How Does Your Experience Benefit Your Client’s Legal Defense?
Interviewer: You have been practicing for 27 plus years. Why is it a benefit for a potential client to choose you as an attorney, as opposed to someone practicing just a few years?
Carl: The benefit is experience. I have handled literally thousands of cases. I have prosecuted thousands of cases as a municipal prosecutor. I have tried hundreds of cases.
I have seen the same issues come up. I know how to handle them. I know how to explain to a client what the ramifications are of what we are about to do. When a decision has to be made, I spend a great deal of my time educating my client.
Through experience, I know the way the case will end. This knowledge is based on having done this many times; having gone in front of many judges; and having dealt with the issues over and over again. My clients are confident what I am telling them is tried and true. It is something I have gone through before.
Very often, my clients are newcomers to the criminal justice system and to municipal court practice. They do not know how it is going to end. First of all, I try to educate them and let them know everything is going to be okay.
Secondly, I do have a road map and I do have the answers. I will do my very best to navigate their case so they understand what is going to happen even before it happens. I make my clients feel comfortable with the system.
Otherwise, it is very uncomfortable for most people. They think it is unpredictable. However, in many ways, the criminal justice system, and municipal practice in municipal courts or traffic, is quite predictable. The more education you have, and the more time I spend, the more you will see that.
Interviewer: Oftentimes, attorneys advertise, “We are aggressive. We will fight for you. We will beat the other side into a pulp.” How does that relate to how you practice?
Carl: The reality is every case has to be handled in a customized way. I am an advocate, of course. I think the best approach is not to be aggressive. It is to be thorough. I will get the reports. I will get the videos. I review them with my clients and make them understand the strategies I would like to employ.
A better approach is not to be a bull in a china shop. It is actually one where the approach is intelligent. It is thoughtful. It actually works with not only the client, but also with the prosecutor to reach a result that is amicable. The result is better than the client ever dreamed.
Being a bull in a china shop, or being highly aggressive, does not always accomplish the client’s objectives. Again, I prefer to be more thoughtful about the case.
I go into court with a strategy, usually a plan A and plan B. None of them involve bullying people. Instead, I am someone who can explain to the prosecutor, and ultimately to the judge, what our position is and why. I explain why we should get a particular result.
I communicate in an amicable, friendly way. I am the kind of a lawyer who can work with people to get an end result. Of course, if that fails, I will be prepared to try the case. In the end, you have to be a trial attorney. You have to present yourself as someone who is willing to present the case and put up a challenge.
Instead of an aggressive approach, it is a challenging approach. I am prepared to actively challenge and cross-examine all the state’s witnesses: police officers, civilians, experts and whoever they may call.
Again, I am thorough and intelligent. I prefer that, rather than proceeding with an overly aggressive approach.
By Carl Spector