Barb Jacobson is a private investigator – and a really fine one at that. She can get answers from witnesses that others just can’t get. I’m not sure how she does it but she does it well!
So one day in 1997 or so she came to see me about a guy in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Other lawyers told her that there wasn’t any way to get him out. She was convinced that her guy was innocent.
Crazy thing here – he was innocent. As in, didn’t do it innocent. As in wrong man convicted. Innocent!
So we built a case on her work, her investigation and her guts. The Judge (now a Supreme Court Justice) let us put on our evidence and the prosecutor didn’t back down. But in the end Barbara Jacobson’s fine work saved this kid from prison.
You can read here account of the case here.
Thanks Barb for your kind words. Reputations get built on the work we do and often that work was the result of hard work by others associated with a case.
Now the take away – we lawyers need to be good listeners. As I listened to Barb’s story and realized that her client was in fact innocent, we were able to come up with a plan to win his freedom. Lawyers who can’t see an opportunity to win are like that kid digging in the manure, looking for the pony. He’s in there alright, but you’ve got to be willing to move a little dirty to find him.
And lawyers are not investigators. Often it is the investigator who breaks the case, not the lawyer.