U.S. Capitol building

Goodbye to Dana Tapper and the PDS Summer Interns

Jamison Koehler Juveniles

Summer is over, and the Public Defender Service (PDS) interns assigned to the Youth Services Center are gone. Although I never met any of them in person (they were there during the day, and I visit clients evenings and over the weekend), I will miss them very much. So will my clients. The interns were young and smart and had …

U.S. Capitol building

Leaving the Drama — and Surprises — for Closing Argument

Jamison Koehler Trial Advocacy

Your client is cranky with you for the lousy job he thinks you are doing on cross-examination. There are no dramatic “gotcha” moments like you see on T.V. Instead, every time you elicit what appears to be an inconsistency in the witness’ testimony, you pull back, moving onto a new line of questioning. It is almost as if you didn’t …

Aerial view of DC

Met and Unmet Client Expectations

Jamison Koehler Law Practice

Over at Tempe Criminal Defense, Matt Brown has been talking about expectations – client expectations and his own.  “The angry client rant is tough,” Brown says. And the problem, he says, starts with expectations. Clients expect the system to treat them fairly.  They blame their lawyers when it doesn’t: I would like to think that my threshold for having people …

Managing Client Expectations

Jamison Koehler Law Practice

Indigent criminal defendants often have two simultaneous and potentially irreconcilable opinions of the lawyers who are appointed to represent them. On the one hand, they have absolutely no respect for the public defender or court-appointed lawyer. You aren’t a real lawyer, they say. You are working with the government.  It is easier for you if I just plead guilty.  And …

U.S. Capitol Building

Get Out of My Office: A Hypothetical Interview With a Potential Client

Jamison Koehler Law Marketing/Networking, Law Practice, Professional Responsibility/Ethics

A woman and her son come into the office for a consultation. At the end of the hour, the woman turns to me and tells me that they have also met with a number of other criminal defense lawyers.  “Why should we hire you?” she wants to know. I have to say, I am somewhat taken aback by the question. …

Aerial view of DC

Grace. Class. Loyalty to the Client.

Jamison Koehler Professional Responsibility/Ethics

  “I want a new lawyer.” The defendant and his lawyer have clearly had some type of disagreement, and this is what the defendant, standing at the bar of the court alongside counsel, says to the judge. Who knows what the issue is?  Maybe the lawyer wasn’t returning phone calls. In this case, the defendant would be justified in seeking …