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.