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Old 04-02-2017, 9:46 AM
Socratic Socratic is offline
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The best way to find a good trail lawyer is to ask a good trial lawyer who he'd hire were he to need one. In fact, ask as many trial lawyers as you can. If one name is repeated by many trial lawyers, find him.

Be very careful of lawyers who call themselves "firearms experts". There is no Cal Bar designation of firearms expert. Any lawyer can call himself a firearms expert.

Walk away from any lawyer who gives you a guarantee.

Be careful of lawyers who mouth off case decisions, precedents, and verbatim BS. It's all fluff and devoid of substance. They haven't left law school even though they've graduated during Truman's Administration. Self-embelishment is to get you to believe that he's a sharp dude. A trial lawyer is what you want, not an office jockey who's rarely in a courtroom and has never tried a case. They're paper pushers. That's not what you need. A real deal trial attorney will never embellish. He won't have to embellish. He'll be 100% confident in his ability to work a courtroom during trial. He'll not attempt to impress you by citing case law. He'll know that you won't know it. And knowing case law is a tiny part of the equation. I could get a parrot to recite case law. Ability to apply case law is a very distinguishing metric that separates those who barely scratch out a living and lawyers who command 500 bucks an hour and more.

A real deal trial lawyer won't baffle you with BS or self-promotion. He won't be intimidated by prosecutors. Don't be afraid to ask him how many actual trials (not hearings or other court appearances) he's done. He'll have lost more that he's won because 99% of his clients were guilty, and the state has a HUGE advantage. Hence, a "fair trial" exists only in the abstract. How could a factually innocent defendant compete against as many prosecutors as a DA wants to assign to a case, their access to DA investigators who do not have to do a damned thing for any defendant, and the arresting police agency that has unlimited resources? He can't. His only hope is a jury of his peers, which is why a so-called professional jury is dangerous to liberty. If a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich, a professional jury will convict it.

I've seen the name of a lawyer who was recommended in this thread. I was told by a real deal trial attorney who has done very high profile trials and has represented other lawyers and judges that that lawyer is a moron. The recommended lawyer calls himself a firearms expert, but he's expert in self-promotion. From what I was told, I wouldn't use him for a leash law citation.

Law school can be an important factor when searching for a trial lawyer, but it's not always definitive. I know of a handful of top tier law school graduates. One graduated from a law school that's ranked about twelfth. I'll politely say that he has problems that prevent him from making the grade. Some third tier law school graduates have a lot of trial experience if they have worked as public defenders or prosecutors. These guys are usually Cal Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialists, which is handy to know but not necessarily definitive. Even lawyers who've lost every case they've tried can qualify as a Certified Criminal Law Specialist. Many top tier law school graduates wind up at high end law firms where they earn millions every year advising corporate clients on laws that they've helped enact, so they can justify taking money from clients for doing nothing and calling it legal advice.

Many, many years ago I found out who I'd call were I to need a criminal defense attorney. He has graduated from a top tier law school. His name is not mentioned in this thread. He does many high profile cases, many in federal court. He's humble. Yet when he's around other lawyers, they show him subtle deference. He wears a suit only for court. When most lawyers walk into a courtroom, most of the players don't acknowledge him. When he walks into a courtroom, he's acknowledged, even by judges. Other attorneys and judges know that his clients are of substantial means, although he has donated his considerable skills. His fees are substantial; his skill are substantial. I'd guess that nearly all of his clients are referred to him by other lawyers or by clients he's represented. He's the kind of lawyer you'll need.

My advice is to not wait until you need a trial lawyer to find one. Know long before who the best is. Never rely on friends and relatives for lawyer advice. Always ask other trial lawyers who they most respect and would hire. He'll be the lawyer you'll want. And stay the holy heck away from self-promoting "firearms experts". The trial lawyer you want will not self-promote anything. He doesn't have to self-promote. His reputation and referrals from other trial lawyers is all he'll need to establish his expertise.
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