The Justice Firm

Well, I found out over the weekend that I did indeed pass the Bar exam this past July. It takes them about ten weeks to grade the thing. But at least now that is over with. At long last I can finally demand some respect!

Pretty soon I will found The Justice Firm. I can already see the commercials now:  “Justice is not just my name; it’s my business.” On the other hand, I suppose that some of my criminal clients may not actually want justice…but at least they will want everyone to think they want justice, so the slogan should work out fine.

Of course, as I’ve pointed out in the past, justice has to work against the police and the government, too, and not just against defendants. So I guess my less-innocent customers can always look at matters that way.

The Public Defender and all other defense lawyers are basically an Anti-Government Prosecutors. Whereas the District Attorney punishes you for breaking the government’s rules, the Public Defender punishes the government for breaking laws.

If the District Attorney’s Office incompetantly charges you with a crime that you have not broken, the defense lawyers will make the prosecutors look like fools. If the police stop your car for no reason . . ., and then violate the Constitution to search your car for drugs, a defense lawyer will free you even if you are guilty. He does so not because he likes criminals. Rather, he frees you in order to punish the government for breaking the law — and because you have paid him money.

Now, before I can start doing stuff, I just have to get “admitted to the Bar” — whatever that means. Hopefully it won’t take too long.

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14 Responses to “The Justice Firm”


  1. 1 Skip Anderson October 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Good luck with the practice!

  2. 2 Drew October 11, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Thanks! Gonna need it, probably. I noticed your wife’s name on the successful Bar exam list as well, which I found a tad surprising given that I thought y’all moved away from Tennessee. But anyway, I hope that whatever she’s doing goes well, too.

  3. 3 Ilíon October 13, 2010 at 5:55 am

    I’ve been on a jury for one case. Technically/officially, it was a weapons charge … but, in actual fact, it was an attempt to imprison the male half of a dysfunctional couple (he, small black man with a chip on his shoulder; she, trashy white girl of easy virtue and manipulative nature) before one or the other murdered to other.

    After we did our civic duty (I think we were a hung jury), one of the women on the jury asked the judge for his opinion. Among the things he said was that he thought the young public defender’s strategy was brilliant. The PD’s “strategy” was “I borrowed the car in which I had picked her up to take her to work, and I didn’t know that the gun was there … so, of course, I didn’t show it to her and imply a threat to her.

    Goodness! Who hasn’t heard “I didn’t know!” from someone or other (who clearly did know).

    I assure you, the judge didn’t know what he was talking about. That jury would have convicted the fellow in under five minutes if I (or someone very like me) hadn’t been there and forced them to think about what they’d heard, and especially including the fact that the prosecutor, in summing up his witness’ testimony, mere seconds after she’d spoken, had completely reversed a key point of it.

  4. 4 Drew October 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Heh, nice job!

    If I were a juror on a weapons charge, I would probably acquit just based on Second Amendment grounds. 😉

  5. 5 Ilíon October 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    The Public Defender and all other defense lawyers are basically an Anti-Government Prosecutors. Whereas the District Attorney punishes you for breaking the government’s rules, the Public Defender punishes the government for breaking laws. … Rather, he frees you in order to punish the government for breaking the law …

    Actually, that’s not true. It isn’t the government (nor its agents) which is punished in these situations where its agents have broken the law. Rather, it is the innocent public which is punished by the freeing of the guilty as a consequence of the mistakes, or bungling, or deliberate law-breaking of the agents of the state.

  6. 6 Drew October 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    That’s one way to look at it. But I personally think measures such as the exclusionary rule are the only effective deterrent against the government — which is itself in charge of putting people in jail and essentially has an infinite supply of money to pay monetary penalties.

  7. 7 Ilíon October 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    If the US “criminal justice system” were really concerned with justice, then the mistakes, or bungling, or deliberate law-breaking (I, of course, do not refer to such law-breaking as the falsification of evidence) of the agents of the state would be irrelevant to the particular case — the only question ought to be “Can the State, in honestly, show the defendant to be guilty of the crime(s) charged?

    If the US “criminal justice system” were really concerned with justice, then the mistakes, or bungling, or deliberate law-breaking of the agents of the state would merit prosecution of *them* as appropriate, but would not require the endangerment of the public to “send a message.”

    Those “messages” generally translate into robbed and/or raped and/or murdered innocent citizens.

  8. 8 Drew October 13, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Well, maybe. But the government doesn’t care about justice. That’s sort of the point of this post.

  9. 9 Drew October 14, 2010 at 1:33 am

    Additionally Ilíon, given that the government is chosen by the public and represents the public, I find your distinction between the government and the “innocent public” a little bit dubious. Even regardless of any other factors such as pragmatism, it still seems at least somewhat reasonable to hold the public accountable for the government’s wrongdoing.

  10. 10 Ilíon October 14, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Additionally Ilíon, given that the government is chosen by the public and represents the public, I find your distinction between the government and the “innocent public” a little bit dubious.

    You really ought to work on your intellectual consistency — your prior statements deny what you’re saying here.

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but as I understand it, lawyer training generally aims to teach a man to reason by a simulacrum of logic, rather than by actual logic — such that one who has thoroughly imbibed holds himself obligated to put forward whatever “reasoning” it takes to “win,” regardless of logic or of logical consistency. No doubt a man can gather to himself a lot of money this way (until lawyers manage to destroy the entire nation, of course) … but the price is his soul. Is it worth it?

    “The government” is an abstraction; “the government” is that fictional person (just as a business corporation is a fictional person) who tells us what to do, and who threatens to kill (or murder) us if we do not do as told. “The government” doesn’t matter, for it isn’t *real* What matters is the men tell “the government” what to say and do.

  11. 11 Drew October 14, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Yes, we sometimes make inconsistent alternative arguments, and there is nothing illogical about that. But in this case, my arguments aren’t even particularly inconsistent.

    If district attorneys, mayors, legislators, judges, and such run on a platform of getting tough on criminals and perhaps even show disdain toward respecting the criminals’ rights, they are not caring much about justice (point 1). And if the public votes for these apathetic politicians, the public does not care much about justice either and I therefore find it reasonable to hold the public accountable for their sins (point 2). That’s in addition to the fact that any other type of “punishment” for the government would probably be infeasible (point 3).

    Personally, I think wrongfully obtained evidence should be inadmissible and the errant government officials should be sanctioned as well. That would be the real way to cut down on the abuse. But again, it would be difficult to set up such sanctions.

  12. 12 Ilíon October 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    THIS is what your “it’s the public’s fault” means, in reality.

  13. 13 Drew October 21, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I’ve written multiple posts on this blog expressing my support for the death penalty and the freedom to bear arms, so I’m not really seeing your point. If you’re referring to the whining at the end of the article about the defense lawyer’s “antics,” I thought that part was extremely immature. If a defendant gets executed and the victim believes the defendant was guilty, the victim should be glad about the execution — not whiny about the fact that the defendant actually got a trial.


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