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

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Wrong Things Potential Clients Say To Criminal Defense Lawyers And Why

[1] How many cases have you won?

We all know there's those lawyers out there who say "I've never lost a case." If that's true, assume yours will be the first.

[2] My friend had a lawyer and he got the whole thing "quashed," "dismissed," "thrown out."

My friend went to the best doctor in the world and died.

[3] If I pay you this money I'm guaranteed not to go to jail, right?

Criminal defense lawyers aren't ethically permitted to give guarantees. If you talk to one who does, run out of their office as quick as possible, with your money.

[4] How much do you need to get started?

This is interpreted to a criminal defense lawyer as "what is the smallest amount I can give you now, and then make you chase me for the balance?"

[5] What do you mean by priors?

This means, "yes, I have been arrested, but I don't want to talk about that before you quote your fee."

[6] Can I get back to you, think about it, talk to my family?

Sure, but you won't.

[7] I didn't bring my checkbook today.

How funny, that happened to me the last time I went to buy something and I walked out with nothing as well.

[8] What's our chances of "beating this thing?"

No matter how many times I say "50-50," it never receives a different response than "I know, but what's our chances of beating this thing?"

[9] Can I be honest with you?

Honest is good, especially right now.

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


  1. Anonymous7:42 PM

    I love this article. I would like to post a copy or a version on my website: San Diego DUI Lawyer.

  2. Anonymous2:57 PM

    That is HILARIOUS! I particularly like the responses to how much to get started and forgetting to bring the checkbook.

    I've been learning about those two (unfortunately) the hard way. :(

    Amazing how you can learn to say, "the smallest amount is what I just quoted" after you've been stiffed a few times.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  3. This is an excellent, easy to scan article on choosing a DUI Lawyer