Interviewer: Does this relationship radically change what will happen in the case?
Eric: Sure it can. Judges are people too and some judges are excellent judges and some judges are terrible judges. What do I mean by a terrible judge? There are some judges who are very prosecution oriented, although they probably will deny that. That’s reality, that’s their bias. They’re just a prosecution oriented. There are some judges who lean more to the defense.
The way a judge is and the way he handles his courtroom can make a case a lot more pleasant to handle and to deal with than a judge who is always yelling at somebody and being unreasonable regarding scheduling and anything has to be done with the case.
We can’t shop for the judge and we have the judge who we have on a case. It doesn’t mean that we fight any less hard for our client regarding the judge. We defend our case. We always defend our clients to our best ability regardless of who the judge is.
It Is Important for Attorneys to Know How Best to Work with Individual Judges
Interviewer: I don’t know if there are there any judges that have a reputation as a doomsday judge?
Eric: Now I think there are some doomsday judges. I think that certain lawyers handle those doomsday judges differently than others. Certainly in each county, I’ve been in front of their certain judges, that for instance on my driving while intoxicated cases, there’s a few judges that I just don’t ever want to be in front of again. Of course, I have cases in front of them.
You have to handle those judges and those cases correctly because that’s just what it is. We’d never tell a client, “Don’t come back to court.” As much as you may think in the back of your mind, “Who would want to come here?” You never want to tell that client. We always come to court and we always do what we have to do. The judges themselves have to proceed carefully because there’s a transcript of everything that’s said in a courtroom.
The judge will have to watch what he says and does as well because if he goes outside his boundaries, there’s a higher court that will look at that and they’ll send it back down again or dismiss the case. As much as the judge may not be pleasant to deal with, we try to protect everybody as best as we can with that.
Are You Considering Retaining an Attorney? When It Comes to Criminal Defense, Do You Get What You Pay For?
Interviewer: Some people may feel, “Well, what about just going with a less expensive lawyer?” What’s wrong with that line of thinking?
Eric: We have encountered that mindset. With a driving while intoxicated case, unfortunately like in every profession, if you look hard enough I’m sure you’ll find a cheaper alternative somewhere else. I like to think that you get what you pay for.
To Provide the Best Defense and Know about the Latest Technology, There Are Attorneys Who Work on Continuing Their Education Yearly
I can’t speak for every other lawyer but I devote a great deal of time to my cases. I take close to 30 credits of continuing legal education every year. I stay up to date with the latest science, the latest technology, the latest trial techniques, the latest of anything that’s out there to make sure that we can supply the best we can for our client.
There are lawyers out there who don’t have that training and don’t have the experience. I see lawyers come to court without even a file. They come in and they’ll help the person basically plead guilty. It’s not usually the best way to go.
It Is Better to Judge an Attorney’s Proficiency Based on His or Her Ability, Not Their Fee
The pennywise-dollar foolish used to say, “You think it’s expensive to hire an expert, wait till you see how expensive is to hire an amateur.” You never want to gauge a lawyer on his fee. You want to gauge a lawyer on his ability and his experience.
By Eric Sachs