Public defenders dont care about their clients...

Latest post 01-22-2012 1:31 AM by Mudkip. 34 replies.
  • 12-19-2011 7:38 PM

    • David845
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    Public defenders dont care about their clients...

    and public defenders don't get the same results as private attorneys. Its a unwritten rule that a defendant can get a better plea deal with a private attorney than with a Public Pretender. PDs get paid regardless of how many clients they represent, so they dont put their all in to a case because they are over worked and bearly paid. A private attorney knows he/she can get more clients and more money based on winning more cases and getting a good reputation for fighting for their clients. PDs dont try to win cases they look for the first plea bargin they can get and move on to the next case.They dont answer calls from clients in jail, they dont visit clients in jail and they are generally rude to their clients.

    In short, public defenders do more harm than good, they make the District Attorney's job much easier and only the client suffers.

  • 12-19-2011 11:00 PM In reply to

    Calling Mythbusters!

    David845:
    public defenders do more harm than good, they make the District Attorney's job much easier and only the client suffers.

    You already got that myth dispelled in your other thread by two lawyers and two non-lawyers:

    http://community.lawyers.com/forums/t/119780.aspx

    If you don't like the way the PD is handling your brother's case, put up the money to hire a private attorney for him and see if that works out any better for him.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 12-19-2011 11:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Public defenders dont care about their clients...

    That is absolute garbage.  PD's are the most under-appreciated, hardest working group of people in the legal profession.  It's people like you that make it harder for them to do their job.  99% of the people charged with a crime are guilty and 99.8% of those are PD clients.  No attorney can walk on water whether you pay for their services or the taxpayers foot the bill.  MOST private defense attorneys started out as PD's and quit because of the low pay and they got tired of being trashed by DA's, the cops and their clients.  They get tired of working every weekend for scum who don't appreciate it and accuse them of sailing them down the river when they don't just flood the court with frivilous motions.   People some how think they've gotten a better attorney because they had to fork money out of their own pocket which is simply not true.  In fact, when you pay an attorney by the word, all he does is talk longer, not better....

  • 12-19-2011 11:38 PM In reply to

    You sound like a defendant...

    and a blooming idiot.

    - Private attorneys don't necessarily "care" about the client either.  No more than the plumber you hire to fix your sink "cares" about the pipes.

    - You cannot compare results between cases because a case either resolves with a PD, or a private attorney.  There is no way to unwind the case and redo it.  In my experience, persons who fired me and hired private counsel usually ended up with worse situations because they dicked around and didn't listen to me, and then private counsel couldn't save them.  One particular client ended up with five extra years on his prison sentence.

    - Private attorneys get paid regardless of how your case turns out.

    - Plenty of PDs fight for their clients.  A private attorney can take your money to file motions with very little chance of success, and that will make you happy. 

    - While there are dumptrucks among PDs, there are also dumptrucks in private counsel.  A whole lot of private attorneys in my neck of the woods take a retainer that covers only examining the case, but NOT going to trial.  They withdraw out of the case and dump it on the PDs office.

    - A PD cannot plead someone out unless they are willing to plead.  Period.

    I'll never understand how people can be upset about getting a free attorney.  Most countries don't give you that.  Many countries just summarily try you and put you in jail or put a bullet in your head.

    Many PDs are rude to their clients because being called a pretender by some lowlife who can't competently burglarize a house just does not brighten their day...

  • 12-19-2011 11:42 PM In reply to

    • Cica
      Consumer
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 09-23-2003
    • Posts 6,519

    Re: Public defenders dont care about their clients...

    David845:
    PDs dont try to win cases

    When a client is jailed for child-support related issues, then "accused of making purchases with a credit card that was left in his cab," what do you honestly expect?  POOF?  A freed brother?  Can he at least disprove the child-support claim?

    David845:
    only the client suffers.
     

    Right.  The kid, mother, and the victim of credit card theft felt nothing.

     

  • 12-20-2011 12:57 AM In reply to

    • Cica
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    • Joined on 09-23-2003
    • Posts 6,519

    More [=+=] Re: You sound like a defendant...

    "Pretender."  If that ain't the pot calling the kettle black.  C'est la vie.  Indigenous indigent are generally indignant.

  • 12-20-2011 1:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Public defenders dont care about their clients...

    David845:
    Its a unwritten rule that a defendant can get a better plea deal with a private attorney than with a Public Pretender.

    That's what a lot of defendants believe, unfortunately. But there is no data that actually supports that belief.

    David845:
    PDs get paid regardless of how many clients they represent, so they dont put their all in to a case because they are over worked and bearly paid.

    That's a great example of illogical reasoning. Salary is not the only thing that motivates people to do a good job. Maybe it's all that motivates you and the people you know, but it is not logical to assume that because you think that way, every one else does too. I've been a government lawyer and a private lawyer myself, and I worked just as hard at both because I took pride in my work and and wanted to do the best possible job. Most of the other government lawyers I know, including PDs, feel the same way. The effort that they put into it isn't about the money.

    David845:
    PDs dont try to win cases they look for the first plea bargin they can get and move on to the next case.

    PDs love to take cases to trial that they have a shot to win. That's part of what motivates them to be a PD: they get far more trial time than private attorneys typically do. The key is taking to trial cases they can win. Most defendants are guilty as sin and the state can prove it. In that case, a plea deal is the best you can. That's true for both clients represented by PD or private counsel. And generally speaking, the DA makes the same offers regardless of whether defendant's counsel is a PD or private attorney. DAs control the plea bargain process; private counsel has no extra leverage to get a better deal than a PD does. Again, there is no good data supporting your claim that private counsel on the whole does better with outcomes than PDs as a whole.

    David845:
    They dont answer calls from clients in jail, they dont visit clients in jail and they are generally rude to their clients.

    This is the one part where PDs and private counsel differ: private counsel has the time to give the client the extras, like all kinds phone calls and visits to reassure the client, etc, because the client pays for all that. But that extra hand-holding that the client pays for doesn't really help with the actual outcome of the case. It just makes the client feel better. Granted, making the client feel better has some value, but doesn't tell you anything abou the lawyer's legal skills.

  • 12-20-2011 1:49 AM In reply to

    Re: Public defenders dont care about their clients...

    David845:
    In short, public defenders do more harm than good, they make the District Attorney's job much easier and only the client suffers.

    Assuming  that statement were true (and I don't believe it is), what is your solution to that? Simply do away with PDs and let poor defendants battle the state on their own? My experience has been that pro se parties fare much worse over all than those who are represented. Indded may  Or are you willing to support and push for the significant increase in funding (and the tax increase that would be needed) it would take to allow PDs to get the same income and same workload that private attorneys have?

    Your brother could discharge his PD if he wants. It wouldn't be a good idea, but nothing forces him to have an attorney. That nearly every criminal defendant who qualifies for a PD takes the PD over representing themselves despite their griping about the PD says a lot—they know that in the end they are still far better off with a PD than winging it on their own.

  • 12-20-2011 3:00 AM In reply to

    Re: You sound like a defendant...

    Ford:
    A whole lot of private attorneys in my neck of the woods take a retainer that covers only examining the case, but NOT going to trial.  They withdraw out of the case and dump it on the PDs office.

    That happens a lot here too--private attorneys take the case for an exhorbitant amount of money but only through the preliminary hearing.  After they've screwed the case up at prelim and the client ends up bound over on more felonies than they started with, the private attorney pockets the cash and dump the client.  The client  ends up with a PD who's far better than most private attorneys on their best days but can't make wine out of lemonade and the client ends up worse than he should have been had the case been handled correctly from the get-go.  Guess who gets the blame...

  • 12-20-2011 3:18 AM In reply to

    Re: You sound like a defendant...

    Mt_Fuji:

    However, let's talk about *innocent* people who complain about PDs. I have seen, on this board and on others, complaints by people who say that they are completely innocent of the crime and that the PD *ignores* their claims of innocence. The PD doesn't try to call witnesses that can show innocence. The PD doesn't care about exculpatory evidence.

    I just hate people who try to arm-chair quarterback but don't really understand the complicated mechanics that are criminal law and procedure.  Sure, you were just sitting in the front seat riding around at 2 a.m. with your homies and sure, you knew the guy in the back seat had a gun but gee, you are innocent, you didn't shoot the guy.  You just laughed when he fell down and that's not a crime, is it?  Sorry, the law doesn't work that way.  You run with him, you help him hide, you keep the gun for him, you lie to the cops for him, you're going to land in the prison cell right next to him. 

    Do you have any idea how many criminal trials are going on across the country on any given day?  Hundreds of thousands.  Most people charged are guilty.  A lot of trials happen because people want to roll the dice and when they lose, they're somehow surprised.  The perfect system would prevent any innocent person from ever going to jail but when the system is made up of imperfect people, it's not going to be perfect.  No criminal justice system is but ours is far better than most.

    I have represented thousands of people over many, many years of practice, some as a PD, some in private practice.  Out of those thousands, there were less than 20 that were actually completely innocent of any criminal activity.  Of those less than 20, only 1 case was lost at trial and that was because against my advice, the guy insisted on testifying and looked like a liar to the jury.  They hated him.  For those that are/were guilty, my job is to ensure that their rights are protected and if it goes to trial, that the DA proves every element of every charge in front of a jury that is as impartial as I can get.  I  try my damnedest to make sure they don't go down for more than they did.  If I can get them less, all the better.  I can't walk on water, I don't have a magic wand, and I can't roll back the clock to erase what happened or make facts just disappear.  I can only fight with the arrows I have in the quiver. 

  • 12-20-2011 12:34 PM In reply to

    • Cica
      Consumer
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 09-23-2003
    • Posts 6,519

    Re: Public defenders dont care about their clients...

    David845:
    They dont answer calls from clients in jail, they dont visit clients in jail and they are generally rude to their clients.

    The fact is that "clients" in jail probably don't get a whole lot of visits from anyone -- least of all anyone not paid, including family; and minimal, at best, from paid representation. 

    Public Defenders aren't Personal Amenders.  Their purpose is to represent clients in court; not to become their surrogate father/mother figures.

  • 12-20-2011 3:27 PM In reply to

    Re: You sound like a defendant...

    Mt_Fuji:
    I'm talking about a situation where the defendant is arrested because he happened to look like the perp or because he happened to be at the crime scene at the same time the crime occurred.

    You want to blame someone--blame the juries in those cases because they believe eyewitness ID's no matter what kind of evidence you present regarding where the defendant really was or how such ID's are completely unreliable.   If a witness says "that's the guy," that's all jurors hear and all they need to convict.  Additionally, if your only witness to where you were is your mother or your brother or your grandma, forget it.  Jurors don't believe them.  BTW, it is very rare that someone is "completely innocent."  Cops don't just come upon people and scoop them up--most of them are already known to police from prior contacts, prior crimes, prior arrests and convictions. 

  • 12-20-2011 8:16 PM In reply to

    • David845
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 05-07-2011
    • NY
    • Posts 21

    Re: Public defenders dont care about their clients...

    Private Attorneys have the choice to turn down cases, there for they have time to put 100% effort into the few cases that they do have. A Public Pretender doesnt have the option to turn down cases, so they become over worked and bitter. Most are angry and treat their clients like welfare recipients. Most of youin this forum are angry because the truth hurts. Public Pretenders Defenders finished at the bottom of their class and no decent law firm wanted them straight out of college, so they had no choice but to be a PD or assistant district attorney.

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