Last week at the annual meeting of The Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL) in Memphis ,  Shelby County Judge Mark Ward presented an update on the law of search and seizure in Tennessee. It was insightful to get a criminal trial judge’s perspective on the topic of search and seizure which is a dominant theme in most criminal cases.

One question posed by Judge Ward was the ethics of motion practice. Who controls the decision on whether to file a motion to suppress evidence in a criminal case ?

The decision whether to file a motion to suppress is a strategic decision made by the  criminal defense attorney after consultation with the client where feasible and appropriate.

One thing to point out. A good criminal defense lawyer will make that evaluation early in the case . Most attorneys file a suppression motion where it has a good faith basis . There are several reasons to file a motion to suppress evidence.

One additional comment is worth noting . All Tennessee criminal defense lawyers should be a member of TACDL. There are many benefits but the first one is the information you gain is critical to helping you grow as a criminal defense lawyer and to help your client . For the client looking for a lawyer it is an important question to ask when deciding to hire a criminal defense attorney . If a lawyer does not care about spending a little bit of money to stay up to date on the complex issues in criminal law . Can you afford to place your life in there hands ? Here is a link to the membership directory. I checked the link . Then called the TACDL office when my name wasn’t there . I am the President-Elect. So I learned you have to add your name to the directory. It will be up soon.