BREAKING NEWS: I’m not his lawyer anymore. (UPDATED)

We criminal-defense lawyers often do unpopular things. Occasionally, we make a few people happy, but we always piss someone off in the process. It goes with the territory. We are vilified in our efforts to protect our clients’ rights and zealously defend them. If a criminal-defense attorney can’t handle this, they should quit. The job is simultaneously lonely, frightening, frustrating, and rewarding. Not everyone is cut out to do this type of work.

Here are a few rules that help to frame this reasoning:

1. Criminal-defense lawyers are unpopular to most. We must accept this.

2. Some cases are high-profile immediately as they become cases. Some fester into high-profileness. Usually, this enhances our unpopularity, and that is nothing short of uncomfortable. We must deal with this and focus on doing what we need to do to zealously represent our clients. It may happen to us. It may never happen to us. Whether it happens is largely a crapshoot.

3. In every representation, someone will hate us and wish unmentionable things upon us and our families. Again, we must deal with it.

4. If we must withdraw from a case for any reason, we should remain publicly silent about the nature of representation. Forever. Why? Because we still owe a duty of loyalty and confidentiality based on prior representation. It doesn’t matter whether our experiences are good or bad. We shut up. Violating this constitutes Attorney Dipshittery in the First Degree. Aggravating factor: disparaging (even in a veiled manner) the now-former client on Facebook and/or Twitter. A press release to clarify your newfound non-representation and veiled condemnation is particularly egregious and constitutes Capital Dipshittery.

5. Most of the time, the evidence is overwhelmingly not in our favor. We just have to deal with it and try the best possible case.

If you can’t handle those 5 things, you should never become a criminal-defense attorney. Never. Ever.

Why am I writing this? Because of the “Best Law Firm in Charleston.”

UPDATE, 2:45PM: Rule #4 is amended to include giving an interview to the Daily Beast as an aggravating condition necessitating elevation to Interstellar Capital Dipshittery. Of course, all of this is just my opinion, as I’ve already received feedback from others who seem to believe that this lawyer’s conduct since dumping his client is perfectly hunky-dory.

Screenshot 2015-04-08 11.04.12

Screencap for archive and instructional purposes only.

Screencap for archive and instructional purposes only.

Screencap for archive and instructional purposes only.

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3 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: I’m not his lawyer anymore. (UPDATED)

  1. Hi,
    So how does one should clarify the point that they are not the lawyer anymore or specifically how would you go about it…

    P.S : I am not a lawyer or have ever been inside a courtroom till now…I am asking the question as a curious dumb layman…

    • It is a fair question. The only information anyone needs to know is “I no longer represent _________.” If known, it is also acceptable to say “Please direct all inquiries to his current attorney, _________.” That’s it. Nothing more is necessary or advisable.

      A good way to view this is to look at it from the perspective of the former client (which should be our main focus in this profession). They retain an attorney and engage in confidential communications with the attorney about the case. Then, for whatever reason, that professional relationship ends. How would the now-former-client feel if their lawyer published press releases and engaged in interviews about why he no longer represents you?

      Focusing more on this case and looking at this from my vantage point, it appears as though the former lawyer is trying to get some publicity from this whole fiasco. That’s disgusting.

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