Springtime brings those new flowers and an increased number of calls last week inquiring about whether the caller should hire a lawyer or use the public defender. Now I have to admit that I often ask myself what extra benefit the "private" lawyer brings to a particular case. I was a public defender when I started this some twenty-eight years ago

Continue Reading Picking Your Lawyer – Ask These Questions

Remember that Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song that advised "… teach your children well… and feed them on your dreams…."  Unfortunately, too often we teach our children that the police are only there to help, and that if they just tell the truth their problems will go away.  So it was again this week when I met with a

Continue Reading Teach Your Children Well … The Right To Remain Silent

 There is this practice in small communities of hiring contract public defenders and paying them a "flat fee" to handle all of the counties’ indigent defense work.  Say you are in "Little" County, and you get charged with burglary. You don’t have that rainy day fund, so you use the services of the public defender.  He is paid by the

Continue Reading Flat Fee Public Defender Malpractice – $3 million

It is early on a Sunday morning and I am in my office working.  Sometimes this happens – I wake up and after fifteen or twenty minutes I know that I am not going back to sleep, so off I go to do a little work. Today I am listening to a tape recorded "interview" by a detective.  The suspect is charged

Continue Reading Top Three Rules If The Detectives Want To Talk To You – Especially In A Sex Crime!

 Tis the season for increased traffic patrols – and DUI arrests in Boise, Idaho.  The Statesman reports that between Friday night and Sunday afternoon forty-nine persons were arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Suppose for a minute that you are one of those forty-nine. Any criminal charge is expensive and the outcome important enough

Continue Reading Five Questions To Ask The Lawyer Before You Sign That Retainer

 This morning I get a new client who brings a letter he received from another lawyer, and "Former Deputy Prosecutor" building his DUI practice. Here is part of the other lawyer’s pitch:

"You need legal help.  The criminal process is very complex.  Once you have been charged with a DUI, you have 7 DAYS to take action to avoid immediate

Continue Reading Can You Tell The Difference Between Lawyers – Part Two

 I had a call from a man whose son was facing serious criminal charges, and like each of us he was worried about the economic crisis. "I might just let him use the public defender this time, " he said. "Money is awfully tight!  Can you give me one reason why I should hire you?" Here are three reasons to

Continue Reading Top Three Reasons To Hire Your Own Lawyer – Especially Now

A bank can be sued for failing to conduct a reasonable investigation before initiating a criminal complaint against an identity theft victim.  In an unpublished opinion out of New Jersey, the appellate court reversed an order granting summary judgment to the bank, and held that the main issue – whether the bank had acted with malice in calling the cops

Continue Reading Bank Can Be Sued For Identity Theft Prosecution