Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Don't mess up my issue, dude.

I can't speak for all attorneys, but this particular attorney is a little bit of a control freak. I want things done right, so it's better when I do them rather than having to trust others not to mess up. In the world of criminal appellate law, though, it's not really possible to retain control in all things. Lots of defendants have issues similar to the issues my clients have. But I don't get to represent them all. I don't get to write all the briefs and I don't get to conduct all the oral arguments to the courts.

Oh, how I wish I did. I wish I could craft all the motions filed to the district courts. I wish I could answer all of the questions asked by the appellate court judges. (And, let's be honest, I wish I could write all the opinions!)

I'm sure I shouldn't do it all. I'm sure other people really do answer questions better than I do or add nuance to an argument I didn't think of. But there's nothing more painful than sitting powerlessly in the audience while someone else scuttles your argument. I'd much rather screw it up myself than have someone else lose my case before I even get the chance to win it.

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