There is an old lawyer joke that “a criminal defense attorney is someone who helps you get what’s coming to you.” In other words, a Hutchinson, MN felony lawyer cannot alter the outcome of a criminal case.
Alas, many attorneys fit this description. Largely due to a lack of experience, lack of accessibility, or lack of dedication, they take the first settlement offer the prosecutor makes, and that’s that.
So, it’s very important to find an attorney with the right mixture of all three of these qualities. Your felony case is much too important to trust to someone who must learn on the job, does not really have time to handle your case, or is not well-suited to practice criminal defense law. Looking at a few different people may help us understand these qualities better.
Many people may have heard of, or remember, Robert Kennedy. This U.S. Senator from New York, and brother to President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in California fifty-one years ago this month. Bobby Kennedy, as he was known, had won every Presidential primary he ran in except one, so he had the inside track for the Democrat nomination.
After he was shot in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen, police arrested Sirhan Sirhan and charged him with the crime. Sirhan’s lawyer was Grant Cooper, who died in the 1990s. In 1968, Cooper was already a highly-experienced attorney. But he was not a litigator. He was a celebrity lawyer. For example, Cooper was Shirley Temple’s divorce lawyer when she split from B-movie stalwart John Agar.
There were some inconsistencies in the state’s evidence. But at Sirhan’s trial, Cooper did not aggressively press these points. Perhaps as a result, the jury sentenced Sirhan to death. The governor commuted his sentence to life in prison when California outlawed the death penalty.
The most experienced litigator in the world could probably have not changed the outcome in that case. But if Cooper had more experience, he might have been able to reduce Sirhan’s sentence, and he might be a free man today.
So, a lawyer’s years of experience only tells part of the story. Unless the Hutchinson, MN felony lawyer has substantial criminal law experience, and substantial trial experience, it may be best to keep looking.
Most people would agree that Warren Buffett has one of the best business and investment minds in the country. But he is completely inaccessible. Someone recently paid over $4.5 million to have lunch with Buffett. People like Buffett make very good advocates, but very poor advisers. If you have a question about investment or finance, asking Buffett would probably be a waste of time. He would not answer.
Similarly, your Hutchinson, MN felony lawyer must be more than an aggressive advocate in court. Many defendants, especially if it is their first time through the system, have lots of questions about their situation and the overall process. You should not expect your attorney to be an on-demand answer person. But it is reasonable to expect your Hutchinson, MN felony lawyer to respond to your calls and emails in a timely fashion. If that does not happen, it may be a good idea to find someone else.
Perhaps moreso than other types of attorneys, Hutchinson, MN felony lawyers must be dedicated to their craft. But one can have too much of a good thing.
In 1941, Ted Williams was the last baseball player to hit over .400 in a single season. In fact, no one has even been close since George Brett hit .390 way back in 1980. Willaims was probably the greatest pure hitter of his or any other generation. Supposedly, plate umpires basically let Williams call his own game. If he didn’t swing at a pitch, the boys in blue reasoned the pitch must have been a ball.
Williams was a once-in-a-lifetime hitter, but he could not do anything else very well. He was only a slightly above average power hitter. He was not a fast runner, did not have very good defensive skills, and had basically no instincts for the game beyond hitting. In fact, many baseball commentators, including George Will, claim that Williams should have never been on an All-Star team and definitely does not belong in the Hall of Fame.
Roughly the same thing applies to your Hutchinson, MN felony lawyer. Dedication to criminal law is important. Without it, your lawyer may not be very effective. But your attorney should not be a one-trick pony. In the law, these individuals often lack critical thinking skills. If your Hutchinson, MN felony lawyer practices criminal defense and nothing else, that’s probably a bad sign.
Reach Out to Savvy Attorneys
The stiff possible penalties in felony cases means that, when you pick a lawyer, you should leave nothing to chance. For a free consultation with an experienced Hutchinson, MN felony lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. Convenient payment plans are available.