Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Overzealous, Inexperienced, Wet-Behind-The-Ears Prosecutor!

If the title didn't give it away, this post is from one of our friendly Texas prosecutors.  No, he's not overzealous (okay maybe a little), inexperienced, or wet-behind-the-ears, but he remembers back to the days when he was.  Here's some advice from him:

Raise your hand if you're tired of dealing with this guy? Most, if not every defense attorney can relate to having to deal w/a prosecutor half his age with about 1/100th the experience on a weekly basis. If you're experiencing difficulity in this area I have an easy solution...

Get over it!

We all know how well DA's offices pay, don't we? We also know how they are often limited to hiring green attorneys fresh out of law school and most often not the highly sought after editors of the law review. Short of Texas counties drastically raising taxes to increase its employees salaries, I don't see this changing. (Just checked the political climate tracker and Texas and nope, this ain't happening.) So, get over it! And learn how to deal with it.

Why? Because unless you're favorite phrase to hear from the prosecution is "set it for trial," refusing to respect and work with those young whipper snappers isn't going to get you anywhere.

I'm not suggesting you have to agree with them, or enjoy it. What I am saying is if you are truly in this business to help your client reach the best possible outcome, then you must find a way to maintain a professional relationship with any prosecutor you encounter.

How do you that? Another easy answer. Be courteous and show him or her respect. Regardless of the situation, this should always be your goal as a defense attorney.

I don't know how many times I've seen a defense attorney blow an opportunity for his client because of his own selfish pride. And ultimately what did they gain? Well, I made sure he knew who he was dealing with and that this wasn't my first rodeo!

Many, young prosecutors have a chip on their shoulder because...? Because they are young and deal with an adversary they know has more experience than they do.

It is only intensified when the defense attorney acts in an arrogant, belittling manner. Don't do it. Most, if not all, of those "snot-nosed kids" will respond better to your respect than your lack of it. As always, your reputation precedes you. Having the reputation of a respectful defense attorney should be highly desired. Unfortunately, its constantly forgotten.