Criminal Representation – The Way to Not Advocate

The more I observe the actions of others, the more I realize we can learn a lot from the Underpants Gnomes. For those of you who are not South Park savvy, these were small gnomes in one episode who adopted a very curious business model.

It goes like this:

Phase 1: Collect Underpants

Phase 2: ?

Phase 3: Profit

Here is a short excerpt of the gnomes briefing their plan to the South Park gang:

I’ve seen this model at work in legal representation.


It goes something like this:

Phase 1: You hire me as your attorney. Pay $______.

Phase 2: ?

Phase 3: NOT GUILTY!

Now, I’m not saying the attorney must have a detailed plan–especially having not read the evidence and case materials in depth. However, I think some general plan of attack must accompany the quoting of a fee. The “?” doesn’t cut it when it comes to a person wagering their life, livelihood, and good name on their choice of professional services.

Imagine going to a doctor because your stomach hurts. He checks you out and briefs the following plan:

Phase 1: Drain 4 quarts of blood from your body.

Phase 2: ?

Phase 3: Healed!

Would you immediately consent to a needle jabbed into your jugular? I don’t think so.

I don’t care whether a person hires me or one of the many other qualified military defense counsel out there. But, when they do, I hope they demand to know something about Phase 2.

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