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A snitch’s story

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Image from Library of Congress’s website.

Los Angeles attorney Barry Tarlow refuses to assist clients with snitching. San Francisco legend Tony Serra also refuses such work , and advises criminal defense lawyers of the importance of such an approach even at serious financial cost. Suffice it to say, refusing snitch work will preclude a lawyer from obtaining trial work with a federal public defender office, and will make the lawyer lose many potential retained federal felony clients. For those lawyers, fortunately the option remains to include state-level criminal defense in the mix.

My standard retainer agreement provides for my potential clients to go to another lawyer if the potential client wants to pursue the snitch route. Each defendant has a right to try to minimize conviction and prison term risk by snitching, so long as no dishonesty is involved (therein lies the rub), just as I have the right to avoid taking on such a client.

The Washington City Paper does not come across to me as a pillar of journalistic excellence and reliability. When one adds an anonymous interviewee to the mix, my suspicions are raised all the more. Nevertheless, submitted for your perusal is this recent City Paper article claiming to summarize an interview with a snitch. Jon Katz.