The trusted website of DUILawyerFortLauderdale.net announced the addition of their video center to provide visitors with additional resources about DUI arrest. Along with editorial content and attorney referrals, the short video clips deliver quick information regarding alcohol-related offenses. The new video center at DUI Lawyer Fort Lauderdale delivers pertinent information regarding Florida DUI laws and the consequences of drinking and driving. Anyone who is arrested in Broward County ought to spend time understanding the charges against them and seek out help from the best DUI attorneys in Fort Lauderdale. Along with presenting DUI information and lawyer referrals to residents, the website also focuses on helping those who are visiting Ft. Lauderdale. A DUI arrest can be a stressful event on its own, but being in unfamiliar territory can make it more difficult.
DUILawyerFortLauderdale.net can lessen the angst associated with arranging bond, locating a reputable law firm, and defending DUI charges. Those who take time learning about the consequences and finding the best attorney for their case can improve their chances of having charges reduced or dismissed. In the Sunshine State, people can be arrested for DUI or public intoxication if their blood alcohol content (BAC) meets or exceeds 0.08 percent. At the time of arrest, law enforcement officers confiscate the driver’s state-issued license. In order to have driving privileges reinstated, defendants must file a request for a special hearing. The request has to be submitted within 10 days of the arrest. The best approach is to hire a lawyer as quickly as possible. A trusted source for finding attorney referrals is the Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney website. While a large percentage of DUI arrests are legitimate, there are times when people are wrongfully charged with being under the influence while operating a vehicle. This can stem from faulty testing equipment, improper field sobriety testing, and lack of probable cause. Any time a person is falsely charged with this criminal offense they must seek help from experienced defense attorneys. The newly added videos at DUI Lawyer Fort Lauderdale also address the penalties of underage drinking and possession of alcohol. The Sunshine State has a strict zero tolerance policy and the consequences can haunt minors for a long time.
Not only can minors be arrested for consuming alcohol, they can also face penalties for possessing it. At minimum, defendants could lose their driver’s license for a year. Worse yet, they could be incarcerated for up to two months or longer if other circumstances are involved. Visitors of the website can locate referrals to the best DUI lawyers in Fort Lauderdale and obtain valuable insights to defending drunk driving, public intoxication, or underage drinking charges. DUILawyerFortLauderdale.net provides essential information and resources to individuals charged with the offense of driving under the influence, possession of alcohol by minors, and public intoxication. The video and article resource center provides tips and strategies for defending DUI charges and how to locate the best DUI attorneys in Fort Lauderdale.
DUI Attorney Tampa.org is now offering informative videos to help individuals who have been arrested for drinking and driving. Defendants must become proactive in acquiring legal help and obtaining information about the criminal charges against them. The DUI videos provided at DUI Attorney Tampa deliver important information about Florida DUI laws and the consequences associated with arrest. Visitors to the website can obtain helpful tips, legal advice, and referrals to the best DUI lawyers in Tampa. Individuals facing drunk driving charges or public intoxication ought to become knowledgeable about their legal rights and locate an experienced attorney. DUIAttorneyTampa.org is a reliable source for acquiring information and referrals to attorneys in Hillsborough County Florida. In addition to providing helpful resources to local residents, the DUI videos are also aimed at helping people who are visiting Tampa. Being charged with a drunk driving offense is never a positive experience. It can be exceptionally unnerving when visiting a strange location.
In the state of Florida, individuals can be charged with DUI or public intoxication if their blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or higher. Many people fail to realize this level can be reached by consuming as few as two beers. Individuals who are charged with DUI offenses should retain services from Tampa DUI lawyers as soon as possible. Driving privileges are automatically revoked until defendants attend a court hearing. In order to get privileges temporarily restored, defendants must request the special hearing within 10 days from the date of their arrest. People can access the Tampa DUI Lawyer website any time of the day or night. Visitors will find helpful videos and articles regarding Florida DUI laws, consequences of conviction, public intoxication, underage drinking, and wrongful arrest. Most people are unaware that a high percentage of people are wrongly arrested for drunk driving. It is believed that 1 out of 4 people charged with DUI aren’t intoxicated at all. Instead, officers conduct improper sobriety tests or chemical testing equipment fails.
Individuals who are wrongly arrested need to seek out the best DUI attorneys in Tampa. It’s helpful to retain services from law firms experienced in defending this type of case. Florida is one of the most popular tourist destinations and brings in thousands of college students during spring break. Each year, hundreds of people are charged with underage drinking and possession of alcohol. Minors need to be aware that the Sunshine State has zero-tolerance for underage drinking. Furthermore, minors can be charged with possession even if they are not consuming alcohol. Both offenses are punishable with suspension of driving privileges and will cause defendants to incur hefty fines and legal fees. Conviction of drinking and driving could result in up to 60 days incarceration or longer if extenuating circumstances are involved. The new videos offered at the DUI Attorney Tampa website showcase important facts about Florida DUI laws and the various types of DUI offenses and punishments. The primary objective is to help people have a better understanding of what they are facing and locate attorneys who can help them through legal proceedings. DUIAttorneyTampa.org presents the facts people need to get started in defending their DUI case. The informational videos and content can reduce the stress associated with this type of criminal charge and provides referrals to the best DUI lawyers in Tampa.
Source : sfgate.com Category : Matthews Bark By : PRWeb Posted By : Contact DUI Lawyer
Illinois DUI attorney Donald J.amsell has been ranked as a 2013 Illinois Super Lawyer by Chicago Magazine. Super Lawyers is a rating service of exceptional lawyers from over 70 practice areas. The selection process includes research, peer nominations and peer evaluations of each candidate. This year marked Ramsell’s 7th Super Lawyers recognition since 2005. The success of Ramsell & Associates, LLC in Illinois DUI and criminal cases is well-known internationally and within the legal community. Ramsell’s firm has defended over 13,000 clients since 1986.
Most notably, Ramsell is the author of the “Illinois DUI Law and Practice Guidebook.” He is also the only Illinois DUI defense attorney to argue a roadblock before the United States Supreme Court and is the only Illinois attorney Board Certified in DUI Defense by the National College of DUI Defense (an honor not yet recognized by the Illinois Supreme Court). This year Ramsell also maintains an Avvo rating of 10.0 or “Superb” through peer endorsements and client reviews. Additionally, he is currently ranked as an Illinois Leading Lawyer in Illinois Criminal Appeals and an Illinois Leading Lawyer in Criminal-DUI Defense.
Ramsell & Associates, LLC have been featured on ABC’s “20/20,” NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, COURT-TV, “Hannity and Colmes,” The New York Times, The Washington Post, and on radio shows across the United States. Ramsell & Associates, LLC is the only Illinois DUI and criminal defense firm from DuPage County to appear before the United States Supreme Court in the Supreme Court’s entire 213 year existence.
All three of the Miami DUI lawyers at DeFabio, Beckham, Solis, P.A. have been chosen to serve as speakers for LawReviewCle’s local CLE (Continuing Legal Education) webinar called “Over the Limit: Defending a DUI Case.” This Florida webinar, which is scheduled for Aug. 27, 2013, is designed to help local criminal defense lawyers get started in handling driving under the influence (DUI) cases, according to the webinar’s description on LawReviewCle’s website. The firm’s lawyers who will speak at the webinar include Joel DeFabio, Justin K. Beckham and Helmuth Solis. The webinar is set to cover a broad range of DUI defense-related topics, which are categorized into the areas of the client interview, the basics of DUI science, the court process (step by step) and the DUI trial. Those who plan to take the webinar can learn about important topics such as the following: how to properly gather information related to DUI cases; the ethics of DUI advertising; how absorption factors into DUI test results; the best approach to handling the arraignment, the discovery process, motions to suppress, etc.; common DUI defenses, and much more, as noted by the webinar provider.
Attorneys DeFabio, Beckham and Solis are highly experienced lawyers who have received impressive professional accolades for their DUI defense and criminal defense services. Attorney DeFabio has more than 30 years of legal experience, during which he has obtained more than 50 “not guilty” verdicts. One of those “not guilty” verdicts was for “Liberty City 7” terrorist trial, which received national acclaim. He was given the “Against All Odds” award from the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2007, and he was also named one of Miami’s “Most Effective Lawyers” in the area of criminal justice by the Daily Business Review in 2008. Working as partners, Attorneys Beckham and Solis were together successful in obtaining more than 50 DUI dismissals in 2010. They have both been named to the list of Rising Stars™ by Super Lawyers® Magazine for the legal practice area of DUI Defense. When Attorney Solis previously served as an Assistant State Attorney for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, he went from being a DUI prosecutor to a DUI training attorney—a role in which he trained other lawyers about the law as it pertains to DUI cases. DeFabio, Beckham, Solis, P.A. is a law firm that is truly local, as it only handles cases within Miami-Dade County, Fla. This gives the attorneys exceptional insight into how the Miami-Dade County courthouse works and how to best proceed with DUI charges within this county. The firm handles all types of DUI cases, such as those involving felony DUI charges, commercial driver’s license DUI, out-of-state DUI, DUI manslaughter and much more. DeFabio, Beckham, Solis, P.A. can also help individuals who are accused of boating under the influence, or BUI. To learn more about the law firm and its team of dedicated attorneys.
The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a former criminal defense attorney who represented accused and convicted murderers, sex offenders and pedophiles and fought for the release of violent convicted offenders — a background some critics say makes him a less than ideal choice to lead the federal government’s second-largest law enforcement agency.
John Sandweg, 38, who was recently named acting director of ICE, worked between 2002 and 2009 defending violent criminals in Arizona, and helping then-governor and current Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano raise campaign funds. Critics questioned Sandweg’s credentials, with one calling him “in no way qualified” and his appointment the latest example of Napolitano’s “blatant politicization” of the agency.
“I am deeply disappointed by this appointment and believe it is disrespectful to the thousands of dedicated professionals at ICE who are working tirelessly to enforce our laws and provide for our security,” said Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, who chairs the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. “I urge the administration to re-think this appointment and promptly appoint a qualified, confirmable applicant for this essential post.”
A former administration official said news of Sandweg’s installation as acting director was met with disgust and disbelief within parts of DHS.
Daily politics news delivered to your inbox: sign up for our newsletter
“He has zero law enforcement experience and he [is running] our country’s second-largest law enforcement agency — and that’s a real job, it’s not a figure-head position,” the former official said.
Last week, Sandweg took over as acting director of ICE after director John Morton stepped down. He is believed by some to have the inside track for the nomination for the permanent position. Napolitano has announced her own resignation and has already been picked to head the 10-campus University of California system.
In response to a request for comment on Sandweg’s appointment, DHS provided an internal message Napolitano sent to senior DHS staff on Aug. 2, in which the outgoing secretary praised Sandweg.
“Since joining DHS in 2009, John has served as one of my closest advisors on matters related to immigration enforcement, border security, and federal law enforcement,” Napolitano wrote. “John brings significant experience in the development and implementation of our border security and immigration enforcement strategies and will continue to build on our common sense approach that prioritizes public safety and national security.”
ICE is the main investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security and is responsible for enforcement of immigration law. As acting director, Sandweg oversees more than 20,000 employees in offices in all 50 states and 47 foreign countries. David Aguilar, who recently retired as deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told FoxNews.com Sandweg is more than up to the job.
“I think he’s extremely qualified to serve as the acting director of ICE and that’s in my opinion, that’s the opinion of a 35-year cop,” said Aguilar, who says he worked closely with Sandweg over the last five years on issues specific to immigration and the border.
As for Sandweg’s history as a criminal defense attorney, Aguilar said: “Frankly, somebody’s got to do it, and he did it well from what I understand. I actually believe that will be of use for him, having seen and experienced both sides of the law enforcement judicial system.”
A review by FoxNews.com of Sandweg’s previous career as an Arizona lawyer showed a history of fighting for the release of violent convicted criminals, including one who pleaded guilty to attempting to blow up an airplane, as well as multiple sex offenders.
Michael Jackson “had a real monkey on his back” with a longtime drug addiction, his family kept it secret from the world and it led to his overdose death, a lawyer for AEG Live said. The concert promoter’s defense against the Jackson family’s wrongful death lawsuit began Tuesday and will include testimony from “all of the many, many doctors” who treated Jackson over the past decades, AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam said. AEG Lie executive John Meglin, who is the CEO of the Concerts West division, returns to the stand Wednesday after testifying Tuesday that Dr. Conrad Murray’s request for $5 million to work as Jackson’s personal physician was a topic at a meeting of the company’s executive committee. Jackson lawyer Brian Panish said that was an important revelation that would help his case. Panish pressed Meglin on the question of if he agreed with his boss, AEG Live President Randy Phillips, who testified that he thought Jackson was the greatest artist of all time.
“I think that Michael’s very big in the pop world, but the Rolling Stones are bigger, or Led Zeppelin,” Megline said. “I’m a rocker.” Paris Jackson’s deposition Prince Jackson testifies against AEG Conrad Murray maintains his innocence Jackson’s doctor sings to Anderson Cooper Defense witnesses will also include a parade of Jackson family members, including a return appearance by matriarch Katherine Jackson, who just concluded two days of testimony as her lawyers presented their case. “They kept his private world private as best they could and now they would like to blame somebody else for things that only they knew privately,” Putnam said. Michael Jackson’s mother and three children contend AEG Live, which was producing and promoting his comeback concerts, is liable in his death because it negligently hired, retained or supervised Murray. Jackson’s mom faces cross examination in death trial Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death, which the coroner ruled was caused by an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol. The doctor told investigators he was using the drug to treat Jackson’s insomnia as he prepared for his “This Is It” debut in London. Jackson, not AEG Live, chose and controlled Murray, Putnam argued. He said in his opening statements at the start of the trial 12 weeks ago he would show jurors “ugly stuff” about Jackson to prove that AEG Live executives had no way of knowing about the dangerous treatments the doctor was giving in the privacy of Jackson’s bedroom.
Orange County Divorce Attorney Marc E. Mitzner has recently become a Certified Family Law Specialist, an important designation that validates the lawyer’s strong legal acumen in handling matters related to family law. Typically, less than 1% of all attorneys in California are a specialist in their field. In order to become certified, Attorney Mitzner was required to take and pass a day long examination as well as meet a number of strict requirements as set forth by the State Bar of California-Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Mitzner has nearly 20 years of experience providing expert legal advice to individuals dealing with divorce and various other family law matters.
Family law practitioners who want to be certified as specialists in their field must take a specialists exam that is given by The State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization. According to information provided on The State Bar of California’s website, there are also various other task-related requirements and educational requirements. For the task-related requirements, the attorney must show within five years of applying for the certification that he or she has practiced family law to a substantial level. The State Bar specifies exactly which types of family law matters the legal professionals must have experience handling. Furthermore, the family lawyer must have served as principal counsel for a certain number of family law-related hearings, trials, settlements, judgments, temporary orders and/or appeals that meet the state bar’s requirements.
As for the educational criteria for Family Law Specialist certification, the applicant is required to have completed —within three years of applying for the certification—at least 45 hours of educational activities that are specifically approved for the practice area of family law. These hours must comply with The State Bar’s requirements. It is important to note that individuals applying for specialist certification in this state must also comply with the Rules Governing the State Bar of California Program for Certifying Legal Specialists, which are also accessible on the state bar’s website. Attorney Mitzner has taken important strides to expand his knowledge in the area of family law and to demonstrate that he is capable of serving as a specialist in this legal practice area. Individuals who turn to The Law Offices of Marc E. Mitzner can have the assurance of knowing that they are working with a highly qualified family law attorney.
The Law Offices of Marc E. Mitzner provides all clients and potential clients with the expertise of a divorce lawyer who is a specialist in his field with almost 20 years of experience and a team of professionals to assists clients with all of their needs. Certified Family Law Specialist Marc E. Mitzner has provided legal representation for hundreds of satisfied clients, is dedicated to providing his clients with the personalized service that their cases require. The attorney has a policy of returning all calls within 24 hours in order to ensure that his clients’ needs are being met in a timely manner. Some of the various types of family law cases that The Law Offices of Marc E. Mitzner handles include those relating to divorce, legal separation, child custody, child support, domestic violence and many other areas. Individuals who are interested in receiving a free consultation are advised to contact the law firm.
One North Carolina man has racked up 17 DWI convictions. 55-year old Ronnie Dodd was sentenced this month in Buncombe County to 7 years prison. We asked an attorney Monday about how that is even possible. Dodd got his first DWI conviction in 1983. This month he was sentenced to 7 years in prison in Buncombe County for a traffic stop in January. Attorney Mark Stewart with the Burch Law Office in Greenville who handles DWI cases regularly says under our state’s Fair Sentencing Act which was established back in the 80’s, sentences are typically cut in half with good behavior while behind bars. A DWI is typically a misdemeanor with the worst cases getting about 3 years of jail time.
A DWI becomes a felony when you’ve been labeled a habitual offender. “You have to have 3 prior convictions for driving while impaired, and when you get your fourth, they will indict you as that’s your habitual. That makes it your felony,” said Stewart. Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore said Dodd has been labeled a habitual offender 3 times in his life already. A Swannanoa man has been sentenced to at least seven years in prison after he was convicted of driving while impaired for the 17th time.
Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore told the Asheville Citizen-Times that 55-year-old Ronnie Dodd’s blood-alcohol level was 0.24 – three times the legal limit for driving – when he was pulled over on Old U.S. 70 in January. Moore says Dodd’s first DWI conviction came in 1983. He has been sent away as a habitual DWI offender three times in his life. That charge requires a four impaired driving offenses within 10 years. Moore says the case shows North Carolina needs tougher sentences for DWI convictions to act as a deterrent, especially with first convictions.
Washington’s Supreme Court says cities, counties and utility companies can be liable when faulty road design leads to injuries in car crashes – even when the driver is drunk. Dori called it a crisis for personal responsibility, but attorney Jeffrey Keane said that if the pole had been in the right place his client would likely have not been hurt at all. Nathan Lowman had been in a bar – Keane disputed that Nathan was drinking – with Jennifer Wilbur, who was drinking. Jennifer veered off the road at a curve. Authorities reported that she was going at least nine miles per hour above the 25 mile per hour speed limit. And, though Jennifer was found later to have a 0.14 BAC, Keane said his client didn’t think she was drunk. “He only wishes he’d known that at the time.”
“She slid off the road and just about actually got back on the road because she wasn’t going that fast,” said Keane. “The car hit the pole right where he was seated, so his right arm was almost severed.” Nathan Lowman had almost $500,000 in medical bills. “He sued the driver, who’s been completely non-responsive and had no insurance, he sued the bar, he sued Skagit County, which has the authority to regulate where you put power poles, and he sued PSE, which put that power pole right back in the same hole where it had twice been struck.”
Keane argued that engineers and transportation planners have looked at what’s safe for drivers and determined that utility poles must be 10 feet away from the roadway. He explained that, in 2000, the state legislature passed a statute saying just that. “We design roads expecting that people are going to leave the roadway – it just happens; it happens accidentally, it happens when people are drunk, etc,” said Keane. But Dori wasn’t convinced; Keane stated that the state required all post-2000 utility poles to be ten feet from the roadway – no matter the speed limit, no matter the road. “The power pole is not the reason they got hurt,” said Dori. “The drunk driver is the reason they got hurt.”
The trauma nurses who took care of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after his arrest have a straightforward explanation. “I don’t get to pick and choose my patients,” one told the Boston Globe.The three public defenders assigned to Tsarnaev would have been similarly constrained. But what about the two prominent defense lawyers who have offered their services? Why choose to represent a man accused of turning the Boston Marathon finish line into a war zone?
Likewise, how could the lawyers representing Cleveland’s Ariel Castro fight for the serial kidnapper and rapist? And what about the attorneys for the recently acquitted but still controversial George Zimmerman? Do they really believe he is completely innocent of any wrongdoing in shooting an unarmed teen? I have been a criminal defense lawyer for more than 30 years, first as a public defender and now as a law professor running a criminal defense clinic. My clients have included a young man who gunned down his neighbor in front of her 5-year-old daughter while trying to steal her car, a man who beat a young woman to death for failing to alert drug associates that police were coming and a woman who smothered her baby for no apparent reason. These are the kinds of cases that prompt people to ask: “How can you represent those people?” All criminaldefense lawyers are asked this; it’s such a part of the criminal defense experience that it’s simply known as “the question.” Most of us have a repertoire of stock replies about how the system can’t work without good lawyers on both sides, or the harshness of punishment or the excessive number of people — especially minorities — locked up in this country. Capital-case defenders such as Tsarnaev lawyer Judy Clarke tend to cite their opposition to the death penalty.
But our motivations are usually personal and sometimes difficult to articulate. I often say I was inspired by “To Kill a Mockingbird.” There is no more compelling figure than Atticus Finch defending a wrongly accused poor black man. Innocence, though, is not a chief driver for me. To the contrary, I often call my life’s work “the guilty project.” Criminal defense is, for the most part, defending the factually guilty — people who have done something wrong, though maybe not exactly what is alleged.
That works for me because, as it happens, I like guilty people. I prefer people who are flawed and complicated to those who are irreproachable. As legendary American lawyer Clarence Darrow put it more than 80 years ago: “Strange as it may seem, I grew to like to defend men and women charged with crime. … I became vitally interested in the causes of human conduct. … I was dealing with life, with its hopes and fears, its aspirations and despairs.” Defense lawyers try to find the humanity in the people we represent, no matter what they may have done. We resist the phrase “those people” because it suggests too clear a line between us and them.
Ms. Clarke has managed to do this with some of the most notorious criminals of the past two decades, including “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski. “Even if it’s the smallest sliver of common ground, Judy’s going to be able to find that,” said Kaczynski’s brother, David. “There’s no doubt in my mind that Judy saw my brother’s humanity despite the terrible things he’d done.”
We may even come to develop affection for our clients — as did the Boston nurses, who caught themselves calling Tsarnaev “hon.” “There are very few clients I have had who I didn’t like,” Miriam Conrad, another Tsarnaev lawyer, has said. Criminal lawyers are sometimes accused of investing all our sympathy in our clients and having none for victims. But we are human beings; we have feelings.
Over the years there has been a handful of cases that tested me: sympathetic victims, unspeakably cruel crimes, clients who seemed to lack any conscience. I once represented a young man accused of an armed rape of a recent college graduate who was an AmeriCorps volunteer. She could have been me at that age — full of idealism. It was hard to face her in court.
I represented a man accused of child abuse who seemed to hate everyone, especially women. I admit I derived some satisfaction from the fact that his defense lawyer, prosecutor and judge were all women — even though I did everything I could on his behalf. The people I have in mind when I say “I like guilty people” are not those who commit acts of such depravity that it’s painful to read stories about them. I mean the vast majority of my clients, who, for a variety of reasons, have committed crimes but who are not evil. My car-thief client was only 16 when he killed his neighbor. He was immature and impulsive, and he’d had a hard time fitting in. He’d never been in trouble with the law, but on that day he got in trouble at school and was trying to escape his dad’s wrath when he grabbed a gun to frighten his neighbor into giving him her car. Thirty years later, he still can’t believe he pulled the trigger. He has grown up in prison and is more than sorry for what he did. I’ve been endeavoring to get him released on parole.
My baby-killing client has no recollection of harming her 18-month-old. She accepts that she must have done it and feels regret and shame. In prison for more than 26 years, she has shown herself to be a woman of faith and service, working in the prison hospital and the Catholic chaplain’s office. I took her case because she has served her sentence and been a model prisoner, yet she has been repeatedly denied parole. My drug-dealing client knew the woman he killed — he once bought presents for her kids. He wishes he had made different choices on that day and at other points in his life. Released from prison after 20 years, he is grateful to have a second chance.
I realize this may be what every defender says: My clients, no matter what they may have done, aren’t wicked. They are damaged, deprived or in distress. Their crimes can be understood as the products of awful lives, or of being young, hot-headed and lacking in judgment, or of not having the mental wherewithal to know what they were doing. There is always a story. Castro lawyers Craig Weintraub and Jaye Schlachet were typical in insisting, after meeting with their client for several hours, that he isn’t the “monster” he had been made out to be.
If knowing our clients makes it too easy to explain how we can represent them, maybe it’s better to ask whether we would represent other people’s clients.
Defending Castro would be especially difficult for me. Although I have never turned down a court appointment based on the nature of the case, there are crimes I find especially abhorrent: child abductions that feature sexual abuse and hate crimes of all sorts. With the allegations of kidnapping, sexual assault and torture, Castro’s is exactly the kind of case I find hard to stomach. It’s distressing to read fiction about these kinds of crimes — such as Alice Sebold’s “The Lovely Bones” or Emma Donoghue’s “Room” — let alone grapple with the real thing.
I don’t envy the lawyers representing Tsarnaev. He is young — I can understand why those nurses were instinctively kind to him — but there is overwhelming evidence that he killed, maimed and terrorized innocent people in the place where he grew up. I would want to say to him: “What the hell were you thinking?” But good defense lawyers resist the urge to pile on; it isn’t a useful way to form a relationship.
There’s something about cases in which everyone is calling for blood that makes it easier to fight for people like Tsarnaev and Castro. Maybe there’s a contrarian streak in all good criminal lawyers. Frankly, the uproar over the image of Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone made me want to stand up for him — or at least for the editors of the magazine. I confess that I gravitate more to Trayvon Martin — the young black man unfairly targeted — than neighborhood-watch volunteer George Zimmerman. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have defended Mr. Zimmerman. Prominent criminal lawyer Edward Bennett Williams once noted that he took on difficult cases for unpopular clients “not because of my own wishes, but because of the unwritten law that I might not refuse.” That unwritten law still motivates criminal lawyers, along with the knowledge that none of us would want to be defined by the very worst thing we ever did.