One mistake that drives lawyers and paralegals crazy is the story where a lawyer who practices in one area of law is asked by a friend to take on a criminal defense case, because the friend wants to be defended by “someone who believes in me.”
This is nonsense because law is almost as specialized as medicine. Having a trusted lawyer friend defend you in criminal court is like having your friendly neighborhood pediatrician do your brain surgery. Trusting someone doesn’t make him or her competent in every area of the law.
Believing in the client is no substitute for knowing what you’re doing. Criminal law practices in particular are not all in the reference books, so a lawyer who has no experience would have to spend a lot of time on the phone talking to lawyers who did know that branch of the law.
This week I counted links to 170 writers sharing snippets, so for a good time feel free to join the party at Six Sunday,