After a great deal of consideration I am not going to teach the State Bar Association course on how to defend a a DUI. The reason? I am not going to lecture prosecutors and police on my strategy to win your case. It is one thing when I teach strictly defense lawyers, and even some of them don’t get it. But to make the police and prosecutors aware of the things they are missing, I am not going to do it. You retain me to exploit their weaknesses as they have the burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I don’t tell them our defense when I walk into the courtroom before trial, so why should I tell them in November so they are prepared starting the day after. Some State’s Attorney’s Offices send a few prosecutors who then go back and tell everyone what we say so they can prepare for YOUR defense.
I understand my obligation to help other lawyers and I have been teaching them since 1981, so I have never shirked sharing my knowledge and strategies. However defense lawyers are NEVER invited to training sessions for prosecutors, yet we are inviting them to ours. I know and was told I can try to dumb it down, but then no one gets what they pay for. You either do it right or you don’t do it. So this year I don’t do it. I still answer questions from lawyers who call or come up to me in the courthouse because they are not sure what to do in their case (you get what you pay for). I have been criticized on our list serve for taking the faces off of lawyers who take a small fee and then refuse to read or research anything and expect others to do their work. You pay them money and just get a warm body to show up, and your defense is based on what some other lawyer, whom you did not pay nor know anything about, told the lawyer you retained. There is no sanction for being lazy and stupid, and the client does not have anyway of knowing how the case was prepared. He or she just knows they got someone with a law degree who was cheap. My former partner used to tell clients, “if you pay peanuts, you get a monkey.” I have stolen that line and used it on many occasions.
So this Fall prosecutors and police are not going to hear from me unless we are in a courtroom and a client is sitting next to me. It was honestly hard to say no, but that was more ego than intellect. My obligation is to you.