A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Civil Lawyers, Come Here, Closer, Listen Up

Every so often criminal lawyers have the "joy" of interacting with a civil lawyer in the course of a criminal case.

Now look, I don't like to generalize. There are good and bad lawyers in every field, on every side. In general though, civil lawyers have a method of practice that is very different from criminal practice.

So civil lawyers, come here, closer, listen up:

[1] I went to law school too. There was nothing I read in school or in the last 15 years that mandates "confirmatory letters." I know you get .3 in billable time for writing and sending them, but I won't read them. I won't write them either. When you tell me something, I may scribble it somewhere, but that's for me. See, in criminal law if a prosecutor or defense lawyer doesn't keep their word, it gets around the courthouse in about 23 minutes. I know you come from the school of thought that every lawyer is a blood sucking not-to-be-trusted liar. That's your problem, not mine.

[2] I don't care about your schedule, just like you don't care about mine when you call and give me a deadline to call you back (followed up by a confirmatory letter) "or else."

[3] Court scares you, not me. So don't threaten me with "going to court." I love going to court. I love going to civil court where all the former criminal judges ask "are you lost Mr. Tannebaum?" "What are you doing here?" Trial? please. When we starting big guy?

[4] Cut the crap with telling me every time I ask for a courtesy that you "have to talk to my client." I don't care how "impatient" or "upset" your client is. My client may go to jail and the fact that your client wants a check isn't my priority. I'll try to help, but stop trying to make me believe that your client has to approve of you acting like a normal human being.

[5] Stop telling me you either "used to do some criminal," or "don't know anything about criminal," (with that holding-your-nose attitude). The fact is, you're not a criminal lawyer, and I'm not really interested in hearing about your distant history or lack of knowledge about what I do as if it makes you a better person.

And to those of you that don't do this stuff, call anytime. (I put that in writing for you)

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com


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