Author Topic: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries  (Read 5754 times)

Offline Hartmann

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2010, 05:32:17 PM »
Yes, Fish's trial attorney was less than useless in responding to the Prosecution re: the ammo he used.   I think he's appealing it with new counsel.
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Offline hunker down bunker

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2010, 11:21:42 AM »
Less recoil, faster follow-up shots, less penetration indoors, more equipment operations, more rounds (I know you dont care, but it can matter), easier to deliver a precision shot, etc.

true, especially if you train house clearing with it or something.  but less penetration?  wouldnt .223 pentrate much more than shot?  making it more likely to end up in your childs bedroom, your cat, your computer.. even your neighbors cat or computer..?  Maybe frangible .223 rounds would cure this problem?  But yeah, more and faster accurate follow up shots for sure

Offline hunker down bunker

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2010, 04:13:08 PM »
ahh.. .223 less penetrating...    i now see this thread:

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=7063.0

Pincus definitely knows more than I do but it's still seems unintuitive.  I am definitely going to recreate this test later this year and try for myself.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2010, 04:36:11 PM »
Might beat you to it. Next time to the range, I've got a chunk of wall built to shoot at. Couple 2 by 4's and some sheet rock, with some insulation in between.

Nice avatar pic btw, and welcome to the forum!
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You're only comin' back to where you'll be found.

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Offline Uncle Bob (he ain’t right)

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2010, 05:30:07 PM »
Jacks comments and threads like this has convinced me to trade in my stainless steel mariner. (pre marinecote) I am looking for two 835 mossburg's to replace it.

Offline RacinRob

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2010, 10:27:21 AM »
I would leave the beat up shotgun in the corner with slugs, but the wife can't shoot it and is scared of it.  So it has to be the mean looking handgun.  Maybe someday I will get a 20ga youth and that will be the new HD gun.  I mean really what would the jury think of a pink gun?

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2010, 10:42:03 AM »
I'm working on an a wall hanger to put the Youth Remington 870 in the hallway so that it can be useful during egress through the house.  I'd like to have it ready for home defense for the wife while I keep my pistol on my person.  The hallway is a great spot but its not long enough to keep the weapon horizontal.  (I'm going to be knocking part of that wall out and adding a closet in the next couple of weeks and I think a cutout inside the door for the shotgun to sit vertically would keep it hidden and still available.  When I get to this project (Hopefully in the next couple of weeks).  I'll post some pictures.  Might like some advice from the group.

As far as the theme of this thread.  I have just recently decided to go with standard gold dot ammo for my personal defense pistols (I was cross loading some PDF hollow points and high velocity FMJ ammo, but considering the legal ramifications and the possibility of over penetration, I decided to only load the hollow points in my handgun) as they are the same ones used by the local cops.  (And I could see juries being swayed by ignorance about the ammo types as well as the look of a weapon)

As much as I love an AR and the battle rifle designs and usefulness (And I will own some in the future when I can afford them), I would not use it for home defense in a "Typical" home defense situation (The shotgun is just better unless i'm being attacked or sieged by a group and felt the added benefits of the rifle would prove more useful).  because of the ignorance of so many potential jury members.  Not that I wouldn't use it to save my life or my families life, but given the opportunity to choose weapons based on the situation, i'd rather have the 20 gauge and avoid the stigma the jury of my peers (Laughable description in my opinion) will undoubtedly bring to the courtroom.



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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2010, 11:45:26 AM »
Two weeks ago I sat in a courtroom for eight grueling hours for jury selection.  It was horrific.

The idea that a jury will ever consist of 12 sensible, impartial citizens is complete nonsense.  When they told you in civics class in school that the court tries to seat such people, that was a lie.  They specifically avoid it.

Over the years I've sat through 12 or 13 days of jury selection for probably 40 or 50 different juries.  Every single time the prosecution selected the six most idiotic, bigoted, opinionated, uneducated morons they thought were prejudiced toward their side.  The defense likewise picked the six most idiotic, bigoted, opinionated, uneducated morons they thought were prejudiced toward their side.  Sensible, normal, educated, impartial people are rarely if ever picked.

Pray to your favorite God that you NEVER have the misfortune to be judged by a jury of your "peers".  I don't care if it's a DUI, trumped up Sexual Harassment case, or worker compensation lawsuit, ALWAYS plea bargain or reach an out-of-court settlement.

Maddening sidenote:  At the end of the day, 5 minutes after 5pm, a man asked the judge what happens to people who ignore the summons to appear.  The judge told us "Nothing.  You wouldn't want to pay the taxes it would cost to chase down all those people".

ARRRRRGH!  The whole courtroom of 60 tired, hungry jury rejects growled and swore under their breaths.

I'm never sitting through that crap again.  Ever.  My time is more valuable than their dog-n-pony show for public benefit.

Offline chrisdfw

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2010, 12:45:44 PM »
Here, you are now reasonably in fear of your life. Lethal force is justified. The burglar may not need a weapon in order to carry out his threat. You do not have to wait to find out.

Absolutely, the fact that the buglar threatened to kill you means that he believed himself capable of doing so without a weapon.

Since you don't know him you should assume that he knows himself better than you know him and the correct action is to put him down.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2010, 12:55:34 PM »
My father always told me, he'd elect to be judged directly by the judge and skip the jury trial if he was ever in that situation.  I agree.  At least the judge (Even if they are some kind of Wackjob with an agenda) probably has a slightly (at the minimum) better understanding of the law and evidence.  So i'd probably agree with him.

I am not sure but I believe you can choose to be judged by the judge without the jury.  Someone with a little (Or lots in this case) more knowledge of our judicial system please chime in as I don't know at all what the law says here).

I'm not talking about defending yourself, I still think its a good idea to have a lawyer who has some experience with the law helping you, but having 12 potentially moronic people judge me or the evidence is just not something I would consider in my best interest.  Not saying that all jury's are made up of morons, some good people do make it onto juries, but in the end, I don't feel confident in their abilities.
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Offline RightArmOfWyoming

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2010, 05:41:32 PM »
One of the many reasons I carry revolvers. They look less "evil" to the non-gun owner than a Glock or chrome semi-auto. Snubbie revolvers harken back to pulp fiction films, and were usually carried by the "good guys." And a hogleg harkens back to cowboy films to the non-gun owner's mind.

Ever read the book "hardcore self defense"? The author recommends carrying a pink knife, because if you have to use it in self-defense, it will look less scary to a jury than a black knife.

I even have a kitty sticker on the stock of my FAL. More for giggles than any "jury" ideas, but I kind of dig the irony.

A much bigger issue than the look of your gun is where you live. In Wyoming, if you have a righteous shoot in true self-defense, you will likely not even make it to trial, even if you use the scariest looking tacticool black rifle available. And you cannot be sued by the scumbag's family. Our Castle Doctrine is solid. And actually our state has such low violent crime that in the two years we've had Castle Doctrine, it's only been used once, and that was a brandishing, not a shooting.

In California or Chicago, if someone breaks into your house and rapes your wife at gunpoint, you come home and kill the guy, you could still face a trial, and even if you get off you could likely be sued for damages by the scumbag's family. And in Ohio if you shoot someone in self-defense, you're legally required to try to resuscitate the scumbag.

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« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 05:46:43 PM by RightArmOfWyoming »
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Offline RightArmOfWyoming

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2010, 05:51:41 PM »
Another thing that's better about living in a red state, redneck state, rural state, western mountain state, etc.....if you ever face a trial of self-defense is you're more likely to have people in the jury pool who actually own guns, even if it's just a deer rifle. They won't be prejudiced against guns in general. That would not be the case in a place like New York City or San Francisco.

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Offline Serellan

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2010, 06:12:52 PM »


As far as the theme of this thread.  I have just recently decided to go with standard gold dot ammo for my personal defense pistols (I was cross loading some PDF hollow points and high velocity FMJ ammo, but considering the legal ramifications and the possibility of over penetration, I decided to only load the hollow points in my handgun) as they are the same ones used by the local cops.  (And I could see juries being swayed by ignorance about the ammo types as well as the look of a weapon)



Yes, it is HIGHLY recommended to use factory loads for defense.  There is a whole thread about it around here somewhere.
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Offline thezoo

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2011, 04:42:53 AM »
My mother in law came for a visit one afternoon and she was talking about the need for the assault weapons ban to continue, so I went to the gun cabinet and grabbed one of my guns, showed it to her, and asked her if it was an assault weapon, to which she replied yes, then i told her it was a 17 hmr single shotbreak action rifle with a bipod and synthetic stock, went back to the gun cabinet brought back 1 30-30 round and 1 17 hmr round and asked her which one does more damage, she chose the 30-30 then i informed her that the gun i just showed her used the smaller round. point is people love to comment about things they dont understand, as if theyr in the know
 :crazy:

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2011, 11:31:35 AM »
Not to belabor it, but I have read up on handloads vs. factory loads for SD extensively.  I didn't buy the reliability concern, nor the negative impression hand loads could make to a jury.  One point sold it for me:

Ballistics (internal, external and terminal). 


If I deploy factory made consumer ammo, it's ballistic properties can be testified to, or potentially tested.  I have little hope of proving anything about my hand loads.

Even that's an outside chance, but at least its based on something material (in my mind).

Offline RPZ

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2011, 11:03:33 AM »
The issue is always; whether or not
Quote
the use of deadly force was justified
. Thats it. If your attorney does not keep the trial and jury on track on this issue you need to fire him or her on the spot and get another. Whether you have a tatoo on your forehead, were wearing a scubadiving wetsuit at the time, used a black gun, a yellow gun, a hatpin, or a shovel, it matters not. The jury needs to get this straight from your attorney. You can interrupt your counsel at anytime, and tell them to make this loud and clear, or they are fired. On the spot, during the trial if needed.

Offline Slomad

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #46 on: April 20, 2011, 09:41:02 AM »
The issue is always; whether or not . Thats it. If your attorney does not keep the trial and jury on track on this issue you need to fire him or her on the spot and get another. Whether you have a tatoo on your forehead, were wearing a scubadiving wetsuit at the time, used a black gun, a yellow gun, a hatpin, or a shovel, it matters not. The jury needs to get this straight from your attorney. You can interrupt your counsel at anytime, and tell them to make this loud and clear, or they are fired. On the spot, during the trial if needed.


I really have to respectfully disagree with this advice. First, hire a good attorney. Then leave him to do his job, since he's probably seen or taken hundreds if not thousands of trials to a jury and knows more than most about trial procedure and jury behavior. I spent five years working first as a prosecutor, then a criminal defense attorney, and 99.9% of the time when clients are freaking out and saying you should be doing/saying X, there's a good reason we're not--usually because the rules disallow it, or it would undermine another element of the defense.

And I assure you, trying to fire your counsel mid-trial is usually a really bad idea that's going to do nothing but make a serious enemy of the judge who is likely going to have to declare a mistrial and spend countless days or weeks repicking a jury and recalling witnesses and evidence. There are situations where it may be called for, but those are rare.

Clients don't like to hear it, but when it comes to an overly complex and arcane legal system, their perfectly reasonable common sense views often don't comport with the reality of the legal system. So they blame the attorney and declare their lawyer as an idiot, based on a completely flawed understanding of the legal system.

Likewise, yes, appearances matter to a jury. If you don't think so, you've never taken a case to trial. One of the most skilled trial attorneys I know went so far as to sell his Mercedes and buy a pickup truck because of the risk of a juror forming a negative impression of him based on his car in the predominantly working class area he practiced in. Appearances matter. A scary black gun shooting is a lot different trial than one involving granddaddy's duck gun.

Offline RPZ

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2011, 09:51:05 AM »
Quote
I really have to respectfully disagree with this advice. First, hire a good attorney. Then leave him to do his job,
Good in theory, not always in practice. If you are fortunate enough to know a good attorney - an honest attorney who has experience in your type of case and you can afford - fine.

Unfortunately, many attorneys have cozy relationships with judges and district attorney. I have three different friends who both were the victims of such corrupt triangles. These were in essence slam dunk cases, and the attorney involved in two of the cases mislead the client and basically threw the cases to the other side.

Have a good attorney? Great. But keep your wits about you as things run. If he or she shows signs of throwing the game, dump them pronto.

Offline ag2

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2011, 10:39:43 AM »
About 25 years ago, in the state of Colorado, my dad was on a jury.  Here's the story:

Acquaintenance knocked on the door.  The home owner and father of the family (with family at home) answered.  After a discussion the acquaintence left.  He returned a few minutes later angry.  Knocked on the door and tried to enter (door was locked).  Father answered and said he was not welcome and was told to leave.  Acquaintenance left, then returned again banging on the door.  Homeowner answered with shotgun in hand, opened the door and acquaintance pushed his way in to the house.  Homeowner fired a WARNING shot straight up.  Warning shot brought glass down on the intruder from a skylight partially blinding one eye.  Intruder took the homeowner to court!  My dad was a very quiet man, not one to speak in public.  Jury deliberation was almost complete and the 11 other jury members were about to hand down a sentence to the home owner, until my dad finally spoke up (because he was stunned at how this was unfolding.  He explained the wrong person was on trial.  He said that the homeowner was defending his family and asked each juror to put themselves in his shoes.  The homeowner made it very clear that the acquaintenance was not welcome and he had no right to push his way into the home.  Thankfully, the jury quickly realized that they were all duped by the slick lawyers of the bad guy and the scales fell off their eyes.  They found the homeowner not guilty, but that was a close one.
Mild-mannered beans, bullion, band aids, bullets prepper cautiously watching history repeat itself.

Offline Slomad

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2011, 10:03:43 PM »
Good in theory, not always in practice. If you are fortunate enough to know a good attorney - an honest attorney who has experience in your type of case and you can afford - fine.

I'll be the first to admit there are bad attorneys and sometimes people get them. The problem is nonattorneys very often have very little knowledge as to what makes a bad attorney. From my own personal experience, I've seen a guy who was universally known by those in the profession in the area as the absolute WORST attorney. Unskilled, uninformed, barely educated and just downright stupid. But clients loved him because he was aggressive and loud. They thought that was indicative of a good attorney. And that's the problem--if you're a nonlawyer it's often hard to know who is a good attorney, and what people think is a good quality to have usually isn't.

Quote
Unfortunately, many attorneys have cozy relationships with judges and district attorney. I have three different friends who both were the victims of such corrupt triangles. These were in essence slam dunk cases, and the attorney involved in two of the cases mislead the client and basically threw the cases to the other side.

This is a perfect example. You WANT an attorney to have a good relationship with the prosecutor and the judge. No, you don't want someone who will cave because of friendship, but I assure you, having a good working relationship is 9 times out of 10 invaluable to a defense attorney. As a prosecutor, I've seen defense attorneys who were known as "difficult to work with" (meaning they generally fought over stupid pointless things in an attempt to make their client think they were working hard for them) get terrible plea offers from other prosecutors out of spite, and seen judges purposefully screw them on rulings just because they were assholes. As a defense attorney, the good relationship I had cultivated with prosecutors (by going to lunch on occasion, by being professional and friendly, by not making things unnecessarily difficult) directly led to much better results than others got with similar cases.

You have to remember--judges and lawyers are people. And they work with each other day after day after day for their entire careers, so cultivating a good relationship is vital to being effective. No, it doesn't mean you become a pushover, but far too often clients don't understand that the laughing, handshaking, and time spent at lunch they saw the defense attorney and prosecutor sharing...led directly to better results for clients.


Quote
Have a good attorney? Great. But keep your wits about you as things run. If he or she shows signs of throwing the game, dump them pronto.

I'm not saying attorneys throwing cases doesn't happen, but I have to say, I don't think I've ever seen it. Contrary to popular belief, most attorneys respect a skilled adversary who challenges them, so there is little incentive to "throw" cases. In fact, it's a disincentive. As a lawyer, your reputation is your most important asset. To throw it away because of some imagined benefit you'd receive by throwing a case because you were "cozy" with the prosecutor is judge is career suicide. Has it happened? Sure, probably. But it's really so rare it's hardly worth mentioning.

The bigger risk people face is attorney incompetence. This happens more often than you'd think. The problem, as I said, is that it's hard for nonlawyers to recognize. Being loud and aggressive aren't hallmarks of competence. There are subtle signs that those not in the field really have a hard time recognizing. That's why I emphasize the importance of attorney selection. One of the best ways to find out who is good is go down to the courthouse and speak to bailiffs and the clerks. They see the attorneys everyday and they hear all the endless gossip that floats around in a courthouse. If there's a bad attorney, they know who it is. They're not going to come out and tell you who to avoid, but they'll likely steer you towards someone good.

Offline RPZ

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2011, 10:34:05 PM »
First a correction:
Quote
Unfortunately, many attorneys have cozy relationships with judges and district attorney. I have three different friends who both were the victims of such corrupt triangles. These were in essence slam dunk cases, and the attorney involved in two of the cases mislead the client and basically threw the cases to the other side.
This should read I have three different friends, two of which were the victims of such corrupt triangles
----------------------

Quote
This is a perfect example. You WANT an attorney to have a good relationship with the prosecutor and the judge.
No. I want an attorney who is going to demonstrate by the facts of the case, witnesses, physical evidence etc, and the law, that I have not comitted a crime.

No, you don't want someone who will cave because of friendship, but I assure you, having a good working relationship is 9 times out of 10 invaluable to a defense attorney.
Quote
As a prosecutor, I've seen defense attorneys who were known as "difficult to work with" (meaning they generally fought over stupid pointless things in an attempt to make their client think they were working hard for them)... etc
What one person sees as "stupid" is not so stuipid to another. But generally a good attorney will not waste his or her time argueing stupidity. If you have an attorney that appears to be so inclined; fire them and get another.
Quote
I'm not saying attorneys throwing cases doesn't happen, but I have to say, I don't think I've ever seen it. Contrary to popular belief, most attorneys respect a skilled adversary who challenges them, so there is little incentive to "throw" cases. In fact, it's a disincentive. As a lawyer, your reputation is your most important asset. To throw it away because of some imagined benefit you'd receive by throwing a case because you were "cozy" with the prosecutor is judge is career suicide. Has it happened? Sure, probably. But it's really so rare it's hardly worth mentioning.
I have, as mentioned above. It is not rare at all. That is a fact. On the contrary it seems to be quite common. And perhaps it is that many clients don't know it happened to them - so there is no loss of face or reputation on the part of the attorney. The client thinks they "did well" with a plea agreement, or reduced charge/sentence etc.

Offline Slomad

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #51 on: April 23, 2011, 11:51:36 PM »
First a correction:This should read I have three different friends, two of which were the victims of such corrupt triangles
----------------------
No. I want an attorney who is going to demonstrate by the facts of the case, witnesses, physical evidence etc, and the law, that I have not comitted a crime.

And a good attorney knows that, often, the facts, witnesses, physical evidence, and the law aren't what win or lose a case. I'm not saying it's right, but it's truth. A lot of people go to jail that shouldn't because they refuse to understand this.

Quote
What one person sees as "stupid" is not so stuipid to another. But generally a good attorney will not waste his or her time argueing stupidity. If you have an attorney that appears to be so inclined; fire them and get another.

The problem is, as someone who has little knowledge of the law and rules of evidence, most citizens in this position have little way to know what is and isn't stupid. As I said, the law isn't always, or even usually, about what makes intuitive sense. So someone without the education and experience in the field may think the lawyer should be doing something, or not doing something, when there is a very, very good reason the lawyer is doing what they are. Sure, in some cases it's obvious when the lawyer is making a mistake. But more often than not, it's rare. I can't count the number of times I've had clients practically yelling at me about me not telling their story the way they want, or presenting some evidence in a certain way...only to have the apologizing when I won because of the very thing they were angry about. This isn't just me. Most attorneys can tell stories all day about clients who think they know best, and were wrong. Sometimes, you need to trust the expert.


Quote
. It is not rare at all. That is a fact. On the contrary it seems to be quite common. And perhaps it is that many clients don't know it happened to them - so there is no loss of face or reputation on the part of the attorney. The client thinks they "did well" with a plea agreement, or reduced charge/sentence etc.

Your information comes from three friends who are clearly biased about how their cases went down, and very possibly, if my experience is any indicator, don't understand why things happened the way they did. Is it possible things worked out because of some nefarious collusion between crooked lawyers? Sure. Likely that all of them had the same problem? Hardly. My experience, as someone who did this for a living and spent countless hours dealing with other lawyers and working in courtrooms, is the exact opposite of yours.

Obviously, everyone has to make their own judgments. I would suggest, though, that sometimes it's probably best to hear your lawyer out rather than jumping to conclusions based on inherently limited information when one doesn't have the education or experience the lawyer does. That's not to say lawyers can't be wrong, but the odds are usually much lower that someone who doesn't do it for a living knows more than the expert.

Offline Slomad

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #52 on: April 24, 2011, 12:02:47 AM »
An additional point re: firing your lawyer. You'll notice that nearly all lawyers will ask if you were previously represented by someone before you came to them. The reason they ask this is because people who fire their lawyers tend to (though not always of course) be "problem clients" that do not want to listen to their lawyer. When a lawyer hears you had another lawyer, it's a big warning flag to them to investigate further before agreeing to represent someone. I know there were many times when clients would come to me after firing some very competent lawyers (or having their lawyer quit on them). In most cases, once I got the whole story, I would learn information that made it pretty clear they were trouble, and would send them on their way. This is pretty common practice, so what often happens is that they have a hard time finding quality representation, and end up hiring a lawyer with less experience who is desperate for cash and will take anyone.

Again, this isn't just me saying this. I've been to continuing education classes where this was taught as the best way to avoiding bar grievances or malpractice suits since these sort of clients generally have issues thinking they know more than their lawyer and don't want to listen.

Offline RPZ

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #53 on: April 24, 2011, 04:08:51 AM »
Slomad
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Your information comes from three friends who are clearly biased about how their cases went down, and very possibly, if my experience is any indicator, don't understand why things happened the way they did. Is it possible things worked out because of some nefarious collusion between crooked lawyers? Sure. Likely that all of them had the same problem? Hardly. My experience, as someone who did this for a living and spent countless hours dealing with other lawyers and working in courtrooms, is the exact opposite of yours.

Obviously, everyone has to make their own judgments. I would suggest, though, that sometimes it's probably best to hear your lawyer out rather than jumping to conclusions based on inherently limited information when one doesn't have the education or experience the lawyer does. That's not to say lawyers can't be wrong, but the odds are usually much lower that someone who doesn't do it for
In one case I am intimately familiar with the law - it is my licenced line of work, so I have to know it - and the facts of the case. The guy concerned unfortunately was somewhat overwhelmed at the time, and took his attorney's advice to accept a conditional dismissal. Almost bankrupt he is now almost on his feet again and might pursue criminal charges against the peace officer, the DA, and probably the judge concerned. He was smart enough at the time to sign the dismissal papers "under duress" - to which he says both the DA and judge laughed openly. We will see if they are still laughing later this year.

In the other two cases I know the persons concerned very well indeed. Case two, the criminal defendant, the attorney, and the judge were all members of the same well-known club. One good reason for the legislatures to examine the fraternal associations of judges, members of the bar etc.

I have two attorney friends who I would trust without any concerns at all. But I have known them personally for many years, I know their morals are sound. One has spoken quite frankly to me about just how much corruption he has witnessed in the courtroom. In addition to being an attorney he has also been a prosecutor. I'll leave it at that.

What you see may differ, what I have seen gives enough cause for concern when relying on just any attorney, who is afterall an officer of the court.

Quote
An additional point re: firing your lawyer. You'll notice that nearly all lawyers will ask if you were previously represented by someone before you came to them. The reason they ask this is because people who fire their lawyers tend to (though not always of course) be "problem clients" that do not want to listen to their lawyer. When a lawyer hears you had another lawyer, it's a big warning flag to them to investigate further before agreeing to represent someone. I know there were many times when clients would come to me after firing some very competent lawyers (or having their lawyer quit on them). In most cases, once I got the whole story, I would learn information that made it pretty clear they were trouble, and would send them on their way. This is pretty common practice, so what often happens is that they have a hard time finding quality representation, and end up hiring a lawyer with less experience who is desperate for cash and will take anyone
I know, and I would say good riddance. There are plenty of good lawyers out there, and it might take sveral dry runs to find one who is truly putting his or her client's interests first.





Offline Slomad

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #54 on: April 24, 2011, 06:10:23 AM »

In the other two cases I know the persons concerned very well indeed. Case two, the criminal defendant, the attorney, and the judge were all members of the same well-known club. One good reason for the legislatures to examine the fraternal associations of judges, members of the bar etc.

Being a member of the same club is pretty common, and if you think that somehow means there is some collusion, you're going to have a hard time finding a lawyer. Heck, I'm in some clubs and organizations and, honestly, I really can't stand half the people involved since I've gotten a good look at their true character. I certainly wouldn't throw a case and shirk my professional obligation just because we both had memberships in some club.

For that matter, in small to medium size markets, I think you'll find that most lawyers not only know each other, but went to law school and even college together. When I started as a prosecutor in a medium size market, I literally knew 3/4 of the public defenders that I went up against from law school. We'd shake hands before a case, put on our game faces and duke it out like nobody's business, and when the case was done we'd go get beers together and laugh about it all and tease the loser mercilessly. You see, most lawyers are highly competitive and hate to lose. And we're generally pretty capable people, able to separate friendships from professional obligations. I know I and probably all of my lawyer friends would never, EVER have any respect for a lawyer that shirked his job thinking they were doing me a favor. Not saying it has never happened, but I wouldn't assume just because someone is friends that it means they colluded.

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #55 on: April 24, 2011, 06:42:43 AM »
The quote-fest needs to stop please. This thread has slowly turned into a lawyer ethics thread. Lets get it back on track or it's about to die a quick death.

Ya know, the more I think about it the madder I get.  Our motto, what we believed down in our heart, went something like this "ye though I walk through the Valley of Death we will fear no evil...for we are the baddest mother strawberry pickers in the Valley".

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Offline technicalanarchy

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Re: The Effect of Weapon Appearance on Trial Juries
« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2011, 12:28:42 PM »
The quote-fest needs to stop please. This thread has slowly turned into a lawyer ethics thread. Lets get it back on track or it's about to die a quick death.

The sad fact is nothing is more important in many courts more than the judge and lawyers involved in the case. From beginning to end the legal system more a game of chess than a search for justice or the truth.

That said I think if a self defense shooting makes it as far as court then it's usually not going to go well for the defendant.
Thanks,
Mike