As cliche as it may seem, it was after reading a John Grisham book. I knew I wanted to be in the courtroom trying cases and believed, and still believe, everyone deserves a good defense. It really bothered me how it often seemed people with a lot of money to spend on a defense were more likely to win than someone with little to no money. I wanted to help people and make sure everyone gets a good a zealous defense no matter what their financial resources.
I became interested and involved with the criminal law early on. I began work dealing with the death penalty when I was a freshman in high school. I also worked with a public defender for a semester while still in high school. In college, I wrote a thesis on the death penalty and corresponded with numerous attorneys and even went to the US Supreme Court to hear oral arguments on a death penalty case, Atkins v. Virginia, involving a mentally retarded defendant. After college, I volunteered at the American Bar Association's Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project working on a comprehensive report dealing with the death penalty throughout the US. In law school I worked alongside a criminal defense attorney for 2 and a half years writing motions and preparing arguments for trial. I also spent a semester working with the district attorney's office and a summer with a federal judge. I spent a lot of time in my coursework studying the rules of evidence, criminal law, and trial strategy. I wrote comprehensive papers on evidentiary issues and on the right to confrontation.
I practice on my own and do all of my own work. I know many firms have legal assistants who do a lot of the work or legal writing. When you hire me, you know 100% of the work done on your case will have been completed by me. That said, I do consult with other attorneys and experts on most of my cases. I have a close working relationship with several investigators and experts (including psychiatrist, polygraph examiners, and interpreters).
I believe the key to a good defense, besides having a competent lawyer who understands the law and legal system, is a good working relationship. If you are not comfortable with the lawyer with whom you are working, it is difficult to trust that person and work with them. Thus, I make a concerted effort to foster a good relationship with my clients and to make myself as available as possible. I often have answered the phone after working hours, even at early hours in the morning, and responded to clients questions while outside of the office.
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