Jeff Gamso on the Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney

by Jamison Koehler on June 21, 2011

I have written before about the apparently never-ending discussion on the ABA listserv Solosez about the proper role for a criminal defense attorney.  In responding to the latest thread, Jeff Gamso put it about as well as I have ever seen it.  Next topic?


Your job is not to make the state competent.  It’s not to secure good government or able and honest police and prosecutors.

Your job is to represent your client.  If it’s possible to get an acquittal – even if the state’s case is strong and they’ve behaved honorably and your client is guilty as sin, then your job is to get an acquittal.

Regardless, your job is ever and always to do the best possible for the client.  Nothing else.

If you don’t get that, don’t do criminal law.  Period.

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