How do you feel about clients educating themselves and utilizing the internet for researching issues relevant to their case?
I encourage clients to educate themselves on the charges alleged by the police. A client who becomes familiar with the charges and elements necessary to obtain a conviction can help point out the deficiencies in the prosecutions case. Clients have a unique knowledge of the facts and often times don’t realize the importance of certain details. After learning about the specific charges alleged, clients are often in a better position to inform me of the facts of the stop and/or arrest. Remember, “Knowledge is power.”
How do you feel about reviewing documents prepared by clients and incorporating their research into the defense?
I often find myself reviewing client research and encourage their participation. Although, I have special training in the legal field often times clients have special training or knowledge on issues that are relevant to the case. An example of this is with diabetics and DWI stops. A client’s special knowledge of the disease and how it can impact their case is vital information required for a proper defense. Having handled many DWI / diabetes cases I have become extremely knowledgeable about the disease and it’s impact on DWI testing. Much of this knowledge came directly from clients and their participation is appreciated and encouraged.
Are you willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?
You know the saying “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” I am not in favor of clients representing themselves, particularly when the client has no formal legal training. Rules of evidence are complicated and knowing how to properly conduct a trial takes years of training and experience. I am in favor of clients participating heavily in formulating the defensive strategy. If a client chooses to represent themselves in court, I can be retained to “Second Seat” the pro-se litigant. This way if you have an issue with the judge or courtroom procedures I can be consulted with immediately.
What influenced your decision to purse a legal career?
My father, grandfather and several uncles all played a part in my choosing the legal profession. I was raised often hearing legal war stories and found myself drawn into the field. Since my first experience in the courtroom I knew that I had made the right decision.
What work experience and education helps you be a better lawyer?
Prior to becoming a lawyer I worked many jobs in the service industries that put me in direct contact with the public. It was during these years that I developed my people skills that I find so helpful with a jury.
During law school I worked in the law library where I learned how to properly research legal issues. You would be surprised to learn how many resources there are available to an attorney when unique or novel questions of law are presented.
Why did you decide on your primary area of practice?
As I mentioned earlier my father is an attorney and he is the major reason that I started practicing criminal defense. At this point, I can’t see any other area of law that would interest me. I love defending clients, and protecting their rights.
What do you like best about your career?
I like being in court and fighting to protect client’s rights. There is nothing worse then feeling helpless when the power of the state is prosecuting you. I love being able to fight for clients facing the criminal process who are unable to fight for themselves. I love the fact that my client’s know that I am fighting for them.
What are your strengths and style?
I am always ready for trial and will not back down to the district attorney. I will tell you like it is from the start so that you can know what to expect. This straight forward advise will enable you to determine if you should go to trial, try for a reduction or plea to the charge. If you are looking for a lawyer who is confident, knowledgeable and ready to fight to protect your rights then you will like my style. My goal is to provide the best results for my client’s.
Personal Interests and hobbies:
Although I seem to be working seven days a week, when I’m not working I participate in triathlon events, surf, and spend time with my fiancé and my children.