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Naysayers May Neigh – A Criminal Lawyer’s View on Winning

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Naysayers may neigh - Fairfax criminal lawyer on winning - Yoda standee

Naysayers may neigh- Fairfax criminal lawyer on winning

Naysayers are many, but the criminal defendant must pursue victory, says Fairfax criminal lawyer

Naysayers — those who too quickly insist that risks will fail — can abound in courthouses, even among some otherwise excellent criminal defense lawyers. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I remind my clients that we must keep our eyes on the prize of the best possible outcomes in their case, and must be ready to take calculated risks.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained in criminal court, while transcending naysayers

Naysayers can come cloaked in otherwise seemingly reliable clothing. A Fairfax criminal lawyer colleague who is otherwise a good lawyer seemed downright irritated when I rejected his advice to accept a prosecutor-offered 251 marijuana disposition when I told him that was not in the cards, particularly where that would not have helped his F-1 student visa. We went to trial, and won on suppression at the closing argument stage when the judge at first ruled the opposite when I moved to suppress the small bag of marijuana that my driver client had allegedly tossed to the rear of his car.

On making reality no obstacle and aiming for a point beyond the board you wish to punch in two

My great criminal trial law teacher SunWolf reminds us that reality is no obstacle, in that we can often achieve possibilities in court and beyond that we never imagined. Similarly, a more experienced fellow taekwondo practitioner in college told me that when he breaks a wooden board by punching or kicking it, he aims for a point beyond the board, to assure it breaks. The courthouse naysayers are not seeing beyond the board.

Another great criminal lawyer reminded us to of the truism of the necessity of being ready to try cases, despite any naysayers. For instance, if a complainant alleges sexual assault, the defense lawyer must be ready at the pretrial hearing to get the complainant to describe the assailant’s penis in detail (starting with circumcised or not), to set up a possible misidentification or prevarication defense. In a prosecution alleging possession with intent to distribute one or two grams of cocaine, we can remind the jury that this is not much of a weight, when for instance considering that a typical single-serving sugar packet contains up to four grams of sugar.

Another great criminal trial teacher once spoke of how he obtained a great result of a manslaughter rather than murder conviction after his client found his wife in bed with another man, shot them both, went outside and thought a bit, reloaded, returned to the house and shot them both again. I never condone such behavior, but defend my clients to the hilt in court, without being distracted by naysayers.

Yoda in standee form graces my office for good reason, because criminal defense is not about trying, but doing and unblocking, regardless of how seemingly challenging are the circumstances at hand.

Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz pursues your best defense against felony, misdemeanor and DUI prosecutions. Jon Katz will be delighted to meet with you for a free in-person consultation about your court-pending criminal case, by scheduling a confidential consultation with his staff, at 703-383-1100.

1 Comment

  1. john iorio on December 8, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Could you go into further detail about how one becomes ready to try cases??….through experience, through law history..through recent verdicts??…..through perry mason? i like the idea of a calculated risk, that seems the case when the 151 disposition was rejected for a better deal….but, ok, what was the back-up plan there in case it failed??