Thursday, May 23, 2013


Thank you Megyn Kelly for getting so hot under the collar at the defense this lawyer gives of a cold blooded murderer. Can you imagine the outrage throughout TV land and the mainstream media if someone defended convicted criminals like Josef Mengele of the Nazi era? Could you imagine the rage over a lawyer defending a convicted pedophile in the way this lawyer defends Gosnell?


Marc said...

This is a completely unprofessional interview on the part of this "journalist". She clearly misunderstands our criminal justice system in general, and she appears to misunderstwnd the nature of jury fact-finding in particular.

Without courageous criminal defense lawyers taking these difficult cases, the people of the United States could have no confidence in the outcomes of these highly publicized trials or any other proceeding for that matter.

Our country has literally gone to war on the premise that it is necessary to spread our system of laws because it is "the best system in the world". One of the aspects that makes our system function better than others is the accordance of rights to the criminally accused, including the assistance of competent defense counsel. Why, then, is this "journalist" angry at this attorney for upholding that system.

I would expect the warmongers at Fox News to understand their argument for American imperialism rests, at least in part, on attempting to spread these ideas to the "uncivilized" people's of other areas...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Why would this lawyer place himself in an interview like this to begin with and then say "well things went array at this death mill of Gosnell" as though the horrors there are minor because he only got convicted of three counts of murder. Shouldn't the lawyer just keep his damn mouth shut?

Marc said...

I'm sure Fox News asked him to come on. Knowing they would say, "We asked his attorney to give an interview and he declined," I'm sure he decided strategically it was best to give the interview (and he's in business and this is free advertising).

So, since he was compelled to give an interview, he can't just go in and say, "Yeah... He did it. You got him!" The process continues, and he has a continuing ethical obligation to his client. Furthermore, he knows the client's version of things so I am certain he is basing his talking points on that version.

And since the jury only convicted on certain counts, it is entirely proper to limit discussion to those counts. That's the way our system of jury fact-finding works.

I haven't had a case with this level of press obviously, but I know they involve comprehensive media strategies. I thought the lawyer comported himself well in the interview. I, personally, would not have said things went awry or that the lack of bureaucratic oversight was even partially to blame. But, I didn't follow this case, so I don't know if that was part of their defense. If it was, it makes sense he would continue to tow that line through direct appeal and post-conviction.

The interviewer, again, was terrible. She got it right at the outset saying our system shouldn't equate lawyers with their clients' positions. Then, she immediately forgot that principle and became emotionally involved. Terrible journalism.

Dexter Gordon said...

Attorneys: A necessary evil. One most of us pray we will have to employ as little as possible.

The best are narcissistic automatons who can manipulate the legal codes to suit whatever they are trying to prosecute or defend. The worst are incompetent and ruin the lives of their clients. This high-paid mercenary is just another example of an educated man who has decided to defend what is indefensible.

No matter what happens in the courtroom, one universal truth remains: The attorneys always get paid.

Marc said...

If attorneys didn't defend what is indefensible, our system would be meaningless. Lets hope you're never wrongfully accused of something "indefensible".

Your understanding of what attorneys do is shoddy at best. And your characterization of attorneys as money-hungry beasts, while possibly describing some, could just as easily be applied to every profession in America and the developed world.

Finally, in quite a high number of criminal cases, attorneys don't get paid or at least fail to collect their entire fee. I've seen attorneys go bankrupt representing clients in death penalty cases.

The irony of the American pastime of condemning lawyers is that our purported "best system in the history of civilization" was conceived and built by lawyers working for what they perceived to be the common good.

And of course, Christ himself is an excellent model of what a criminal defense lawyer should be. Consider his defense of the adulteress. What a closing argument!

rcg said...

I don't think the attorney was trying to excuse the actions. His characterisations that 'things went overboard' was pretty lame and may have hurt his client.

The trial is not just for the accused; it is also for the accusers. In this case it is society. This was an evil act, but it is a human being on trial, so we have to be very careful not only that we are absolutely clear concerning the culpability of the accused, but especially in the nature of what was done. But most important of all, if we are going to judge and take action based on that judgement that we can also stand the same level of scrutiny for our actions in the trial.

Anonymous 5 said...

The American legal system has many weaknesses and permits, sometimes even encourages, immoral outcomes. Observance of legal ethics sometimes can require behavior that the Judeo-Christian tradition might see as immoral.

I think one of the greatest weaknesses in an adversarial system is the need for spin and media campaigns. It's what you see in Washington these days--these's the sense that you, as a partisan can't concede _anything_, that the opposition is wrong in evry respect. To a disinterested party this just doesn't feel right.

In an adversarial system, each side is not so much trying to ensure that truth prevails as it is trying to win. The premise is that this is the best way to make sure that the truth does prevail, but in practice I'm not at all sure that this is the case. Perhaps we'd be better served by the inquisitorial system, where the neutral judge takes a more active role in ferreting out the truth (and which gave the Inquisition its name).

Despite the law's problems, I still subscribe to what Robert Bolt has St. Thomas More say:

Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man's laws, not God's — and if you cut them down — and you're just the man to do it — d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

Dexter Gordon said...


For all your anecdotal evidence of criminal attorneys filing for bankruptcy, the average Joe on the street doesn't see that. None of us picture F. Lee Bailey, Robert Shapiro or Louis Nizer living in poverty. If your profession is unfairly maligned, you have no one but your brother practitioners to blame. The sleazy billboards plastered with a slick-grinning attorney who promises to "super-size" awards do not help either. Too many regular guys have paid through the nose for representation or been unjustly victimized by professional litigators who go looking for "new business" to give the legal profession any sympathy. It is the Trial Lawyers associations who consistently oppose tort reform and put their money behind lefty candidates who will keep the current unreformed system in place (and continue to support abortion on demand). It is your brother attorneys who pretend to have our interests at heart in the courtroom only to have dinner with the opposing attorney when it's all over with (or even before).

If attorneys want respect, they need to clean up their act from within. If being a lawyer is the world's second oldest profession, for the present it bears a remarkable resemblance to the first.

Marc said...

I can't disagree with your assessment of the billboard type of lawyers. Honestly, I hadn't considered them in my apologia because one rarely encounters them in actual practice and never in a courtroom. Advertising has degraded the profession to be certain.

As for tort reform, I don't know much of it as it doesn't concern my practice. I don't know the point of it since we have a jury system wherein random people determine liability and damages. Alternatively, people could avoid being negligent.

For my part, I'm more concerned about the State in which I reside actively trying to kill my clients. Tort reform seems rather meaningless thru that lens. And that is why I do the work I do.

Your points are well-taken. But, on the whole, I think the profession is still quite honorable and noble.

Dexter Gordon said...

Aw Marc,

Didja have to be so polite? Now you're makin' me feel bad.

Anonymous 5 said...


To rub salt in your wound, :-) I'll vouch for Marc. He has enough brain power to be a rich Wall Street laywer, yet he works for peanuts with very unpleasant people, most of whom probably did in fact commit the heinous stuff they're accused of, who a) suspect he's trying to set them up or b) think they know better than he how to defend themselves. His office operates on a shoestring budget and he's up against well-funded law-enforcement agencies whose memebrs know just what to say on the stand and prosecutors' offices. He's generally reviled by John Q. Public for defending animals who "ought to be shot like rabid dogs rather than be given a free ride in the pen for 50 years at taxpayer expense," etc., etc. As a consolation prize, if he loses, he gets to be there to watch his clients when they're killed by the state.

I must say it's right on up there who hate professors at public colleges, such as my wife, who are paid for sitting around doing nothing and whom we need to try to get a little honest work out. (My wife and her department chair once worked out that given their huge workloads, if they were paid by the hour, they'd average about $2.50/hour before taxes, but let's don't confuse theories with the facts.)

To be fair, I do know lawyers such as you mention. They're out there in profusion. I've had to deal with them myself, even in theoretically reputable firms. I once had one of these reputable lawyers withhold, through negligence, some very important information from me But Marc's world isn't that one.