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Category Archives: Attorney-Client Relationship

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The Importance of Lawyerly Agnosticism

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

Recently Scott Greenfield wrote about David Aylor’s rather noisy departure from accused murderer, Michael Slager’s case. So much went wrong and was analyzed in the post. But there’s one piece of it that I want to emphasize here. Mr. Greenfield writes: It’s hard to blame Aylor for being sucked in by Slager’s lie. Clients lie… Continue Reading

A Connection and Valuable Lesson from the Alma Mater

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

Over the weekend, I received a package from my undergraduate school, Mercer University. Generally, when I receive correspondence from Mercer, Georgia State, or Emory, it’s alumni spam. This was in a hand-addressed manilla envelope. I have a recurring dream where a school I attended figures out I’m a credit short and revokes my degree. I… Continue Reading

The Dark Side of Referrals

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Uncategorized

A few days ago, Seth Godin wrot about referrals and their true meaning in a profession. When they work well, a referral comes with it a high degree of trust. When you refer a client to another person, you stake some of your reputation on the person to whom you made the referral. In addition, the person… Continue Reading

Study Shows that Few Have Counsel for Bond Hearings

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

It’s a scene I have witnessed hundreds, if not thousands, of times. At a first appearance hearing, a magistrate judge calls the calendar as twenty or so inmates in orange or green jumpsuits are brought out chained to one another. The look on their faces is one of shock or of last night’s drugs or… Continue Reading

Lawyer Who Let Client Write Brief Faces Sanctions from SCOTUS

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, News

I just read at Bitter Lawyer and The Lawyerist about a show cause order issued by the United States Supreme Court for the submission of a certiorari petition that was hard to read and which departed significantly from the Supreme Court rules. What happened? The lawyer allowed the client to draft the certiorari petition. I… Continue Reading

To Be a Better Listener / To Ask for Advice Better

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Writing

It’s been a long holiday season, and January’s been a busy time. I’m hoping to re-develop the blogging habit. And I find that I am much better at writing posts when I’m reading posts. Toward that end, I opened up the RSS app and caught back up on my favorite blogs, Simple Justice and Defending… Continue Reading

Ray Lewis, Facebook, and the Justice System

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, News

Ray Lewis’s retirement has made for an interesting time to be a criminal defense lawyer. Many of us who defend people for a living lead two lives. In one, we are in and out of jails, explaining things to clients. We are in the hallway huddled with families after a loved one was led out… Continue Reading

10% Fewer Words

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Motion for New Trial

I recently finished the audio version of Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. It’s geared toward fiction writers, but there is much to commend it to lawyerly writing. The best writing advice I have heard in a while was something that a publisher wrote on a slip rejecting one of King’s early… Continue Reading

Should You Post Bond? Not Always

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

Last week, I closed out an armed robbery case quite successfully. The case was reduced down to robbery, the client was sentenced under Georgia’s First Offender Act (meaning that he has the opportunity to come out of this with no conviction on his record), and after completing a one-year residential program, he is on probation…. Continue Reading

GPDSC’s First Executive Director Weighs In

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, News, Opinions and Analysis

Aly Palmer, a reporter with the Fulton Daily Report, read the exchanges of the last few days and reported on it at the ATLaw Blog. Michael Mears, an Associate Professor at the John Marshall School of Law and the man who was GPDSC’s very first Executive Directer when it was created, wrote a very thoughtful… Continue Reading

My Reply to the Circuit Public Defender

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, News, Opinions and Analysis, Uncategorized

To catch you up to speed, I recently blogged about GPDSC’s recent argument to the Supreme Court of Georgia that public defenders should have the right to represent clients in the same circuit public defender’s office even when there is a conflict in the representation. Mr. Samuel Merritt, a Circuit Public Defender disagreed. I posted… Continue Reading

Even More Reasons to Run From GPDSC and a Modest Proposal

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, News, Opinions and Analysis

A blog post I wrote a week ago about GPDSC’s alliance with the Attorney General’s Office to oppose the Georgia Bar’s formal advisory opinion regarding imputed conflicts for indigent defendants inspired a few comments over on my Facebook page. A friend of mine who is a former assistant public defender commented: The absence of conflict-free… Continue Reading

Attorney General and Public Defenders Team Up to Support Double Standards for Poor People

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, News

The writer Jerry Pournelle postulated The Iron Law of Bureaucracy. It goes like this. In a bureacratic organization, there are two types of people. First, there are the people who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Second, there are those dedicated to the organization itself. According to Pournelle, “in every case the second… Continue Reading

What Do Appellate Lawyers Do

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Uncategorized

Leave this blog right now and run, don’t walk, over to the Appellate Record and read Kendall Gray’s blog post on what distinguishes appellate lawyers from trial lawyers. A presentation he gave to visitors to his firm from China inspired this post. It provides the simplest explanation of the key differences between the two types… Continue Reading

New UGA Law Review Article Takes Georgia to Task for the Way We Handle IAC Claims

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Motion for New Trial, News, Opinions and Analysis, Uncategorized

I returned from vacation pleased to find in my in basket at the office a copy of Ryan C. Tuck’s article from the Georgia Law Review on the confusing state of the law as it relates to ineffective assistance of counsel in Georgia. The article is titled “Ineffective-Assistance-of-Counsel Blues: Navigating the Muddy Waters of Georgia… Continue Reading

Video Arraignments are a Step in the Right Direction

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Motion for New Trial, Oral Argument, State Habeas Corpus, Supreme Court of Georgia, Uncategorized

Above the Law has a good recent post on the use of video arraignments and how judges find that the process makes them feel safer. I don’t know whether video Arraignments make the process any safer or not. But the process certainly makes the process more efficient. In fact, many of the rituals of court… Continue Reading

How Can You Defend These People?

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, News

I’ve watched with interest the news regarding former Solicitor General Paul Clement’s resignation from King & Spalding, after the firm moved to withdraw from its representation of House Republicans in defense of the federal statute that prohibits same sex marriage.  Every criminal defense lawyer should learn as much as possible about this story and save… Continue Reading

Making the Most of Your Georgia Prison Visit

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

As I’ve mentioned before, I make many prison visits. It’s part of the job in Georgia appellate practice. All the appellate courts, the parole board, and most of the counties where convictions originate are in or near Atlanta. And most of the prisons are south of Macon. I’ve learned some things over time about how… Continue Reading

How Much Longer Before The Georgia Appellate Court Rules?

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Georgia Court of Appeals, Oral Argument, Supreme Court of Georgia

As a father of three children (one still in a car seat and one in a booster) and as an appeals lawyer in Georgia, I get two recurring and related questions. From the children, on car trips, I frequently hear, “Are we there yet?” From my clients and their families, I frequently hear, “when will… Continue Reading

The Client’s Right to Participate in Georgia Criminal Appeals is Quickly Eroding

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Motion for New Trial

The state of Georgia once brought us the Leo Frank trial, the Andersonville prisoner of war camp, and a series of lynching over the years. I never knew that Georgia law was so traditionally weighted against the State. The legislature seems to think otherwise. Yet, the legislature of late has enacted new laws that have… Continue Reading