Is it a good idea to have a lawyer who is friends with the prosecutor?January 15, 2021 10:35 am Leave your thoughts
If there’s one thing about law that’s important to understand, it’s that relationships are everything. Clients often come to us wondering if having a relationship with the prosecutor is a good idea or if there’s a conflict of interest. Read on to see what we think.
First, it’s important to understand what a conflict of interest is in the legal world. In the simplest terms, a conflict of interest is any situation in which an attorney has more than one person or organization they’re serving. This makes serving justice to their actual client difficult and could lead to damages to both parties involved.
When it comes to having a relationship with the prosecutor, it is helpful that your attorney have, or be able to create, one that is positive. They don’t need to be best buddies, but because the legal world is all about relationships, the old saying that you get more with sugar than you do with vinegar rings true.
The Word “Friend” Might Be a Stretch
When it comes to the relationship between the prosecutor and your attorney, using the word “friend” might be a stretch. Their relationship should more so be one of mutual respect and communication. If the prosecutor is friends with you attorney, meaning they socialize outside of work and run in the same social circles, then it’s critical that their relationship not impact their professional performance.
Typically, this isn’t a problem. Lawyers are skilled in compartmentalizing aspects of their lives so those things don’t impact their professional performance or the ethical codes they’re required to live up to.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Contrary to what many might think, your attorney, the prosecutor, and judges all work together to some extent, in many situations. They might not agree on everything, but the ultimate goal is to have clear, upfront communication that leads to justice and upholds the law and rights of everyone involved.
The more accurate description of a beneficial relationship between a defense attorney and prosecutor is one that is professional and friendly. Just like you might go into work and be friendly with your boss or co-workers, you might not be one to hang out with them outside of work, but you likely are friendly with them so that work gets done. Similarly, even if you do hang out with them outside of work, you’re probably very different at work versus when in a social situation.
Should a client be worried about their attorney’s relationship with the prosecutor?
The short answer is no. When you hire an attorney chances are you’ve taken the time to talk with them, understand their experience, and know whether they’re a fit for you. If you’re comfortable with your attorney then trust that they will do their very best to advocate on your behalf and work toward a favorable outcome in your case.
If you find out that your attorney has a relationship with the prosecutor that makes you uncomfortable, it’s important that you first go to them and discuss your concerns. Attorneys are professional communicators. You should be able to discuss what might be concerning to you and they should be able to ease your worries.
Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney
Choosing a criminal defense attorney should never be taken lightly. You’re trusting not just the outcome of your case to this person, but possibly your entire future. When you’re choosing your defense attorney, be sure to think about the following:
- Expertise in your area of criminal law
- Have they handled cases like yours?
- Drunk driving, assault, theft, and the gamut of all other criminal charges all require experience in those areas
- Years of experience
- Responsiveness: a good attorney will always respond to your inquiries in a prompt manner
- Clear fee structure: You should be able to understand up front what you will be paying for, how you will be charged, and how you should expect to pay
- Good listener: Your attorney should be a good listener and willing to hear everything you have to say. if they aren’t, important details could fall through the cracks.
- Confidence: Anyone you choose should be confident not just when talking to you, but also in the courtroom.
Are you looking for a criminal defense attorney in Concord? Get in touch with our team here at Cohen & Winters. We’re proud to maintain positive relationships with both the surrounding prosecutors and judges. Our goal is to always work toward the best outcome for you and our stellar results are because of our experience and ability to positively interact with our colleagues.
This post was written by Cohen and Winters