I will note that I know of at least one bad PD. He is the father of a very close friend. Since he is still practicing, I'll only note that this is in PA.Of course they are. I've seen a few myself. There is a percentage of bad actors in every single job or profession in the criminal justice system. However, to be fair, paid lawyers can be just as bad. Just because someone goes out and hires a "paid" lawyer doesn't mean he's getting a better lawyer; it just means he's getting a lawyer for whom he paid more money. Sadly, there is no way for a defendant to know if he's hiring the best attorney in town or the best advertised attorney. I've seen a number of people trade down when they hired a private lawyer over their court appointed / PD; I've also seen trades up. But what can you do? You cannot walk up to someone, box his ears and say, "You idjut, you just paid a firm $5k and they sent a kid who passed the bar two months ago to represent you in an attempted murder case. The PD you fired has been doing this for twenty years and won his last 6 juries." Likewise, you cannot walk up and say, "IMO, the attorney the judge just appointed to you sucks. You need to go hire someone."
He regularly pleas people out because it is easy, and laughs about it at the dinner table. He's talked about a nod-and-wink agreement with the DA, and mentioned how that makes everything easier.
I think he's a bad actor; not indicative of PDs, at all. But I feel it must be said that they're out there.
17 June 2005
"Paid Attorney" = "Good Attorney"?
In a comment to the post below about real / paid attorneys:
Author: Ken Lammers on 6/17/2005