Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"This Is The Most Important Time In History To Be A Criminal Defense Attorney."

So said one of my hometown heroes of our profession, David O. Markus yesterday at the Miami Criminal Defense Bar's Holiday Seminar and Lunch.

As we end the year, we meaning criminal defense lawyers, (those of you who often come here after a google search of "criminal defense fees," or "how much does a criminal defense lawyer make," or more recently "michael vick," can take a pass on this post, this is for my colleagues.) many of us are beat, exhausted, hoping for a few days off without an irrelevant court hearing set in the middle of the next two weeks, and most importantly, thinking about our practices and the future.

I love what I do......about 28 days of the month. The other 2 are usually reserved for unfair judges, unreasonable prosecutors, clients who won't listen, and that case I didn't get.

But above all that is David's statement: "This Is The Most Important Time In History To Be A Criminal Defense Attorney."

It is. What is going on in the world, in our country, in Congress, the Supreme Court, our local courts, in state legislatures, the need for us as cornerstones of society cannot be questioned.

Technology is such that anything we do is recorded. I love the navigation in my car, and now I know from talking to a federal prosecutor that where I go can be downloaded. If you get arrested today for a misdemeanor in rural Mississippi, it will be on the computer at New York's JFK Airport within hours.

Society as a whole, hates us. Yes, there are many who understand and respect, and even treasure our role in society, but most think the system is obstructed by our presence. They would learn quick the ignorance of their thoughts if for only one week, not a single defense lawyer went to court in America.

So to my colleagues about to hopefully enjoy a few continuances into the end of the year, I leave you with this from the criminal defense attorney of 59 years who spoke as well yesterday, the great Albert Krieger:

"There is nothing more important in the life of the lawyer than to represent an individual charged with a crime."

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