IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE, PATIENCE IS NOT A VIRTUE; IT IS A REQUIREMENT FOR SUCCESS.
This morning, I was at a calendar call for a trial calendar in Fulton County State Court. I was there on a DUI case that had been pending for nearly 3 years. There were a lot of lawyers – many of which were unfamiliar with the process of the court and the court’s trial calendars. Some lawyers were making announcements that showed their lack of familiarity, and many were expressing their disgust with how “inefficient” the court was. It is the latter group that are really harmful to their clients. You see, lawyers that are willing to pay attention can get up to speed on the processes in a court rather quickly. However, there really is no helping a lawyer that is too frustrated by the process to actually learn what is going on.
When a criminal defense attorney (or any type of lawyer for that matter) reacts out of frustration over the time that the court is taking, the lawyer loses control of their emotions and the inevitable effect of that loss of control is that the client suffers. When criminal defense clients suffer, they end up in jail or with a criminal history that might have otherwise been avoided.
Any lawyer that handles DUI and criminal cases in Fulton County, Georgia, must understand the dynamics at work there. The lawyer must understand that the case will be open much longer than it probably would be in other jurisdictions. The lawyer must understand that by maintaining his/her patience, exceptional results may be obtained; however, if patience is not maintained,it is virtual certainty that an exceptional result without a trial will not be obtained.
So, before you lose your cool and tell a prosecutor or judge “what you really think about him/her”, remember: this isn’t about you and your feelings. Your job is about someone a lot more important: your client. Suck it up. That’s what you get paid the big bucks for.
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