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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No, This Isn't How To Spot A Criminal Defense Attorney's Kid

I'm one of those that laughs at things on the internet that others don't find funny. I think people get a little too bent out of shape about well-intended jokes that because they don't fit in to someone's narrow agenda, are criticized as "not funny."

But I didn't find this funny.

Yes, that's a post by another civil lawyer who believes that only civil law is lucrative - as we criminal lawyers are all out here taking a few bucks for small cases, and that it's funny that a criminal defense attorney's kid is saying "fuck the police."

Reminds me of something that happened a couple weeks ago at my dinner table.

I was relaying that I saw a police officer my family knows, to which my youngest said "where, at the doughnut shop?"

The dinner table conversation ceased. I looked at my wife and thought "where did she hear that?" We certainly don't joke around the house about the old police/doughnut connection. I then let her know I didn't think it was funny, and didn't want to hear it again - not in my presence, or someone else's - especially around school where someone's parent may be a cop.

Yes, my days are filled trying to find their mistakes, where they violated constitutional rights, and how I'm going to show that their allegations are BS. But the not-so-secret secret amongst criminal defense lawyers is that many of us are friendly with law enforcement. Some of us have close friends that wear guns and badges. Others, well, we enjoy a mutual respect. When our homes are robbed, we call the police, when we have a car accident, we look to the police to resolve the dispute between opposing cars. When they drive around the neighborhood, we wave, and when they attend the local community events, we say hello. Whether it's the cop we've known for years that slaps us on the back after we trash him on the stand, or the one that remembers the advice we gave him as a young rookie, or the one that lets us surrender our client next Tuesday, instead of "immediately." We both have a job to do.

Yes, there are scumbag cops, and there are scumbag lawyers. But there is no room for a culture of either cops or lawyers finding joy in their kids lack of respect for either. Is there a cop's kid writing "lawyers are assholes," on a chalkboard?

So I don't know where my kid heard this doughnut shop comment - maybe it was on TV, or maybe it was from some kid at school with a chalkboard at home and a parent with an interesting sense of parenting.

Non-anonymous comments welcome.Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court, and the author of The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer.Share/Save/Bookmarkokdork.com rules Post to Twitter