What it Takes to be a Great Criminal Defense Lawyer

Seattle Trial lawyer Paul Luvera wrote an excellent post on his thoughts of being a plaintiff’s lawyer. I thought his commentary applies to criminal defense lawyers as well.Here is his two points and with some of his observations ;

  1.  We must be willing to fight for what we know to be right.

Criminal defense lawyers must be willing to fight the fight for the clients. We must defend the Constitution in every case or watch it be eroded with each opinion from an activist court.

Our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt gave a famous speech at the Sorbonne in Paris April 23, 1910 which became known as the "the man in the arena" speech. He told the audience:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat"

2. We must have dogged determination in the face of adversity

The key to achieving success for our clients lies in overcoming adversity with dogged determination. Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States. He once wrote:

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common then unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race"


Continue Reading Thoughts About Our Role As A Criminal Defense Lawyer

                                       

My trial tip of the day is to have a single or limited theory of the case. In a drunk driving (DUI) case , there are many defense theories that may be available.Pick the strongest and stay with it. Here is an example.Today , I had a case where there were two key issues.The strongest point