Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Criminal Defense Lawyer's Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for:

1. Families Against Minimum Mandatories (FAMM). A real organization, with real goals, and the most promise of achieving some of them.

2. Prosecutors who sincerely respect the role of the defense lawyer.

3. Prosecutors who don't sincerely respect the role of the defense lawyer and quit being a prosecutor to do insurance defense.

4. Judges who realize there is a whole world outside their courtroom. This world includes traffic, kids, vacations, clients waiting in the lobby, and trials that aren't ready to be trials, yet.

5. Cops who walk out of court after you cross-examine them and slap you on the back and say "good job."

6. Clients who appreciate, well, anything you do.

7. My kids, who don't see what I see everyday.

8. My wife, who loves what I do, because she loves me.

9. The fact that I do not have to advance an argument because "my supervisor" says so.

10. Any prosecutor who understands the gravity of their position.

11. Public Defenders

12. Public Defenders

13. Friendly clerks, bailiffs, and corrections officers.

14. Clients who have payment plans with their family, and pay you up front.

15. Any legislator, state or federal, who doesn't use the criminal statutes or sentencing guidelines as their focus for legislation, solely for the purpose of their re-election.

16. Anyone in government or the courts who believes we have gone WAYYYYYY overboard with minimum mandatory sentences, and is willing to do something about it, other than shake their head.

17. Defense lawyers who are in this business for something other than money.

18. Judges who exercise the independence they so covet.

19. Members of the public who think protecting the constitution is a noble profession even if they think the police "can search my house anytime, I've got nothing to hide."

20. Practicing the only law that really matters.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com

Happy Thanksgiving.