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Defense Strategy: Beyond the Cult of Aggressiveness


Criminal-defense lawyers often advertise how they are "aggressive." You might conclude from this that aggressiveness is a desirable trait for criminal-defense lawyers. However, it isn't always the most effective approach. In many cases, alternative traits can be more beneficial for clients facing criminal charges.


Let's explore why being aggressive isn't always ideal and discuss other key traits that lead to favorable outcomes for our clients.


A calm demeanor is a valuable asset for a criminal-defense lawyer. In high-stress situations, clients need an attorney who can remain level-headed and focused. A calm lawyer can think clearly under pressure, make rational decisions, and provide a sense of stability for their clients during challenging times. Maintaining composure under pressure is crucial in high-stakes situations.



Caring is an essential characteristic for a criminal-defense lawyer. By genuinely caring about their clients' well-being, attorneys can establish trust and create a strong connection. Clients are more likely to confide in a lawyer who demonstrates compassion and concern for their situation, leading to better communication and a more effective defense strategy.​



Creative thinking is crucial in criminal defense. Every case is unique, and a creative lawyer will explore all possible angles to develop a strong defense strategy. By thinking outside the box, creative attorneys can identify unconventional solutions, spot weaknesses in the prosecution's case, and craft compelling arguments to present in court.



Effective communication is essential for any successful lawyer. In criminal defense, clear and concise communication between the lawyer and the client ensures that both parties understand the strategy, the risks, and the potential outcomes. Additionally, strong communication skills enable the lawyer to persuasively argue their client's case in court, negotiate with prosecutors, and engage with witnesses and experts.


A strong attorney should have the courage to stand up for their client, take calculated risks, and make difficult decisions in the face of adversity. The client's interests are paramount; sometimes this principle requires making powerful enemies.



A collaborative attorney works well with other legal professionals, such as co-counsel, experts, and investigators, to build a strong defense team. They also assist prosecutors in finding reasons to give the client what they need.


A committed attorney is dedicated to providing the best possible representation for their client, investing time and resources to achieve the most favorable outcome.


A confident attorney can effectively argue their case and reassure clients.

While aggressiveness can have a place in criminal defense, it is not usually anywhere near the best strategy. It's crucial to recognize the greater value of other traits. By embracing these traits, top criminal-defense lawyers better serve our clients and increase the likelihood of achieving favorable outcomes.

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