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Category Archives: Attorney-Client Relationship

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America Should Adopt the British Solicitor/Barrister Model

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

Let me tell you about my latest obsession: the British legal system. I came upon this topic by accident. Two weeks ago, I had a two-day hearing in Barrow County, Georgia, with some colleagues. For those of you who do not know much about Georgia geography, Winder is not near my office. And to get… Continue Reading

Today’s Talk on Wellness for Lawyers

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Coaching

We, as a profession, are not doing well. A very large percentage of us are suffering from significant mental health issues. We are one of the top five professions for rates of suicide. And many of us battle significant substance abuse issues. Today, Bob Rubin and I gave one of the most significnt CLE talks… Continue Reading

How We Interview Trial Counsel

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

Ineffective counsel claims are probably the least fun part of the job at the state level in Georgia. Unlike the Federal system, where an evidentiary hearing on an IAC claim is often left for habeas proceedings, Georgia IAC must be raised at the first available opportunity, or it is deemed to be waived. This system… Continue Reading

Stoicism and the Modern Lawyer

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

Marcus Aurelius seemed to know the modern lawyer (though he died centuries ago). See if you can identify with the following sentiment: Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All of the ignorance of real good and ill… I can neither be harmed by any… Continue Reading

Why Some Law Practices Struggle

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

I sometimes find myself having the same conversation with different colleagues several days in a row. It may be that my thoughts find their way into the conversation or that there are certain trends. It may be pure coincidence. In the most recent version of the repeating conversation phenomenon, I have heard colleagues complain about… Continue Reading

When Opposing Counsel Tries to Bully You

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

Part of the fun of doing appeals and post-conviction work is hearing from colleagues with questions about things that arise in cases. Recently, I spoke with an attorney with an unusual situation. The lawyer was defense counsel on a serious child abuse matter. The prosecutor, when she supplied statutory discovery, told the lawyer that he… Continue Reading

Client Intake to Build the Team

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

Hiring a criminal defense attorney, whether at the trial court or appellate level, is a pretty complex thing. No matter how life-altering the case might be, the lawyer decision is huge. For the lawyer, taking on a client, whether at the trial court or appellate level, is a big decision, also. The client literally puts… Continue Reading

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