Monday, December 25, 2006

A Criminal Defense Lawyer's Wishful Thinking for 2007

1. That every judge who takes the bench each morning hating their job, having "heard it all," and serving no purpose but to rubber stamp the government, resign.

2. That every prosecutor who believes that defense lawyers are the problem in the criminal justice system, not the defendants, resign.

3. That Mike Nifong, the sorriest excuse for a lawyer, much less a prosecutor, resign

4. That every police officer who has taken on the practice of screaming at, threatening, and jumping on each and every person they arrest, take a deep breath and know that recently in Miami, an officer came across a fugitive on a murder case who was in the courthouse for another case, quietly told him he would have to take him into custody, and calmly put handcuffs on him and took him to jail.

5. That every private defense lawyer in this practice solely to make money, go do something else.

6. That the prosecutor's "supervisor," (akin these days to the all involved manager at a car dealership) who tells his "supervisee" to "try the (crappy, stupid) case" instead of letting him/her offer the reasonable plea that he/she wants to offer, actually try the case, instead of running back to the office.

7. That the private defense bar cease behaving like this practice is to be handled like selling products at a flea market.

8. That the media stop saying that the defendant "cut a deal," or that a continuance of a trial date is "yet another delay," and that after an acquittal "the victim's family still has no justice." On that last one, an acquittal is justice, you in the media just don't get the post-sentencing jailhouse interview.

9. That every private defense lawyer practicing over 5 years, take a public defender to lunch, maybe a few times this year. And not to the sub shop, to one of those nice places we go with our "friends." Talk to them about their job, maybe it will remind you (and me) of a few things.

10. A little more g-d damn respect and professionalism, by and from everyone in that courtroom. You all know what I'm talking about.

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