A criminal defense attorney’s work is not limited to jury trials.Most of the day to day work a criminal defense lawyer performs is trying to persuade a judge to embrace their legal position.From sentencing hearings , probation violation hearings , bond reduction hearings , and motions to suppress evidence , an attorney has to be able to make their case to the judge.
I have been rereading parts of Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner’s book , Making Your Case The Art of Persuading Judges.There are three main points that bears mentioning for my fellow attorneys.
Judges can only be persuaded when three conditions are met:
(1)They must have a clear idea of what an attorney is asking them to do.
(2)They must be assured it is within the court’s power to do it
(3)After hearing the reasons for doing what you are asking, and the reasons for doing other things or nothing at all, they must conclude that what you’re asking is best–both in your case and in cases that follow.
When drafting a motion or planning your argument , these three rules should be answered in your preparation.If not, be prepared for the consequences.