Posted in Law Office News Tagged 808 hoes, Big Teeze, Blog, Domestic Violence, law, News, recommendation, statistics, story, trial, win
Posted in General Tagged Arrest, Bail, conviction, hard labor, News, not guilty, statistics
I don’t remember being subpoena’ed for this case. I strongly believe I was railroaded and cannot be guilty of this. I would point out I don’t remember doing 6 months of hard labour, so it is quite possible there is a warrant out for me now.
The proper closing closing argument for the prosecutor in this case should be:
When he stole the brooch,
He screwed the pooch!
I really hope someone said that in court some way.
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Can I write this stuff on a Law Firm blog? Hence the title: Not an Advertisement…
Posted in Views On The World Tagged Dershowitz, Fiddler on the roof, Hawaii Criminal Lawyer, Jew, judaism, law, Prosecutor, religion, statistics, trial
Today I had two people ask me, at completely unrelated times “How do you defend people when you know they are guilty?” And people don’t realize how 1. Clearly insulting that is, and 2. they have no concept how the system works. OR I should say, how the system is supposed to work. And they always have one other thing in common:
They’re not Jews.
I’m not saying you have to be a Jew to be a defense attorney, don’t misunderstand. What I’m saying is that Jews never question the necessity of constant and regular vigilance and questioning of their government.
One of the most interesting things I learned from this book is the Jewish interpretation of the command “To do and to believe”. Traditional sources imply that the doing is more important than the believing. Compare this to the Lutheran “Justification by Faith Alone”. Jewish custom stresses the performance of the commandments, over the belief in what they signify. The Lutheran concept stresses the belief in the holy, but discards the necessity to follow the rules. (Of course, this is a simplistic view of a massive dichotomy, but it’s interesting.) Put in legal terms, being Jewish demands you follow the letter of the law even if you disagree with it, being Lutheran means you believe the public policy behind the law is more important than the particular elements you are charged to uphold.
It starts to make sense why you have so many Jews who can recite the “Four Questions” from the Haggadah, but self-identify as atheist.
I’ve written previously about the Jewish view of the Torah, (or the Old Testament) being seen as a Covenant, or a contract with God. Jews see God wrote it, so when they find a loophole within the Covenant, and God means all things, then God put that loophole in the Covenant. God meant for you to exploit the loopholes in the Torah, because he purposely put those loopholes in there! How does that relate to Jews as lawyers? You have a people who have been trained for Six Thousand years to look for loopholes!
Now who do you want as an attorney?
But none of this has to do with why Jews instinctively understand the need for Criminal Defense attorneys. Attorneys whose sole purpose is to make sure the police, the judge, and the prosecutor are taking no shortcuts. The reason why is this:
- Russian Pograms
- Christian Crusades
- The Spanish Inquisition
- And before all of this, The Egyptian killing of the newborn sons. (Exodus 1:22)
So when people ask me, “Marcus, how do you defend someone you know is guilty,” I give a variety of answers:
“Because even if I do my job perfectly, all the government has to do is do their job competently and they will win. I will lose.”
“I want to give the Prosecutor practice, so when she has the big case with the really bad guy, she doesn’t screw up when it’s really important.”
“Because I had a particular client tell me, y’know Marcus, you’re the only person in my life who ever took my side.”
I hate to say “Because when I finally get the innocent client, I don’t want that to be my first case I try for real” because that implies most of my clients are not innocent. And when we go to trial they often are wholly innocent.
“He’s not guilty unless I lose.” Is probably my favorite when I’m in a good mood.
But underlying the principle is this: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Because in all of the examples I gave, the Jews being killed were surrounded by good men doing nothing.
And no matter the rap, I strongly feel Defense Attorneys are often good men doing something to stop the tyranny of evil. I have no problem if the State wins, fairly and honestly.
But my role is to make sure they do it, fairly and honestly. And the more I do it, the more I realize what a necessary, fundamental role that is.
Posted in General Tagged blawging, business, Hawaii Criminal Lawyer, Ice-T, KHON, law, philosophy, Rap, statistics
Ice-T had a meeting with a record exec once. The exec said he wanted to hear a sample of a proposed song before signing a contract. Ice-T says, “If I was selling hand grenades in an alley, I’m not gonna let you throw one to see if they’re any good. You either believe I’m selling good grenades or you don’t! So you either believe I can give you good records or you don’t!”
The exec says, “You’ve got good business sense. Did you go to business school?”
Ice-T replies, “Naw, but I did sell hand grenades in an alley once.”
So, as clients come in my office, I try to let them know exactly how well I can perform in court. Ethically, it’s illegal for me to guarantee a client anything. I am not allowed to tell them how many trials, or jury trials I’ve done. I am also not allowed to tell them my win-loss record.
My feeling is, these ethical rules were created by someone not as proud of their record as I am.
The two or three most important questions any of my potential clients have for me, the two or three top sales points I absolutely have (and would like to put on a billboard) are the two or three things I am absolutely not allowed to say. Hopefully, they believe what I’m doing is upholding justice and enforcing the rule of law to their benefit. Unfortunately more often the defendant starts to think I’m hiding the ball and that I’m in bed with the prosecutor, the police, and the judge and that I’m trying to lock them up.
Only nothing could be farther from the truth. What I want to do is set them free so they can tell their friends, “Wow, this guy the best!”
I can show them the newspaper articles I have around the office. I can tell them about the “Oh Wow!” cases Daryl Huff covered on KHON and that they remember. I can explain to them the “Oh Wow!” cases no one ever heard about because our plan was to keep them as low key as possible. I say that no results are guaranteed, and each one of these cases had a peculiar situation that I was able to ferret out. That their case may or may not have these situations, but that’s what I’m trained to find, or expand if these situations are microscopic. And we won’t know what that situation is until they hire me, and I’m able to read the police report and go through their entire case, page by page.
And the whole time I feel like:
And I’m thinking:
Wow, I never realized being an attorney was so much like selling hand grenades.
Posted in General Tagged Buccal, hawaii, Hawaii Criminal Lawyer, HOPE, incarceration, Judge, Judge Alm, law, Probation, statistics
Being in Prison in Hawaii has to be worse than anywhere else in the world. Sand and surf is just outside your cell, but a lifetime away. The Federal Detention Center is actually a big building, so you can see the Ocean and the beach (so I understand) but cannot set one foot in the sand.
So I’m trying something new today. Instead of publishing another story of how great I am at trial, or my random musings about current events/law, or a rap video that relates only vaguely to crime, I did something else. I wrote a “How To” for a legal website called AVVO.com. No one there has written about Hawaii’s HOPE project, a project that deserves to be written about.
HOPE is what we imagine Probation would be, if we weren’t on probation. It’s peeing in cups and attending drug treatment and reporting on time and getting arrested when you don’t. Prior to HOPE, a lot of this wasn’t happening. We have a multi-billion dollar industry creating criminals, and we put next-to-no money in rehabilitating them when they get out. A few years ago, somewhere near 200 was the average number of Probationers per Probation officer in State Court. Now, any number of people have quit or retired, and there’s no money to replace them. Who’s watching the criminals we’ve made?
What was happening was that we would put these Defendants on such strict probation, tell them they had to follow pages upon pages of rules using words like “buccal” (which two judges manage to pronounce three different ways) and tell them “Don’t screw up or you go directly to prison.” Then they had minimal supervision, and when they were called in for an appointment they said “Hell no, that guy said I was going to prison. What the hell is a buccal?”.
HOPE changes all that. The idea being that up front Defendants are treated like adults. They get told that consequences exist, and the learn about consequences from day one. Most importantly the consequences are swift and, arguably, fair. A stolen sandwich doesn’t equal prison. A stolen sandwich and disappearing for 6 months might. Relapsing on drugs, and then checking into Hina Mauka Residential doesn’t equal prison. Relapsing on drugs and then hiding out in Hau Bush might.
It is a common problem judges (and fathers) have. When you threaten that “ONLY THE ABSOLUTE WORST WILL HAPPEN TO YOU!” you have thrown away every other card in your hand. You can no longer say, “well, you deserve punishment, not prison”, because you’ve promised prison up front, and the Defendant believes you. Because he trusts you. When you say later, “I’m not going to give you prison after all”, the Defendant can no longer trust you, because you’ve demonstrably lied.
HOPE takes away all that, and talks very clearly about proportional punishments, if you try to touch the stove: your hand will get slapped. If you try to make your sister touch the stove: you will get beaten black and blue. So hopefully the program stays around, hopefully it expands.
The big fear, and this is way too preliminary of course, is what happens when Judge Alm moves on from the HOPE program? Hopefully he can make it a strong, robust self-replicating organism. The fear is that fifteen years from now, HOPE will just be another name for regular probation, and we’ll lose the things that make HOPE special, and a great way to keep our fathers and brothers out of prison.
What do you know, I guess I did write something tonight after all!Leave a comment
Posted in General Tagged Blawg, Blog, Hawaii Criminal Lawyer, lawyer, ratings, Snarling dog, statistics
Learning as always, this blawg is teaching me all sorts of things:
First, if I announce a new post on Facebook, a large group of friends will check it out every time. I’m doing my best to keep that to a minimum. I don’t want to lose friends to gain readers Rather I want increase both.
I have a decent core audience who check everyday and my numbers have found their minimum threshold. I do it for you, the fans (I think it’s mainly my parents. And process servers.)
Mondays and Fridays seem to be the day people check the blog on a higher average than other days. I’m going to keep this unscientific survey going, but right now, that’s what I’m seeing. I’m assuming this is people looking to put off ending the weekend, and people waiting to escape their job.
The people who find me by Google are looking for me by name. Rarely are they looking for me as “Hawaii Criminal Lawyer”, but being how the blog is set up, I think there’s a IP screening issue I need to look at.
Finally, One person really just wanted to see a picture of a “snarling dog”. so at least I expanded my market there.
For every person who’s told me “Tell those trial stories” I get someone who says “I think you need to talk about current events more.” And for every “Stop talking about current events”, I get a “Stop making up those trial stories. You know you never argued that a Dog committed the crime. What, Lassie get warrants in Hawaii too?”
But what I get more than anything else, is people walking through the courthouse whispering in passing, “Oh hey, like the blog.” So we’ll keep it going and see how it affects life. And as always, I’m open to suggestions, ideas, and most importantly, compliments.
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