The No-Snitches Clause

 Posted on October 25, 2007 in Uncategorized

Here is what I now put in my contracts on federal cases. (I cribbed it from another lawyer who has had the no-snitches policy for a long time.):

I do not represent people who "snitch," "rat," or cooperate, which means giving information against others to the government in order to avoid criminal charges, receive leniency, or get some other type of consideration. Three major reasons exist for my policy.First, representing people who cooperate does not require any legal expertise. I have not dedicated myself to the art and science of criminal defense law to help the government convict more people, virtually all of whom are likely innocent or nowhere as guilty as the person cooperating will make them look.Second, because of the government's incentives to and pressures on the person cooperating, innocent people are often charged and convicted, and I will not be a part of helping the government do its dirty work.Third, a person who cooperates could implicate one of my clients and, whether true or not, create a conflict of interest where one did not exist before.If the government offers you a deal to cooperate, I will certainly convey it to you and not pass any judgment if you choose to cooperate. But should you cooperate, I will withdraw from your case and not refund any portion of the fee you pay me.

Tell me what you think.

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