From the Mailbag

 Posted on September 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

I'm just trying to find the best lawyer who makes me feel content. So far there hasn't been one that can assure me that punishment will be under 5 years.

You will, if you keep trying, find a lawyer who will assure you that punishment will be under five years. This lawyer will be lying to you. Get his promises in writing-it probably won't do you any good, but when they prove untrue, maybe you can get the State Bar interested in him.

Who am I kidding? The liar won't give you that promise in writing without substantial weasel-words: when it comes to reducing the promises to writing, "you will get less than five years" will become, "there's a 99% chance that you will get less than five years;" you'll never prove him wrong.

The sad truth is that there is a strong correlation between lawyers who make promises to get cases, and lawyers who are prepared to deliver a competent defense; the correlation is negative. Lawyers promise the moon when they are unlikely to get hired on their merits. As criminal-defense lawyers, they probably lack many things, but the most important thing they lack is this: they don't give a damn about their clients.

So you say that you haven't found anyone to assure you that the punishment will be under 5 years; I say that's a good indication that you're on the right track.

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