October 26, 2017 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #1390711
I presented scenarios as an educational tool.
As I’ve stated many tines I don’t practice Criminal Law.
Contrary to your opinion, a lawyer can not just withdraw from a case at will. He needs the permission of the judge (which is not often granted for the reasons you state).
Secondly, you may think something immoral…that’s by your or Judaism’s moral standards. Government courts deal with society’s morals, they are different. Attorneys must adhere to a Professional Code of Ethics or be subject to sanctions/penalties,consequences.
An attorney is obligated to present plea offers to the client, but the attorney cannot make the client accept them.
If the defense attorney’s name is on the prosecutor’s witness list, the judge will excuse the defense attorney from the case. One of the major reasons is that witnesses are not generally allowed to enter the courtroom before being called to the stand (unless a party to the action) because their testimony might be colored by what has transpired in the trial before they are called. If the defense attorney is not in the courtroom, he can’t effectively defend the client.October 26, 2017 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #1390713
The only person in the courtroom who must tell the truth is a witness on the stand. The attorneys (plaintiff, prosecutor, defendant) are not given sworn testimony. In fact there opening and closing statements are not testimony, they are meant to sway the trier of fact (judge or jury) to decide in a given way.
The judge when rendering decisions on objections, admissions of evidence; charging the jury and explaining the law is giving his/her interpretation, not issuing truths,October 26, 2017 8:48 pm at 8:48 pm #1390733JJ2020Participant
CT lawyer- how could it be the witnesses are the only ones who have to tell the truth how is that moral?October 26, 2017 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #1390775
Witnesses give sworn testimony. They swear or affirm that they will tell the truth and are subject to criminal prosecution for perjury if they are found to lie under oath.
Nothing the attorneys, bailiff, judge say is sworn testimony. it is peripheral and not to be considered by the jury when considering guilt.
Please don’t confuse moral with legal or actual. They are different things.October 27, 2017 2:22 am at 2:22 am #1390847
1. So why would permission be granted? I read that a personality conflict is grounds for withdrawal. Why is that stronger than knowledge of guilt? Would (or should) that not be the greatest personality conflict? On the other hand, if something about the client rubs the attorney the wrong way should he not, as a professional, ignore it.
2. Do you really believe that juries ignore all that they are told to ignore?
3. While we are on the subject what do you think of jury nullification? Is that a possible out for the lawyer who knows his client is guilty. That is to say, may he put the law on trial?October 28, 2017 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm #1391053
#1 Permission to withdraw is usually granted if the attorney is severely ill, becomes aware of a conflict of interest after taking the case (e.g. a late witness is added to the other side’s list and the attorney has represented this witness, or the witness is a current client, friend or relative), the client refuses to speak with or aid the attorney in the client’s defense. When my mother died the judge would not let me withdraw from a civil case under trial (there was no jury) he adjourned for 2 weeks.
#2 Do I believe juries ignore everything they are told to ignore? NO, but small town educated juries are more apt to follow the judge’s instructions than large city, lower income, less educated juries.
We have a pool of middle aged and senior citizen volunteer jurors in our district who actually enjoy serving on civil trials. They are on a volunteer list. Many are retired educators who take civic responsibility to heart. They tend to both understand boring expert testimony and to follow the judge’s instruction to a T
#3 Jury nullification is a TV and high profile criminal case thing. Most of us practicing attorneys have never run into it.October 29, 2017 1:32 am at 1:32 am #1391173
1. the client refuses to speak with or aid the attorney in the client’s defense. What if the attorney determines that the best chance is a plea deal and the client stubbornly refuses?
2. Even well-educated jurors are human. It is not possible to erase things from their memories as with a computer.
3. I would think that they would also be more knowledgeable about jury nullification, especially retired History teachers, who know about the William Pitt and John Peter Zenger cases. Is that why they are only used for civil trials?October 29, 2017 9:06 am at 9:06 am #1391204
#1 It is not the lawyer’s place to determine the client’s best chance and force the client to accept a plea deal. The lawyer MUST represent the client’s wishes to the best of his ability.
Usually a lawyer with a client who will not speak to the lawyer or aid in the defense, has been assigned the client by the court, not taken the client with a big fat retainer check. The client may be indigent or mentally defective (not politically correct but chosen to make a point). The judge will not let you off a case like that.
#2 There is a big difference from erasing something from your memory and not taking it into consideration when deliberating a verdict. It can be accomplished. Most people want to be fair.
The CT Supreme Court (our highest appeals court…unlike NY where it is a trial court) set down rules decades ago about these volunteer juror panels that generally restricts them to civil trials to assure criminal defendants get a true ‘Jury of their peers’ drawn from a cross section of society. That’s why CT does not only call registered voters, but also uses drivers license and registration lists to call potential jurors.October 29, 2017 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm #1391363
When Can an Attorney Withdraw in the Middle of a Case?
By Neil Goodman
When an attorney withdraws in the middle of a client’s case, that withdrawal is usually categorized as either “mandatory” or “voluntary.” In this article, we’ll explain the difference between these two processes, along with some examples of each. Keep in mind that with either type of withdrawal, the attorney usually needs to ask for and obtain the court’s permission before ending representation of one of the parties in a civil lawsuit in the middle of the case.
An Attorney’s Mandatory Withdrawal
If the circumstances require that the attorney withdraw from representation, the withdrawal is considered mandatory. Situations that could give rise to an attorney’s mandatory withdrawal from a case include:
the attorney is not competent to continue the representation
the attorney becomes a crucial witness on a contested issue in the case
the attorney discovers that the client is using his services to advance a criminal enterprise
the client is insisting on pursuit of a frivolous position in the case
the attorney has a conflict of interest or cannot otherwise continue representation without violating the rules of professional conduct, and
the client terminates the attorney’s services. (Learn more: How to Fire Your Attorney.)
An Attorney’s Voluntary Withdrawal
Where the circumstances permit, but do not require, the attorney to cease representation, the withdrawal is considered voluntary.The circumstances under which an attorney may withdraw mid-case include:
the client is refusing to pay the attorney for his or her services in violation of their fee agreement
the client is refusing to follow the attorney’s advice
the client is engaged in fraudulent conduct, and
there has been a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship that prevents the attorney from effectively representing the client in the case.
Even where withdrawal is mandatory, an attorney must first seek and obtain the court’s permission before ending representation in the middle of a case. And, in most situations where the withdrawal request is granted, the court will give the client a reasonable amount of time to find new counsel. [end]
IMHO, if the attorney does not believe in the case he is presenting he will not be effective unless he is a really good actor. So the lawyer just goes through the motions. Of course, it may well be that the indigent client wants to go back inside where he will get free room and board. However, if the client is mentally defective I would think that the lawyer’s job would be easier as that is a strong defense.October 29, 2017 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #1391419
Goodman is not the be all to end all in legal decisions. His explanations are nice for the layman, but not the rule of law/bar standards, etc. that vary by jurisdiction.
Your constant pursuit of this topic may be entertaining to you and a teaching opportunity for me, but are probably boring and off topic for most CR readers,
Please note: Mentally Defective does not equal criminally insane, and not everyone with a mental defect pleads an insanity defense. A potential 2-5 year sentence in prison, may be far more appealing than a possible lifetime in a mental institution.
Lawyers don’t have to believe in the case they are presenting, they are not paid to do so. It helps, but is not a requirement of doing one’s job.October 29, 2017 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #1391428JosephParticipant
How much of an influence on the outcome/verdict of a case in the American legal system depends on the defendant’s wealth and ability to afford a high powered lawyer?
A heck of a lot. Oftentimes that determines the outcome far moreso than the underlying facts of what occurred and the veracity of the criminal charges or civil claims.October 30, 2017 1:32 am at 1:32 am #1391578
1. No one is forcing them to read are back and forth.
2. However, it can lead to a reduction in the sentence. In particular, it can be , in states that have the death penalty, the difference between that and a prison sentence.
Joseph, one can claim the opposite too. A jury will sympathize with a sob story about someone’s terrible childhood. That, for example, led to the Capeman’s sentence being commuted to life imprisonment, which even hard-nosed Manhattan DA Frank Hogan supported.
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