One of the most fundamental questions people have about defense attorneys is, 'How can you do that? How can you go to bat everyday for a person that you may not know is guilty but you have a pretty good idea that he's not so innocent?' It's a question that defense attorneys answer for themselves by not addressing.
David E. Kelley
Is it not remarkable that the common repute which we all give to attorneys in the general is exactly opposite to that which every man gives to his own attorney in particular? Whom does anybody trust so implicitly as he trusts his own attorney? And yet is it not the case that the body of attorneys is supposed to be the most roguish body in existence?
Rulers are no more than attorneys, agents, and trustees, for the people; and if the cause, the interest and trust, is insidiously betrayed, or wantonly trifled away, the people have a right to revoke the authority that they themselves have deputed, and to constitute abler and better agents, attorneys, and trustees.
The fundamentalist believer is mostly a weird intellectual who often lacks real faith altogether. As a self-appointed attorney for God, who is in no need of attorneys, he very easily turns out to be more godless than the agnostic and the unbeliever. At all events, he seems deaf to poetry.
I'm climbing into a vehicle that has a powerful influence on our culture. I'd like to make it do something good. The media is populated with attorneys, psychologists and pundits but there are only three physicians: me, Dr. Oz and Sanjay Gupta. We are the only MDs who practice medicine and have board certifications in one or two fields. That's it.
I keep thinking of the gifts of my own upbringing, which I once took for granted: I can read any book I choose and comprehend it. I can write a complete sentence and punctuate it correctly. If I need help, I can call on judges, attorneys, educators, ministers. I wonder what I would be like if I had grown up without such protections and supports. What cracks would have turned up in my character?
ACCOMPLICE, n. One associated with another in a crime, having guilty knowledge and complicity, as an attorney who defends a criminal, knowing him guilty. This view of the attorney's position in the matter has not hitherto commanded the assent of attorneys, no one having offered them a fee for assenting.
I do believe that half a dozen commonplace attorneys could so mystify and misconstrue the Ten Commandments, and so confuse Moses' surroundings on Mount Sinai, that the great law-giver, if he returned to this planet, would doubt his own identity, abjure every one of his deliverances, yea, even commend the very sins he so clearly forbade his people.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
I remember when I was twenty-five, ' he said. 'No client comes to you when you're twenty-five. It's like when you are looking for a doctor. You don't want the new one that just graduated. You don't want the very old one, the one shaking, the one twenty years past his prime. You want the seasoned one who has done it so many times he can do it in his sleep though. Same thing with attorneys.
We aren't upset when Paramount makes a $200 million movie that flops, but if a charity experiments with a $5 million fundraising event that fails, we call in the attorneys. So charities are petrified of trying bold new revenue-generating endeavors and can't develop the powerful learning curves the for-profit sector can.
Nearly everyone has had a box of secret pain, shared with no one. Will [Hamilton] had concealed his well, laughed loud, exploited perverse virtues, and never let his jealousy go wandering [... ] He was always on the edge, trying to hold on to the rim of the family with what gifts he had - care, and reason, application. He kept the books, hired the attorneys, called the undertaker, and eventually paid the bills. The others didn't even know they needed him.
...The asbestos industry...has for decades successfully suppressed and manipulated information on the carcinogenicity and other hazards of asbestos. Involved in this conspiracy network were senior industry executives, their medical staff, attorneys, insurance companies, trade associations, scientific consultants, and commercial labs.
If your firm gives you a choice of departments, think carefully about which practice area will best suit your personality. Keep in mind that your specialty will affect not only the type of legal services you'll perform, but also the skills and knowledge you'll develop. And it's important to remember that at a large firm, you'll likely only get one choice. There are very few attorneys at large firms who have more than one specialty, or change specialties down the road. As a result, the first choice you make is likely to affect the work you do for years to come. If, for some reason, you get stuck with a specialty you don't like, make a change as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it is to jump to another specialty. For one thing, as lawyers gain seniority, their firms may resist the change for fear of a loss of expertise that took the firm years to nurture and develop. Even if your firm does let you change specialties down the road, it may reduce your seniority or salary to reflect your newly acquired inexperience in your new practice area. Changing specialties further on in your career can also impair your marketability in the legal community. After all, if you make a change when your salary has reached a high level, other firms who culd hire you might choose not to, feeling they can get attorneys more experienced in the specialty for less money. Because your future potential in your new specialty is less valuable to a new employer than your past experience in your old specialty, it's very easy to get 'pigeon-holed' in a particular practice area after just a few years in practice.
WIlliam R. Keates
I don't view prosecutors and attorneys as natural enemies. ... Though their roles are oppositional, the two simply have different roles to play in pursuit of the larger purpose, realizing the rule of law. ... This is not to deny that the will to win drives those efforts. ... Rather, it is simply to insist that ultimately, neither the accused nor society is served unless the integrity of the system is set above the expedient purposes of either side.
I am asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.
We teach boys to be such men as we are. We do not teach them to aspire to be all they can. We do not give them a training as if webelieved in their noble nature. We scarce educate their bodies. We do not train the eye and the hand. We exercise their understandings to the apprehension and comparison of some facts, to a skill in numbers, in words; we aim to make accountants, attorneys, engineers; but not to make able, earnest, great- hearted men.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We at the Bureau have the most exciting and satisfying jobs in the world. In a society that stresses individual achievement - where you pull yourself up by your bootstraps - the Legal Aid Bureau helps those without boots. By providing access to justice to tens of thousands of Marylanders each year, Legal Aid attorneys and support staff bring equity and stability to society.
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
When people of color are killed in the inner city, when homeless people are killed, when the "nobodies" are killed, district attorneys do not seek to avenge their deaths. Black, Hispanic, or poor families who have a loved one murdered not only don't expect the district attorney's office to pursue the death penalty -which, of course, is both costly and time consuming- but are surprised when the case is prosecuted at all.
In its proper meaning equality before the law means the right to participate in the making of the laws by which one is governed, a constitution which guarantees democratic rights to all sections of the population, the right to approach the court for protection or relief in the case of the violation of rights guaranteed in the constitution, and the right to take part in the administration of justice as judges, magistrates, attorneys-general, law advisers and similar positions.
Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale. Medicine, as a social science, as the science of human beings, has the obligation to point out problems and to attempt their theoretical solution: the politician, the practical anthropologist, must find the means for their actual solution. The physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor, and social problems fall to a large extent within their jurisdiction.
For Christians to influence the world with the truth of God's Word requires the recovery of the great Reformation doctrine of vocation. Christians are called to God's service not only in church professions but also in every secular calling. The task of restoring truth to the culture depends largely on our laypeople. To bring back truth, on a practical level, the church must encourage Christians to be not merely consumers of culture but makers of culture. The church needs to cultivate Christian artists, musicians, novelists, filmmakers, journalists, attorneys, teachers, scientists, business executives, and the like, teaching its laypeople the sense in which every secular vocation-including, above all, the callings of husband, wife, and parent-is a sphere of Christian ministry, a way of serving God and neighbor that is grounded in God's truth. Christian laypeople must be encouraged to be leaders in their fields, rather than eager-to-please followers, working from the assumptions of their biblical worldview, not the vapid cliches of pop culture.
J. Gresham Machen
Well before she became famous - or infamous, depending on where you cast your vote - Loftus's findings on memory distortion were clearly commodifiable. In the 1970s and 1980s she provided assistance to defense attorneys eager to prove to juries that eyewitness accounts are not the same as camcorders. "I've helped a lot of people, " she says. Some of those people: the Hillside Strangler, the Menendez brothers, Oliver North, Ted Bundy. "Ted Bundy?" I ask, when she tells this to me. Loftus laughs. "This was before we knew he was Bundy. He hadn't been accused of murder yet." "How can you be so confident the people you're representing are really innocent?" I ask. She doesn't directly answer. She says, "In court, I go by the evidence... Outside of court, I'm human and entitled to my human feelings. "What, I wonder are her human feelings about the letter from a child-abuse survivor who wrote, "Let me tell you what false memory syndrome does to people like me, as if you care. It makes us into liars. False memory syndrome is so much more chic than child abuse... But there are children who tonight while you sleep are being raped, and beaten. These children may never tell because 'no one will believe them.'" "Plenty of "Plenty of people will believe them, " says Loftus. Pshaw! She has a raucous laugh and a voice with a bit of wheedle in it. She is strange, I think, a little loose inside. She veers between the professional and the personal with an alarming alacrity, " she could easily have been talking about herself.
Fourth, I paid attention to every detail I could while working on my cases. I found that one of the most ironic facets of the law is that the correct answer to a problem often rests on small legal nuances and factual details. The presence or absence of a particular fact can frequently make or break the case. The senior attorney I worked for, Brad, was extremely adept at assimilating large amounts of information quickly, paying close attention to details, and using his mastery of them to weave brilliant defenses. His ability to identify the most critical of details while constructing solid defenses always impressed me, and I tried to emulate that particular skill. Fifth, I was conscientious about creating good first impressions. As I later learned, lawyers who work with new summer and permanent associates virtually always form quick conclusions about them, and give 'hallway evaluations' to other lawyers in the firm. I often heard about or participated in these hallway evaluations, and know that even one negative impression can have a devastating impact. In general, young attorneys who get a reputation for sloppy work - earned or unearned - have a very steep climb up the law firm ladder. Sixth, I was vigilant about meeting deadlines, every time. This meant I had to carefully plan ahead, since partners, colleagues, clients, courts, and other parties often rely on assignments and legal services to be performed by a certain time. With the workload I had, and the interruptions I faced, of course this wasn't always possible, and in those situations I found the best route wasn't just to tough it out, but rather let the supervising attorney know as early as possible if I couldn't meet a deadline. I learned this lesson the hard way. My first assignment as a summer associate was to research whether we could squeeze one of our clients into an exception to a well-settled legal doctrine. The senior attorney who gave me the assignment asked me to research the issue and then get back to him by Friday afternoon. I just didn't feel comfortable with my research when Friday afternoon came around, and decided to buy some additional time by letting him contact me. He didn't try to reach me Friday afternoon, so I took advantage of that and submitted the assignment on Monday. The incident later came back to haunt me, though, because in his evaluation of my work for my midsummer review, he mentioned that I didn't report to him by the established deadline.
WIlliam R. Keates
I also quickly came to appreciate the importance of watching what's said around clients. When clients make unexpected requests for legal advice - as they often do - I learned that it was better to tell them I'd get back to them with an answer, and go away, research the question, and consult with a supervising attorney, rather than firing back an answer off-the-cuff. A friend of mine at another firm told me a story that illustrates the risks of saying too much. It seems an insurance company had engaged my friend's California-based firm to help in defending against an environmental claim. This claim entailed reviewing huge volumes of documents in Arizona. So my friend's firm sent teams of associates to Arizona, all expenses paid, on a weekly basis. Because the insurance company also sent its own lawyers and paralegals, as did other insurance companies who were also defendants in the lawsuit, the document review facility was often staffed with numerous attorneys and paralegals from different firms. Associates were instructed not to discuss the case with anyone unless they knew with whom they were speaking. After several months of document review, one associate from my friend's firm abandoned his professionalism and discretion when he began describing to a young woman who had recently arrived at the facility what boondoggles the weekly trips were. He talked at length about the free airfare, expensive meals, the easy work, and the evening partying the trips involved. As fate would have it, the young woman was a paralegal working for the insurance company - the client who was paying for all of his 'perks' - and she promptly informed her superiors about his comments. Not surprisingly, the associate was fired before the end of the month. My life as an associate would have been a lot easier if I had delegated work more freely. I've mentioned the stress associated with delegating work, but the flip side of that was appreciating the importance of asking others for help rather than doing everything myself. I found that by delegating to paralegals and other staff members some of my more tedious assignments, I was free to do more interesting work. I also wish I'd given myself greater latitude to make mistakes. As high achievers, law students often put enormous stress on themselves to be perfect, and I was no different. But as a new lawyer, I, of course, made mistakes; that's the inevitable result of inexperience. Rather than expect perfection and be inevitably disappointed, I'd have been better off to let myself be tripped up by inexperience - and focus, instead, on reducing mistakes caused by carelessness. Finally, I tried to rely more on other associates within the firm for advice on assignments and office politics. When I learned to do this, I found that these insights gave me either the assurance that I was using the right approach, or guidance as to what the right approach might be. It didn't take me long to realize that getting the 'inside scoop' on firm politics was crucial to my own political survival. Once I figured this out, I made sure I not only exchanged information with other junior associates, but I also went out of my way to gather key insights from mid-level and senior associates, who typically knew more about the latest political maneuverings and happenings. Such information enabled me to better understand the various personal agendas directing work flow and office decisions and, in turn, to better position myself with respect to issues and cases circulating in the office.
WIlliam R. Keates