe litigators can align their professional duties with their moral responsibilities by (1) Seeking justice and (2) Thinking creatively.

Criminal defense lawyers hear the question posed at cocktail parties all the time.  It’s a great way to chat with nice but clueless people who find our work “fascinating”.  What it isn’t is a “tough question.”  Not for a lawyer.  Not for a criminal defense lawyer. 

If anything, it’s a Rorschach test.  If you have to ask the question, then you shouldn’t be a criminal defense lawyer.  Probably not a lawyer at all.  And if it troubles you, then perhaps a career in waste management would be best.  And what did her criminal law prof at Pepperdine teach her that she arrived at this understanding?


It’s my belief that you can seek justice and be a zealous advocate simultaneously even when you believe your client is in the wrong because justice is a multifaceted concept. Justice encompasses not only traditional notions of morality and fairness but due process. As far as morality and fairness are concerned, even the guilty is entitled to a fair outcome. It’s the attorney’s duty to present their client’s side of the story to help facilitate a fair outcome. In terms of due process, this entails constitutional protections. And so, if for example a case is won on a constitutional technicality, such as evidence being inadmissible because it is fruit of the poisonous tree, that too is justice. My point is justice is complex and it does not come in one-size-fits-all. And so even if you are certain your client is guilty or was in the wrong, in some aspects of the case justice may be on your client’s side and it’s an attorney’s duty to bring those details to light.

It pains me to read this.  Not just because Keyana, who I’ve no doubt means well, has so little understanding of the role of defense lawyer, but that she felt the need to express her thoughts publicly. Why would you do this?  You’re young. You’re new. You’re barely a lawyer who has never actually done anything yet, and still you expose your thoughts to public scrutiny.  It’s crazy.

In fairness to Keyana, my sense is that she doesn’t mean what she writes.  She simply doesn’t know better, and harbors the childlike comprehension of criminal defense that so many do as they step out of the classroom but before they ever step into the courtroom.  She may well make a wonderful criminal defense lawyer some day, after someone explains to her why her thinking is so far off base.  Some day, she may deeply regret having posted this.  But posted she did, and forever it will remain, like a dark, ugly spot on an otherwise distinguished legal career.

So Stef, the perpetrator of this misbegotten blog, wants me to notice it.  And I did.  And I bet she now wishes that she never sent me an email, because I’m not being nearly as supportive of her efforts as she would hope.  While I credit her for her effort, that counts for far less in the real world than it does in school. 

And Keyana, if you feel a moral dilemma at defending the guilty, perhaps you should consider being a prosecutor, for whom “seeking justice” is a more appropriate standard.  Defense lawyers cannot harbor such “troubles”.

I offer this bit of advice to Stef and Keyana, budding lawyers endeavoring to find their place, and a job, in the legal world.  Not every thought that pops into your head is something you want to expose to the world. And when you jump around, waving your arms screaming “look at me, look at me,” don’t be surprised if someone does, and isn’t impressed.  You can’t control what they see, and they may very well see things that you don’t.  I wish the both of you the best of luck in your legal careers. 

Update:  While it comes as no surprise that this post enraged some of the slackoisie, who have never before felt the sting of criticism.  Upon reflection, I would be remiss in not helping them to understand why this post was written (as they clearly haven’t grasped it on their own) and why their opinion on whether this post is appropriate is of no consequence.  While it’s unlikely that they will agree with me, at least until they are more seasoned, at least this might plant a seed that will ultimately grow into understanding.

The “young professionals” want a forum to promote themselves publicly, and there is certainly no shortage of social media gurus telling them that this is the wave of the future, the way that the un- and under-employed can showcase their talents.  But these same “young professionals” incautious, opining on subjects they don’t as yet understand.  In the world of the Slackoisie, ignorance presents no problem.  They are entitled to opine, right, wrong or otherwise, and others are obliged to forgive them their ignorance.

We’re not their mommies and daddies.  They are no longer being graded by their lawprofs, where a well-written but wrong answer will net them a passing grade.  By making the decision to post your thoughts publicly, you invite public scrutiny.  Do not expect a pat on the head when your thoughts are wrong.  Do not expect to be forgiven your error because you’re a “baby lawyer.”  You are a lawyer. You are expected to either get it right or demonstrate sufficient restraint not to post.  You do not get a free pass.  Those days are over.

Of course, but for Stef’s provocation, Keyana’s post would never have come across my screen.  This might be best viewed as adding insult to injury, as I didn’t go looking for some “baby lawyers” post to pick on, but merely accepted Stef’s invitation.  You can’t have it both ways, screaming look at me and then, when I do, expecting me to turn away. 

And finally, the gist of this post was to teach a lesson, about playing the role of public pundit when one lacks the ability, or authority, to do so.  The lesson wasn’t directed solely at Stef or Keyana, but to any young lawyer inclined to think that they can mess around in the blogosphere without suffering the consequences of their actions.

I’m chastised by commenter, third year lawyer  Olga Wayne, for writing this post, told that I should be “ashamed” of myself, told that there were a thousand others things I could have done if I didn’t like Keyana’s post.  While true, it’s irrelevant.  This post isn’t about liking what Keyana had to say, but about making a point about public posting by young lawyers.  If they don’t know what they are talking about, they shouldn’t post. 

More to the point, Olga, a fairly typical representative of the Slackoisie, argues that my post is inappropriate (and I am a laundry list of bad things, from thin skinned  to pathetic) because it fails to meet with her approval.  This is a critical lesson for the Slackoisie, and for Olga in particular, who otherwise grasped nothing from this exercise.  No one, but no one, in the big, real world needs to meet with your approval.  That you would even consider your sensibilities so significant is sheer narcissism, which unfortunately is epidemic amongst the Slackoisie.  The recurrent theme of entitlement amongst children, that their opinions are paramount, is a very dangerous thing. 

It’s time that young lawyers, whether 3 minutes or 3 years out of law school, learn about the responsibility that comes from expressing themselves publicly.  Someday, you may well prove yourselves to be brilliant and accomplished lawyers.  Until that day, be cautious about what you post publicly.  If you don’t know what your talking about, or you don’t grasp your relative place in the world, control the impulse.  It may result in someone, like me, writing things about you that you would prefer not be written.

88 comments on “A Blog That Shouldn’t (Update)

  1. Max Kennerly

    I never ask the “how can you represent …?” question of any lawyer.

    Nonetheless, since you raised that question, claimed it had an easy answer, and claimed someone else’s answer was wrong, it behooves you to say what your own answer is.

  2. John

    Yeah Max, but he also said not to be sharing every thought to the public.

    But I have to say it has me curious to see if he will answer, and what it would be.

  3. mglickman

    I mentioned on twitter, being a member (roughly) of that demographic, you certainly made your point regarding the perils of blogging. I am very interested in hearing the explanation you alluded to, though.
    I wouldn’t say she, or we, deserve it; but I’d love to hear it.

  4. SHG

    While I’m not of the view that I owe an explanation of the basic duty of a criminal defense lawyer, your use of the word “claimed” belies the fact that you don’t have the slightest clue. Though you aren’t a criminal defense lawyer, and hence comment for no useful purpose, I will nonetheless explain for the benefit of those who, like you, lack an understanding of what we do.

    The fundamental duty of a criminal defense lawyer is to zealously represent his client within the bounds of the law. Our duty is not to “do justice,” but to defend.  In contrast, the duty of a prosecutor is not to prosecute, but to “do justice.”  The duties are not opposite or co-terminus.

    The distinction is that our obligation is to discredit a witness, a fact, an assertion, evidence, whatever is presented against our client, if we can within the bounds of the law, even though we know (or may believe we know) it to be truthful or accurate.  We will present any viable defense, regardless of our personal feelings about its true merit.  While we will never knowingly present false testimony, we will use true testimony to whatever benefit we can for our client. 

    Our function is to defend our client, no matter how horrific the crime or evil the defendant.  Our function is to use whatever tools are available under the law to obtain an acquittal, dismissal or the best possible outcome, whether based upon fact or law, whether capitalizing on a tactical error by the prosecution or advantage offered the defense. Factual guilt plays no role whatsoever in our duty to zealously defend our client. There is never a moral dilemma once a lawyer assumes the duty to defend.  Our function is not to judge, or impose our sensibilities or morality, but to defend. 

    While non-lawyers are often confused by the duties of a criminal defense lawyers, giving rise to our cocktail party conversations, I would have thought you, as an attorney, would be aware of what a criminal defense lawyer does.  But it’s better that you question my “claims” than go through your legal career without such a basic understanding, and I’m happy to help.

  5. SHG

    Max often confuses my purpose in writing with his demand that I meet his expectation.  It’s not as much that he’s interested, as that he wants to catch me.  Ordinarily, I ignore Max, as he rarely brings anything affirmative to the discussion and, by and large, doesn’t let the fact that he’s not a criminal defense lawyer interfere with his compulsion to offer his views on subjects about which he knows nothing.

    But, aside from the obnoxious way in which Max asked the question, it’s likely a question that new lawyers, and some more experienced lawyers who somehow managed to avoid awardness of the respective roles of the procecutor and defense lawyer, would want answered.  So while the answer to the question is obvious to criminal defense lawyers, I expected someone to ask and am happy to answer.  I would have preferred it be asked like you, or Moshe, did, but will answer Max just the same.

  6. JR

    An excellent explanation of the criminal lawyer’s function … it is too bad it is buried in the comments.

  7. JR

    I guess I am different than most … I mainly just read your posts. Maybe I am missing out on most of the fun? ;-)

  8. Max Kennerly

    As you note, I’m not a criminal defense lawyer. Though I know what I’d say if someone asked me “how” criminal defense lawyers represent their clients, I was curious about your own views as an actual criminal defense lawyer.

    Thanks for providing them. Your answer is similar to what I would have said, though I would have thrown in some pretentious references to the constitution, the adversarial system, et cetera.

    That wasn’t so hard, was it?

  9. Max Kennerly

    How many times have I commented here? Less than a dozen? You make it sound like I’m some perpetual troll.

    You’re right, though: I should have just presumed, with my zero criminal defense experience, how you personally would answer the question.

  10. John Kindley

    “Defend ‘em all; let God sort ‘em out,” is I think an appropriate motto for a criminal defense attorney (though in line with your post, not one he or she should put on his letterhead or website), and one that I actually find congenial to my personality and not all that problematic. I expect it’s the same for most others who freely choose criminal defense. When we first meet a client, whether in jail or in our office, what we see is a human being in deep trouble, with years or decades of his liberty in jeopardy. I find it easy under such circumstances to compartmentalize my natural and reality-based human sympathy from the crime the defendant was alleged to have committed. In this sense, the job of a criminal defense attorney is much easier than that of a prosecutor (a conscientious one, anyways), since we don’t have to concern ourselves with something so problematic as “justice.” What makes our job potentially much harder than the prosecutor’s, on the other hand, is that our personal identification with the defendant means that we are prone to feel any injustice committed against him by the system in our own bones and guts.

    What’s a little odd is that when I read in the newspaper about some particularly odious crime I might be as prone as anyone to think “fry the bastard.” But actually meeting and talking with the defendant couldn’t not affect my outlook.

    But I’ve perhaps been lucky in the few short years I’ve been practicing law to have not represented anyone I actively disliked or whose alleged crimes I thought particularly odious. But even with regard to more odious crimes, I suspect that I’d still be able to compartmentalize my partiality to a human being in trouble from the odious things he was alleged to have done.

    But Scott, maybe I’m confusing you with someone else, but haven’t you intimated before that there are certain crimes or certain defendants you wouldn’t be willing to defend, at least if you thought they were guilty? (And sincere apologies if I’m wrong about that.) We know from a recent blog post you have little sympathy for people who possess child pornography.

    With regard to your point about being careful and circumspect about what one posts on the internet, since it generally lasts forever and can come back to bite you: As you can imagine from the nature of some of my own blog posts, this is something I struggle with a bit. Is freely expressing myself on things I deem of great importance worth the potential negative reaction from judges, prosecutors, disciplinary authorities, and/or potential clients? I’ve concluded it is, with full knowledge that the potential costs may yet to be seen. And I seem to recall from one of your recent blog posts you’ve concluded something similar.

  11. Peter Ramins

    I used to wonder the same thing back when I was young and idealistic.

    Now, I think that criminal defense attorneys exist to make it as difficult as possible for the State to seize life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness from citizens. Every case they defend is an opportunity for them to force the State to follow the rules, and to limit as well as they can the exposure of innocent people to the sort of harm a conviction can bring.

  12. SHG
    You are correct that there are some instances where I will decline to represent a defendant.  If you read my explanation carefully, you will see this line:

    There is never a moral dilemma once a lawyer assumes the duty to defend.  Our function is not to judge, or impose our sensibilities or morality, but to defend. 

    The decision is made before one takes the case.  Once we’ve done so, our duty is clear.  That’s why the message is clear: If you can’t handle the responsibility, you have no business doing criminal defense.  If you can’t handle the defense of a particular crime, then you have no business taking the case.  And I don’t represent people I believe to have sexually harmed a child for just that reason. 

  13. Max Kennerly

    Really? So not worth it. This will be my last.

    Parting shot: Saying “The fundamental duty of a criminal defense lawyer is to zealously represent his client within the bounds of the law” is a cop-out. The ethics of representing the apparently innocent are easy.

    The ethics of representing those you know are guilty is harder. You have no “fundamental duty” to represent people you know are guilty. It’s your choice to do so. The facts that you have thought not one bit about the ethical ramifications of that choice, and that after 20+ years of experience in the field you apparently have nothing to say about it except to whine when others discuss the subject, are damning. “Quality” indeed.

  14. Jdog

    I dunno. Seems to me that there are some things you have to kind of get out of the way before you undertake certain jobs/professions/gigs. If you really can’t face the notion of cutting through the flesh of a living human being, surgery is not your gig.

    But once you’ve gotten that out of the way — that, under some circumstances, it’s not only morally permissible but a Good Thing to cut into human flesh — does a surgeon need to revisit that basic proposition a whole lot?

    Similarly: if you accept the notion — which a lot of folks who are and aren’t lawyers do — that it’s only right and proper that everybody accused of a crime (particularly a heinous one), even if they actually did it, gets a real defense, and have decided that you’re willing to make doing that for a tiny subset of those accused of crimes your profession or part of it, how often should a criminal defense lawyer have to come back to that basic question?

  15. Mark Melickian

    As always, very interesting post and comments. However, I wonder if the same topic could have been addressed without publically hoisting newbie Keyana on the petard of her own post. Not only will her post live forever, but a very public critical assessment of its value will as well.

  16. Jdog

    Aiee! How will you see after that?

    More seriously: from my POV, it’s not a stupid question; it’s a naive question. Which is, IMHO and all, a good thing; naive is fixable.

  17. SHG

    And yet again, Max, you play the fool.  To a criminal defense lawyer, guilt or innocence doesn’t matter. You raise it out of your own ignorance, not out of any quadary we have.  You assume it plays a role because you either don’t know better or assume that we think as you do.  You’re wrong on both counts.  We represent guilty people all the time.  Most of the time. For some, all the time. It makes no difference to us, only to you.  But then, you don’t do this, though that doesn’t stop you from making silly noises.

  18. SHG

    I was concerned about that as well, and wondered if it was too harsh.  As she chose to post publicly, I don’t know that I’ve added to any potential embarrassment, though I may delete her last name so that someone searching Keyana won’t find this post.  In fact, I think I’ll do that now.

  19. SHG

    It’s naive from a non-lawyer, possible a newbie lawyer.  From anyone who can’t find refuge in either of those descriptions, it’s a stupid question. 

  20. Dan

    I’ve always been struck by the number of times I’ve been asked some variation of the how can you do that/live with yourself question (and I don’t even do a whole lot of criminal defense) by other lawyers who specialize in something like respresenting issuers of near-fraudulent or fraudulent mortgage backed securities, or say, representing insurance companies trying their damndest to avoid paying for the cleanup of a toxic environmental site, without a hint of irony.

  21. SHG

    The shame is that I allowed my post to be hijacked by Max and this tired old nonsense.  That’s my fault, though. Not his.  I know he’s a jerk and yet let it happen.

  22. Stephanie Soondar

    Hi,

    “Stef” here. Not to throw kerosene on what may be a fire (?), but I wanted to follow-up and suggest that what our blawg and Keyana have done is not so dramatically bad.

    First to Scott. I do not regret reaching out to you. While I think it’s unfortunate that my email riled you so, I am not above people disagreeing with me or disliking what I do. I prefer people be honest, and tend to think in the long run words beat words. At the very least, am happy I could offer fodder for a post. (That’s a good-natured joke, okay?).

    Second, in General. I am confused why it is so objectionable that a young group of attorneys be writing. I understand the ramifications of our professional naivete and the permanent existence of publicly expressing thoughts. But for me, this is precisely why young attorneys should be writing. Attorneys simply need to grow by doing and learning. Where there is no outlet for that function, we have created one. And you’re right – what we write in Year1 should not be of the same sophistication as what we write in Year3 or Year5. But we are in Year1; everybody has to start somewhere. And I don’t necessarily think this is such a difficult thing to explain to future readers … like any other body of personal knowledge or thought, legal knowledge grows and evolves. Young attorneys have an enormous amount to learn, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the ability to research and write, or have opinions and the ability to effectively communicate them.

    Relatedly, may I point out in the current legal employment market that young attorneys need to actively market themselves. Credentials and follow-ups to applications submitted are largely meaningless; networking events are 2/3rds populated by the unemployed. There is a real measure of risk and creative value young attorneys must demonstrate to potential employers for any inside hire to occur. Keyana and the other Authors are writing to enhance their understanding of their practice interest, to improve and enhance their legal research and writing, and to show employers proof of their taking initiative and doing something substantial with their abilities. I regret that any group of senior practitioners would discourage them from doing this.

    Third, as particularly regards Keyana. I do not want to speak on her behalf, but would like to acknowledge she did qualify her writing by informing the reader she was a new attorney, that her practice knowledge was yet fetal, and that her perspective was abstract. To admonish her for not knowing better I think is akin to going to see Paranormal Activity and being disappointed that it wasn’t as scary as Hitchcock or The Excorcist.

    FWIW. Sorry for the lengthy comment, and thanks to Everyone for their time (and to Scott for wishing all the Authors well in their careers).

    Best for the coming Holiday,

    Stef.

  23. Gideon

    As to your second point: imagine being a defendant represented by this young attorney, googling her name and finding this little soul searching essay.

  24. Dan

    Not every conversation that you might have with friends, colleagues, in a law school ethics seminar or in a bar needs to, or should be, had in public, particularly when it reflects poorly on the profession or the participants. To summarzie, having thoughts, being reflective, thinking about the moral implications of your work = good. Doing so on the internet = not necessarily so good.

  25. Kathleen Casey

    I make the question part of my good time:

    My job is to keep the prosecution honest.

    If it keeps up, I have tried That could be one of your kids or, well, you, sitting at the defense table. And sitting in prison later if I don’t keep them honest. Ever hear of the Innocence Project?

    Just as importantly, My clients may be guilty and may have committed the same offense dozens of times without being caught before this time. But the prosecution has to prove it. Honestly, and beyond a reasonable doubt.

    If I know the party participant to be of some Christian denomination, I might try, Christ came as a friendless defendant. Not as a prosecutor. What does that mean to you?

    Or: WTH. The founding fathers committed treason. Would you ask that of their defense lawyers had it gotten that far?

  26. SHG

    Perhaps you’ve fallen into the trap that any blogging is good blogging.  What Keyana did isn’t a capital offense, but it is a public demonstration of her being unprepared for her chosen career.  Why announce it?  Why pontificate on a subject that serves to demonstrate that you don’t know what you’re talking about?    And if you’re so young and inexperienced that you should be forgiven your trespasses, why are you writing about anything in the first place?

    It’s one thing to write when you have something to worthwhile to say.  If you don’t, then answer isn’t to write foolishness and beg forgiveness.  It’s to not write at all.  Either way, you don’t get a pass on your writing because you’re young. You put it out into the world as a reflection of you, and you live with the consequences.  Blogging isn’t a free pass to glory.

  27. Olga Y. Wayne

    Dear Mr. Greenfield,

    Regarding your notion that “[t]he fundamental duty of a criminal defense lawyer is to zealously represent his client within the bounds of the law, [period]”, I would encourage you to spend some time with the Rules of Professional Responsibility. Specifically, Rules 3 and 4 of the Model Rules, adopted in essential part by just about every jurisdiction, do, in fact, call upon lawyers, including defense lawyers, to mind such concepts as “justice” while zealously defending clients within the bounds of the law, notwithstanding your bizarre overreaction to Keyana’s perfectly innocent philosophizing.

    Or is it your position, Mr. Greenfield, that you have never pondered the concept of “justice” while zealously defending your client within the bounds of the law? Really? Because thou dost protest too much. If you truly were not concerned about such trivial things as justice, well, logic dictates that you would not have had the energy to write an insult to Stef and Keyana consisting of 1045 words or 5989 characters. Dare I suggest, Mr. Greenfield, that the reason for your righteous indignation in discussing an innocent blog entry is precisely the fact that you do care, oh so deeply, about the concept of justice, as well you should, as well as the ethics rules governing our profession behoove you to do.

    Mr. Greenfield, it was just a blog entry. If you didn’t like it, if you disagreed with its content, there were 1000 other ways for you to express your discontent towards a fellow member of the bar, other than foaming at the mouth around something a baby lawyer said on a blog. Keyana is no threat to you, Mr. Greenfield. With your thin skin, you should be worried about your adversaries – for your lack of nerve makes you an easy target. (As a practicing attorney, Mr. Greenfield, you would not dare to deny that losing your nerve is a great way to lose a case.)

    I hope your clients are reading this and learning something while looking for someone else, someone with a dash more equanimity and cleverness-when-it-actually-counts, to represent them.

    Picking on Stef and Keyana was entirely inappropriate, not at all clever or witty, and altogether base.

    Best,

    Olga Y. Wayne, practicing civil litigation attorney with 3+ years of experience which included defending criminal matters. I’m also a guest blogger on Stef’s blog. And you should be ashamed of yourself for your lack of courtesy and professionalism.

  28. SHG

    Your reach has far exceeded your grasp.  You’ve done enough to embarrass yourself with this lengthy bit of silliness that I won’t compound it by addressing it further.  Come back when you’ve grown up and maybe you will understand how childish you are.

  29. Olga Y. Wayne

    Oh, shucks, thank you sir, for your looking out for my sense of what IS embarrassing. But I assure you – no need, I can handle my own. But if your pathetic lack of substantive reply to my post is your way of having the last word – so be it.

  30. SHG

    Like so many children, you assume that your thoughts are worthy of a substantive reply.  They aren’t. Sorry, but your thoughts aren’t worth any more than that.

  31. Olga Y. Wayne

    Kind of like Keyana’s blog wasn’t worth your 1045 words either? I don’t know what’s more amazing – your consistency or your decency. Oh wait, I know, it’s your patronizing charm. Yes, definitely the latter.

    Look, Mr. Greenfield, I understand you want to win this riveting repartee, but the fact is, you attacked a colleague crudely, and without provocation, and none of your too-clever-by-half wit can save you from it now.

  32. SHG

    You just keep stamping your feet, thinking that your opinion matters to anyone but you.  I’ve allowed you three comments, and you’ve made poor use of them.  That’s all you get.

    If it makes you feel any better, neither Keyana nor Stef would be searchable in this post.  You, however, having used your full name, will be.  And one day you will be embarrassed by your immaturity.  It will likely be a while, as you have a long way to go before you will be capable of grasping how ridiculous you are, but someday it will happen.

  33. John

    Quote “In contrast, the duty of a prosecutor is not to prosecute, but to “do justice.”

    After a year of looking into the Hope Steffey case, I can pretty much rule this out for the Stark County prosecutor. Plus I talked to him personally about the three teen girls that were strip searched.  His perception of the case just blew me away. I don’t know if there’s just something in the water in Stark County or what, but these people are seriously screwed up in the head.

  34. Kathleen Casey

    His explanations of the Latin root of presumption and of the importance of holding prosecutors’ feet to the fire are both concrete and lyrical aren’t they? Good ideas for jury selections and opening and closing arguments. They give life to jury instructions.

  35. Rise Of Conflict

    “soft spot for kids”
    Really?

    Kinda like I have a soft spot for my elders–you miserable, condescending, poo poo pants head.

  36. Lyle

    I never realized so many people got wrapped around the axle over this issue. Seems self evident.

    I do have to, ocassionally, represent people who have sexually harmed a child. Once I’ve been appointed, it’s dig in and defend. Hard. Completely.

    On the other hand, I don’t willingly represent snitches–I happily pass that on to others in my office. If I were backed in a corner with a snitch client, then I would defend zealously, but I try to never have them. As you say, the duty is clear.

  37. Lyle

    I get this question at church quite often. I often frame the answer in “christian” terms. There was a woman accused of a sexual sin, for which the law prescribed death. A clever defense attorney attacked the prosecutions case, showing the vindictiveness and bias in the prosecution. After a brilliant closing argument, where he made use of cutting edge multi-media, the jury nullified the law as it applied to that defendant. She was acquitted, and spared death. Wasn’t she, in fact, guilty of the offense? Should she have to have paid for her “crime?” Who was her lawyer?

  38. Jonathan

    I think people write for a particular audience on the internet and are often profoundly ignorant that there are legions of others who will be reading their posts.

    Kind of like clients who can’t believe that law enforcement, prosecutors, or probation offices actually know how to look at Facebook and Myspace.

    That being said, I think, like you do, that Keyana could be a wonderful criminal defense lawyer someday if she just abides by the “mouth shut, ears open” philosophy of a new lawyer. I graduated from a much smaller law school in a very rural area where criminal defense was a small burp in the curriculum. In many ways, I was probably more naive than this when I graduated, but fortunately I didn’t catch the blogging bug back in those days.

  39. Crime Counsel Steve

    (I realise that these issues are not entirely relevant to your post SHG… but as I come here for the comments I would like to offer this.)

    Part of what fascinates me as an English Barrister about your system; a reason I return to blogs like this, and Mark Bennett’s, are the distinctive differences in our similar systems.

    These comments illume one such distinction. My brethren (as well as the kool wigs) have a short answer to questions of how do you… we can answer, “Cab-Rank-Rule”. And of course it can lead us to Prosecute those we fear are innocent, just as easily as defend those we are sure are guilty. But I recommend SHG’s comment above about the reasons for defending the guilty, over here the saying is “without fear or prejudice”. But of course the rule takes us further, we defend those we hate.

    As I don’t get to choose, I do not know if in an open system I would have refused to represent the clearly guilty child abuser, but I would hope I am of the intellectual fibre to have done so.

    He explained to me his case, I explained to him how absurd it was and how I expected no jury to accept it, and then we got on with the trial and I put his case to each witness (child and adult) to the very best of my ability.

    He was convicted.

    And I walked away knowing that he was convicted only because he was guilty, and not through assumption or prejudice.

    Had he been acquitted, I would have walked away knowing that he had been acquitted because a defence was present, and therefore he should not have been convicted.

    I have no more respect for any Barrister than I do for Sally O’Niel. In representing Sarah Payne’s murderer to the very best of her ability she put her intellectual money where her mouth was, and stood by her principles. It is the epitome of the job.

    Can I recommend the cab-rank-rule to you all.

    However, another truth exists in the answer I heard to the question “how do you defend the guilty” uttered in the Crown Court here a few weeks ago by a senior junior to an aspiring pupil, he replied “I love a challenge”

    Oh yes, and I agree that young professionals should write less, learn more

  40. John Neff

    Thanks for the link.

    The resources available to the prosecution are in general much larger than those available to the defense. The general ignorance about how the criminal justice system actually works (as opposed to how it is supposed to work) also gives the prosecution an advantage.

    Guilt or innocence are not self evident and the choice of presumption of guilt or innocence is arbitrary I would argue that we chose presumption of innocence in an attempt to compensate for the inequality in resources and advantages between defense and prosecution.

  41. Crime Counsel Steve

    It’s Kool. K-O-O-L. If you can’t dig it, you can’t wig it…

    Love and hugs from across the pond

    CrimeCounsel

  42. Crime Counsel Steve

    It’s not that I don’t want to…

    We British Criminal Lawyers are paupers next to you chaps, and these wigs are expensive!

    And of course I could get into trouble for bringing the profession into disrepute.

    AND… No, no you’re not

    But, love and hugs from across the pond

  43. Jeff Gamso

    We go to the presumption of innocence, rather (I think) from the idea that it is better for the guilty to go free than for the (factually) innocent to be convicted. That’s a tough sell today – especially when we’re talking serious crimes – but it’s a cornerstone of Anglo and from that Anglo-American jurisdprudence.

    Blackstone said it. Jefferson said it, and Adams essentially did (and when they actually agreed on something you know it was basic). You can trace the roots of the idea back to the Sanhedrin.

    Anyway, if the goal is to protect the innocent, then the burden must be on the state to prove guilt. (Hence, the presumption of innocence and the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.)

    The scales are, and are supposed to be, tipped. The “level playing field” prosecutors want is absolutely at odds with our system of justice.

    It’s certainly true that the defense is typically overmatched in resources, but that’s not the source of the system. It’s an artifact of other systemic circumstances.

  44. Stephen

    I wouldn’t like to say that it’s apparent to anyone with half a brain. It’s not a question of intelligence, it’s more down to how you think about the action of defending someone.

    Defending someone, in non legal parlance, tends to be associated with some sort of condoning of their actions (it’s hard to see why any particular person would take the effort to defend someone if they disagreed with them). For example, someone who doesn’t agree with the US health reforms wouldn’t “defend” the President.

    So I think it’s partly down to a misunderstanding of what “to defend “means.

  45. John Neff

    Is there any reason to believe that conditions today are similar to those when Sanhedrin was alive?

  46. Kael Garvey

    One of my favorite things about SHG is that he truly does not care if you read what he has to say. He does not care if you are here at all. So Olga & Max, you should still come here and read. It’s not you, well maybe it is you, just read and learn. If you do comment, don’t take it so personal. You made some good points, SHG just made some better points. It is always good to admit you don’t know something, oh, and with SHG, don’t ever stomp of angrily in a huge hurumpf…that only encourages him. I thank you Olga & Max. You have made today’s comments quite enjoyable, and like SHG said, better than the post itself, only because you proved the post true, though.

  47. Gideon

    Well, you didn’t say it; I did.

    I think it’s a lack of thinking beyond what the media spoonfeeds and what talking heads love to vomit.

    It’s not that difficult a concept, really. At all.

  48. Stephen

    Well, what I mean is defending someone is a phrase with a perfectly understandable legal definition (I agree it’s not hard) and a set of perfectly understandable non legal definitions which are all correct in the relevant circumstances. Just to state tautology people use the definitions of words that they use. The intellect they have may well be able to apply the hypothetical circumstances of “guilty person” to their understanding of “to defend” and come up with the wrong answer for why criminal defenders can ethically defend the guilty despite rigorous thought being applied. It’s a garbage in-garbage out error rather than stupidity. It partly comes down to asking why isn’t the other person a lawyer etc so they’d instinctively use the legal definition instead of some other, more normative, sense of the word. It doesn’t help that what a defender does – stands up for the accused and speaks on his behalf – looks a lot like what people also call defending in the real world despite being fundamentally different in its intentions. It’s not a coincidence that juries are reportedly responsive to scenes of personal support coming from their advocate because this is what defending someone means to a non technical audience. I think that people get the normative sense of actively supporting people you defend from fights in the playground long before they get it from TV.

    Please don’t misunderstand, they’re totally wrong and barking up the wrong tree with the wrong information, but it’s the information rather than the intellect of the person that’s at fault in that case. If they refuse to learn the difference, -then- it’s their intellect that’s at fault.

  49. JR

    There is always the Roadhouse answer to the question too:


    Doc: Your file says you’ve got a degree from NYU. What in?

    Dalton: Philosophy.

    Doc: Any particular discipline?

    Dalton: No. Not really. Man’s search for faith. That sort of shit.

    Doc: Come up with any answers?

    Dalton: Not too many.

    Doc: How’s a guy like you end up a bouncer?

    Dalton: Just lucky I guess.

  50. SHG

    It could be, but I hesitate to either suggest or highlight it.  Pass or not (and I personally think anybody is entitled to fail once, though only once), the connection between knowledge and opinion, and then opinion and espousing it publicly, needs to be seriously considered before hitting that publish button.

    Of course, if the post was about how it feels to have not begun practicing law yet, I would be incapable of offering a valid opinion, and someone else, Keyana for instance, would be a far more appropriate person to express the view.

  51. Erin

    Damn, SHG, Olga really got to you, didn’t she. It’s funny. You talk about responsibility for blogging in response to a post calling your blog entry irresponsible. Oh, the irony.

    Take it easy on the kid, would you?

  52. SHG

    I feel very badly for Olga, and her sad assumption that her normative judgment as to the propriety of my post is consequential, just as I feel badly for your flawed, though thankfully shorter, comment.  It hurts me that so many young people are so taken by the importance of their own opinions that they believe others need to know about, and receive, their approval.

    So yes, I feel badly for Olga, just as I feel badly for you. 

  53. SHG

    There are quite a few going on at the same time, so which one are you talking about?  Regardless, the last place to have a conversation is on twitter.

  54. Erin

    SHG – we don’t care about your feelings. But thanks for sharing anyway. And I am not a young lawyer either. At heart may be, but tell that to my wrinkles!

    If no one should care about what others think, as per your teach, neither should I, Olga, Max, Keyana or Stef.

    And hopefully all of them are mature enough not to.

  55. SHG

    Now I’m even more deeply saddened.  While I don’t know who the “we” is, and hope you aren’t suffering from schizophrenia, the idea that you have wrinkles (assuming you aren’t another 22 year old anonymous writer pretending to be much more than you really are) as well as such limited comprehension is a terrible way to go through life.  It’s a shame you missed the point, with the rest of the young lawyers.  Take comfort that all the other older lawyers got it, even if you didn’t.

  56. Stephanie Soondar

    Hi,

    To clarify my “provocation”. I tend to think my email was pretty harmless; standard almost. But have cut and pasted the email I sent Scott (see text below asterisks).

    Keyana. I support you and any other young professional that wants to blog. I am listening to the core counter arg here: wait, learn more!, then wait a little longer. But at the end of the day, blogging is personal. It’s reading and thinking and writing – albeit about the law sometimes – but we write simply to write, whether there’s one reader or several. It is important to qualify our knowledge and document our analysis, but it’s also important to simply write.

    Olga. I support you and am appreciative of your quick and enthusiastic defense. You love a good debate and it showed; you made several good points. (C’mon Scott – you didn’t enjoy any of that? Not even the additional page hits to your blog …?).

    And for the record. I don’t think any of us (and I am including Everybody on both sides of this argument) reasonably expect no one to respond to our work; negatively or positively. But I do think we all expect civility and a sense of even-handedness. (Language on both sides of this exchange is strong).

    This “slack[er]” has to got to get back to work! Thanks All – take care. Stef.

    * * *
    From stefsoondar@
    To SHG@
    Date Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 4:10 PM
    Subject New Blawg: please note two items

    Hi Scott,

    My name is Stef and I am an Administrator for a new blawg, Forward Movement. I am familiar with Simple Justice, and am writing with two goals in mind.

    First, we have listed your blog on our Blog Roll. Having noticed your site also offers a Blog Roll, it would be great if you could reciprocate the gesture and list us. Only briefly: our blawg is a collection of young professionals starting their careers. All authors are attorneys or MBAs and have left school within the last few years. We are writing to collectively pool our research, thoughts, and writing in one place online. Please check us out:
    http://www.ourforwardmovement.blogspot.com .
    ∙ An example of one Author’s heavy substantive research: http://ourforwardmovement.blogspot.com/2009/06/minding-three-ps-of-e-discovery.html
    ∙ An example of another Author’s light substantive legal discussion: http://ourforwardmovement.blogspot.com/2009/10/what-do-elephants-and-solar-panels-have.html

    My second purpose in writing is to encourage you to refer any young attorneys to our site who have expressed an interest in blawgging to you, but were disqualified for any number of reasons (Ie. the site does not host guest authors; the young attorney was not an academic, was not associated with a firm, was too young, or had no name recognition). I frequently float ads for young professionals to collaborate with, but always welcome authors who are actively seeking blawgging as a platform to leverage their research and writing.

    FWIW. Thanks for your time. Best in

  57. Mike

    In the post Scott criticized, the blogger confused law (specifically one’s legal duties under the Rules of Professional Conduct) and morality (the code under which one choose to lives one’s life). In a sense, the blog post was committing the fallacy of equivocation. You can’t import words from different contexts, and expect those words to mean the same thing.

    The entire blog post, thus, was misguided. Under the Rules, a criminal defense lawyer does not seek justice. A criminal defense lawyer’s sole duty is to provide zealous representation to her client. If you think otherwise, please provide citations to legal authorities. You won’t be able to.

    Now, the meta-ethical issues provide rich discussion. Lawyers have it all the time. Can I as a Christian/ Jew/ Muslims/ good person/ etc. represent rapists? Child molesters? White collar criminals? How do I reconcile my morality with my job as a lawyer? There’s a lot to discuss.

    Indeed, although I’m amoral, I used to have deeply-held Christian beliefs. I noodled the ethical issues often. Even today I am interested in how religious and non-religious reconcile their religion or other code of ethics with their jobs – not just law jobs, but all jobs. How one lives a moral life is an interesting question we’ve been discussing since the Greeks.

    Yet those issues were not discussed on that Moving Forward blog. Had they been, the discussion might have gone much differently.

    Instead, there occurred a WRONG discussion about legal norms and criminal defense. The issue of how can a lawyer ethically represent a criminal defendant is banal. It’s not controversial, and therefore not worth discussing. You provide zealous representation. You do everything legally and ethically allowed to help your client from being convicted. The End.

    If people want to discuss the, “How do I, as a moral person, do x,” then there’s something to discuss.

  58. SHG

    Ordinarily, I don’t allow people to include links in comments, but given the circumstances, I think your inclusion of your email is appropriate.  I am curious, though, about your self assessment that it’s pretty harmless, standard.  I receive about a dozen such emails a day, which is the basis for my assessment. Is there a basis for your assessment, or is this merely what you think?

    As for page hits, they are utterly inconsequential here.  A lot of people read SJ, and your group has no noticeable impact, I’m sorry to say.  As for your support of your friends, I would expect no less of you.  They are your friends and friends should support friends.

    But as for your understanding of the message, “wait, learn more!, then wait a little longer,” I’m afraid that you taken too little away.  As to the propriety of Keyana’s post, it’s simply wrong. It doesn’t become less wrong because the young professionals disagree.  As to how Olga (or Erin) feels about things, it’s irrelevant.  My “feelings” matter here because this is my blog. 

    Obviously, I felt that what I wrote about Keyana’s post was appropriate or I wouldn’t have written it.  Do you, or Olga, or Erin, think that your disagreement changes that?  Do you think that I was seeking your approval or agreement? Do you think that the readers of SJ ask themselves, “but how does Stef/Olga/Erin feel about it?”  What I’m trying to explain to you is that your feelings matter to you, but they are not the measure by which anyone else will judge the matter.  Nor am I concerned by the young professionals’ view of life.  You may be wonderful young people, but I’m not seeking your approval.  And if you weren’t seeking mine, you would have shrugged off my post rather than felt compelled to come here to argue as best you could.

    I am all in favor of young lawyers writing.  But they must restrain themselves by limiting their public writings to things they are knowledgeable and competent to write about, and careful not to publicly post things that are wrong and reflect poorly on them.  Focus your writing properly and you may one day have a blog that someone will care about.  Not a blawg, as your authors have yet to earn the authority and credibility to post as lawyers, but a blog.  As of now, you’re just a group of kids crying for attention, and inadvertently demonstrating that you’re not ready to be treated like part of the adult legal community.

  59. Mike

    You suffer from the narcissism attendant to your generation. (Ours, actually, since I’m only a couple of years older than you are.) You’ve made everything about your feelings – about “support” for its own good, regardless of the merits of whether something should be supported.

    You note that, “it’s also important to simply write.” That’s narcissism. I have stupid thoughts every day. I don’t share all of them. In fact, I rarely share them. I recognize that they are stupid, and that not everything in my head is of relative value. Some ideas are more valuable than others. The more valuable ideas are shared. To share all of my thought would be to insult others.

    Of course, you also don’t want to allow others to live by their own rules. Maybe Scott wants to “simply write” mean things. (That’s a false premise, but let’s work with it.) He writes mean things because he’s mean. Yet you’d have HIM write under YOUR rules.

    “I do think we all expect civility and a sense of even-handedness,’ you say. Well…Why? Perhaps we write simply to write…uncivil things Ah-ha! You no longer like your narcissistic little rules anymore, do you? ;-)

    To the non-narcissist, substance matters more than form. To the narcissist, form matters more. Validate me! Stroke my idea! Even if you disagree, make me feel like you love me!

    You cannot help it. You grew up in a culture of narcissism. (I recommended the book by that very title.) Yes, it is your parent’s fault. It’s society’s fault that we (and “we” is not used royally – it does mean you and me) need constant ego stroking and caressing.

    We are a product of our culture. We and I grew up in a culture that taught us the wrong values. We’re adults now, though. Just as people who grew up in a culture of racism were able to transcend racism, you and I are able to transcend our narcissism. Recognize the problem and fix it.

    Simply existing does not entitle any of us to an opinion. Not every opinion is equally valid. Some (most – even 99%) of the thoughts in our head are embarrassingly stupid, and should never be shared with others. Just as one should not fart around others, neither should be share most of our thoughts with the world.

    Of course, if we do pass mental gas, we must recognize that other people have the right to give us a nasty look. Other people exist. They are not mere objects for us to manipulate. If they judge us, that’s their right. And, indeed, their judgment might be accurate.

  60. Kael Garvey

    Young Lady,

    You are still missing the boat. How many lessons do you need before you are willing to say, “My Bad, I appreciate the insight.”

    Though, I’m commenting, again, because of something in your last statement:

    “It’s reading and thinking and writing – albeit about the law sometimes – but we write simply to write, whether there’s one reader or several.”

    Somewhere along the line in your literature classes or while watching a movie about a book, or listening to advice via The Dead Poets Society, you have decided that “we write simply to write” is somehow great. Well, you were right. It is great to write for the simple purpose of writing. However, when you publish it (via the Internet) you are not writing “simply to write”, you are writing simply to have people hear what you have to say…big difference.

    When you write for others, you MUST take their opinions “as is”. It is good to read, think & write, as you say. However, do it in a journal if you are doing ONLY for the purpose of writing. I guarantee that 99% of the GOOD writers out there have books and books of unpublished material where they are fine tuning their thoughts, their prose and their research. If you desire to do your writing, and thus your self-education and growth, in front of the world, then I would grow a thicker skin.

    It is not that you have to stop, it is that you should consider that maybe you can grow from this experience and move to a new place. That is where you in line withe virtually every other person in your generation…that is why it got brought up. When you match the stereotype…well, you know the rest, don’t you.

  61. Erin

    SGH (or Mike),

    Defense lawyers must zealously defend within the law, Olga was actually agreeing with SGH on this. But she was adding that the law includes ethics, a valid substantive point.

    She was further adding that ethics matter outside the courtroom, like in legal blogs, for example, and attacking Keyana’s “philosophizing” about the meaning of justice was unprofessional. Note the choice of words. Funny that all of SHG’s “wtf is justice” is on a blog called simple JUSTICE. Here too I note SHG’s choice of words.

    Olga can’t defend herself b/c SGH blocked her computer, after hyperlinking her name in an updated post. But whether I’m Erin, or Olga, or a parent or a boyfriend or a friend, or a colleague, I expect this computer too will now be blocked, so good bye and good luck.

  62. Mike

    You are equivocating again. Your thinking is sloppy. What does “ethics” mean? How are you using it? What is the context? Define your terms. Read your Aristotle!

    Relevant to our discussion, “ethics” can mean one of two things.
    1. Legal ethics;.
    2. General ethics or ethics ethics.

    Under legal ethics, a criminal defense lawyer has no duty to seek justice. Again, if you disagree, please cite me legal authority. You will not be able to.

    The philosophical issues (“general ethics” or “ethics ethics”) are separate from the legal ethics issues. For example, what Aristotle wrote about ethics in “The Nicomachean Ethics” is fascinating stuff. It’s also totally irrelevant to a lawyer’s ethical obligations when defending criminals.

    A blog post entitled, “Aristotle’s View on Criminal Defense Lawyers,” would be fascinating if done properly. Throw in some Cicero (I recommend “Murder Trials.”) It would also have 0% to do with a lawyer’s duty to her clients.

    Legal ethics is not ethics ethics. Legal ethics are the rules that govern your conduct when you choose to represent a client. A criminal defense lawyer has no ethical duty to do justice. She has a duty to defend his client.

    Now, some might say that justice is done when a client received zealous representation. In some meta sense, that’s likely true.

    When lawyers talk of “justice,” though, they are usually mean: The innocent go free and the guilty go to prison. To a criminal defense lawyer with a guilty client, justice be damned.

    Now, of course, people will say that a client isn’t guilty until a jury says so. Epistemologically, how do we know a client is guilty? In terms of ethics ethics, should you alone make that decision?

    Ah-ha! Perhaps now you see why it’s presumptuous to simply toss around “justice.” As if your view of the facts and evidence should be the end of the discussion! As if your subjective view that the client is guilty means the end of the road for the client! As if you alone should adjudicate guilt or innocence!

    Are you beginning to see your narcissism?

  63. SHG

    And as Olga was incapable of knowing when (or how) to stop, you now join her.  It’s tedious when you continue to argue, making inane points, even though they seem persuasive to you.  I could have bet money that you would be back, totally incapable of letting go.  I banned Olga because she was embarrassing herself.  At least Olga showed integrity in her effort, even though it was misguided, by using her real name.  You, on the other hand, are a coward, hiding behind anonymity.

    In any event.  You’ve convinced no one outside of your circle of anything.  You’ve humiliated yourself in front of some very experienced, very well regarded lawyers, who have tried their best to help you to understand.  If you wish to continue, be my guest.  The only thing I will require is that you provide your full name and your legitimate email address, so that everyone who reads your comments will know who you are, and you reputation in the future will be tainted by your words today.  If you’re proud of your views, then put your name to them.

    Addendum:  Every once in a while, someone will ask me how I came to call this blawg Simple Justice.  You, on the other hand, presume to know the answer.  You are, of course, totally off base, but that’s part of the narcissism.  You don’t even consider the possibility that any thought that enters your head, no matter how stupid, wrong or foolish, is somehow worthy and real.  And then you act upon your own presumption, as it is real to you, and that anything real to you is real to everyone else.  You have caused much consternation around here, worrying about whether the next generation of lawyers will be capable of doing their job.  Thus far, you’ve given no cause for optimism.

  64. Charon QC

    The art is long and, as the Vicar says when he buries us, ‘Man has but a short time to live’.

    Now I must go and see if I can find a Turkey to shoot.

    Excellent post and comments – debate is alive and well.

  65. Peter Groves

    Thank goodness that blogging hadn’t been invented when I was starting my career. I still found plenty of ways to show anyone who’d pay attention that I as immature and ignorant about what I chose to comment on, although I think I managed to hide it. And that’s one thing that struck me about the post that started all this: it wasn’t a neophyte pondering some very important questions, and perhaps speculating about possible answers – it stated the answers, and didn’t seem to allow for the possibility that they were wrong. It’s the writer’s certainty that they are correct that must be a warning to anyone who rushes to record their throughts for posterity. It’s so easy to do it, it demands to be done without time for reflection, and surely lawyers of all people have to learn to understand that this is not always the right way to go. Blogging has the capacity to make fools of us all – perhaps a good idea to maintain different blogs for different parts of one’s life.

  66. JOR

    It’s an easy equivocation to make, since legal or any form of professional ethics presupposes some kind of “ethics ethics”.

    Now you can be consistently amoral and abide by the “ethical” standards set out for your profession, by whatever arbitrary authorities are saying how things should be done, for purely practical considerations (say, to avoid termination or incarceration or whatever). But the folks ’round these parts clearly mean something other than that when they talk about the “duty” of criminal defense lawyers to “defend; get it or get out”.

    And if they are just offering practical advice on what criminal defense lawyers should do if they want to be professionally successful – well, until someone like Kindley is locked up or goes out of business for his practice, or whatever, anything said about what he “should” do as a criminal defense lawyer is.. well… just some inconsequential opinion.

  67. SumGi

    The worst part is you haven’t even explained to the new lawyers or interested laymen on whom you lay the name of “clueless” why Keyana is wrong.

    IF you had explained why they were excruciatingly wrong instead fo simply letting out a long stream of insults then perhaps you wouldn’t appear a bully.

  68. SHG

    It’s more than sufficiently explained for the new lawyers, who chose to argue rather than understand.  That’s why the experienced lawyers here are all in agreement and find it clear as day.  As for the interested laymen, it’s not written for their benefit.  This is a lawyer blog.  That said, even the intelligent laymen get it.  It’s all there if you can see it.

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