A murder trial in Washington D.C. was the scene where a client made a poor choice in his attorney for his pending murder charge . Judge William Jackson relieved Joseph Rakofsky during the middle of the defendant’s murder trial. The judge made findings that the lawyer didn’t have a grasp of legal procedures . The last straw occurred Friday when Rakofsky’s private investigator made a filing in court alleging that Mr. Rakofsky wanted him to fabricate a witness’s testimony. Rakofsky encouraged his investigator to undertake unethical behavior and then refused to pay the investigator. One last tidbit , it was Rakofsky’s first trial. No , he didn’t want to start out on a simple theft case . At least Cousin Vinny won his first trial.
Several of the criminal law pundits in the blogoshere have crucified Rakofsky for his marketing and his trial conduct. I would agree that he got in over his head and from reports acted in an unethical manner . Moreover , he shouldn’t have accepted the case .Worst of all he bragged on his Facebook page of getting a mistrial. Most lawyers get a mistrial when the jury is deadlocked not when they can’t try a case . Also , what exactly is the blogoshere and does it matter ?
The lesson in this story is how to you hire a criminal defense lawyer . In Nashville , Tn., someone accused of a crime gets about 20 letters in the mail soliciting folks as clients . Do you hire a criminal defense lawyer because they have a nice letter and will represent you for four hundred bucks. No. You should hire a lawyer on years of experience , training , the willingness to take cases to trial , have preliminary hearings ,and basically fighting the man. it appears Mr. Rakofsky made dubious claims on his website. One question you might ask is have you tried any cases like the one I have been charged . One lawyer in Nashville even puts on his website I don’t take cases to trial . Is that guy respected by the D.A.’s office ? The bottom line is to check your lawyer’s credentials out .