Saturday, January 14, 2006


Coming from sunny South Florida, this blog will highlight not merely the bad, but also the good things from defending poor people accused of violating the law. Contrary to popular opinion, many heartwarming things occur. For example, everytime I win a trial, I get a hug!

More often than one might imagine, clients tell me I care and they appreciate it. Many clients don't care, yet some take the idea of justice seriously.

There's always the 'you're not a real lawyer' comment directed at public defenders / appointed lawyers. I say, I am a real lawyer. I choose this career because I believe all people deserve the same amount of justice, regardless of the amount of money they have. I would be happy if some of my clients can retain a private attorney. I know plenty of competent ones to refer them to. Clients a lack of defensiveness.

Clients with a bad plea offer might wonder if they can do better with a private attorney. They seek confirmation that I care. I don't take it personally. Some have helped create the reputation of PDs as lazy and uncaring. Because of the heavy caseloads and the stress of the job, PDs often can't do as well as privates.

In sum, when seemingly heartfelt thanks come from those I simply explained a plea in a kind way rather than telling them what to do, it feels great. Some people complain about a lack of pay, but that is priceless. Even representing juveniles, who would often say little, I could tell my representation meant a lot. There is great value in thanks from kids, clients with low IQs, clients with mental health issues, or clients who have suffered greatly in their life.


Blogger Jacqueline Dowd said...

Sometimes I'm joking when I tell my friends who pull down the big bucks at some big firm that I get more hugs than any lawyer in town. But I really mean it. Welcome to the blogosphere!

Jackie (the 13th juror)

2:27 PM  
Blogger Gideon said...

Welcome! Great to have another pd blog :)

3:53 PM  
Blogger ACS said...


11:23 PM  

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