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Discussion Starter #1
Standard advice if you are ever involved in a shooting seems to be:

A. Call 911
B. Call a lawyer

Through a series of fortunate events, I'm almost 50 and have never had any dealings with an attorney :biggrin:

How does a person go about finding a GOOD attorney? I'm thinking that looking through the "yellow pages" in the immediate aftermath of a shooting is not the best solution. Having the business card of a good attorney in your wallet sounds like it should be standard equipment for a CCW'er....
 

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CombatEffective said:
As with being prepared for trouble by carrying, one should already be prepared by having a lawyer pre-selected.
But that still doesn't answer how to select a good and honest :1frech11: lawyer. And it does pose in interesting question. I sure wouldn't want to hire one of the "winners" that advertize on TV. :dead:
 

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I intend to survey my local scene and should have done it long ago. The priority for me is to find an up front 2A supporting person. That is essential.

I will ask folks I know and also possibly just make some calls.

I must do this.
 

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I'm a criminal defense lawyer. Like any other group, you'll find some good ones and some bad ones. Some expensive, some cheap. Remember, the one who graduated last in his class and passed the bar exam at the absolute bottom still has "Esq." after his name. You certainly want to make sure you get a good one.

First thing to remember is, DON'T PANIC!: the government will give you a lawyer if you don't have one. No one can point out in court the fact that you didn't make a statement until you talked to your lawyer - it's your RIGHT to talk to a lawyer - so there's nothing to lose by asking for one. I tell my friends and family that, if they should ever shoot in self-defense, they should tell the police nothing beyond their basic identity and willingness to cooperate ("My name is ______________. I'm an American citizen. I want to cooperate, but I need to talk to my lawyer first."), and then call me. And to then SHUT THEIR MOUTHS UNTIL I ARRIVE. But, if you don't have or know a criminal defense lawyer, tell the police you need one and one will be assigned. Then, SHUT YOUR MOUTH UNTIL YOU TALK TO HIM/HER.

The lawyer will help a person who just shot in self defense (who is certain to be distraught from such an horrific event) to be sure that he accurately relates what happened to the police. Once the shooter askes for the lawyer, the shooter should then shut his mouth until his lawyer arrives, regardless of how long that takes. You may wind up sitting around at the jail/copshop for a day, but that beats saying something inadvertently stupid and sitting around prison for the rest of your life.

Now that we've established how one should shut up and ask for a lawyer if one doesn't have one, let me see if I can quickly hit the high points of how to think about selecting a good criminal defense lawyer. All right, three easy steps:

1. Pay attention to the news and learn the names of lawyers representing folks in high-wattage criminal cases locally - make a list.

2. Ask cops or lawyers in other fields (wills & trusts, domestic relations, etc.) who they would want defending their wife or child (not them, they'll be more thoughtful if they're thinking of taking care of someone important to them) if she shot anyone in self-defense - make another list.

3. Get 3 names that appear on both lists, call them up & talk to them. See who you like. Many criminal defense lawyers are gun nuts. I don't know many who would not be happy to talk to you (for free!) for 15 minutes and give you their card to put in your pocket "just in case" (hey, chances are good that you'll call them with other business and refer friends and family members if you like them - it's worth 15 minutes of their time). (If you find one who's not willing to do this - he's obviously not your guy.) Find one you like - keep his/her number on your cell.

Folks should know that it will not cost anything to do this: one generally doesn't put a criminal defense lawyer "on retainer." All the criminal defense lawyers of whom I'm aware work on a case/fee basis, and would not require a retainer to simply give a guy a card for a "just in case" scenario. Personally, I'd be real leery of someone who came to me and seriously wanted to put me on a retainer for criminal work!

Also, I'm real leery of sending anyone to the Bar Association for referrals. Some Bar Associations will simply keep a list of folks who've agreed to take certain kinds of cases and refer the lawyer who's next on the list without ever having vetted that lawyer for competence. I can tell you that there are a LOT of lawyers in this state who do criminal defense work, but there are only a couple dozen that I would call to defend my wife. Ask cops and other lawyers who see them in action who THEY would want to defend their family members.

Remember, DON'T SAY ANYTHING UNTIL YOUR LAWYER IS PRESENT!

Everyone feel free to email me if you have any questions!
cheers, erich
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great post, Erich!

That is exactly the kind of inside info I was looking for :banana:

Thanks!
 

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Innocent

Pick an attorney who knows how to defend an innocent person. Many have defended so many scum bags, that they have no idea how to defend some who is innocent.
 

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Two Thumbs Up For Erich

That was a fantasic & helpful post. Thanks.
 

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Erich - That was a very thoughtful and insightful reply. I think many of our members will be grateful for that advice.

I think you should be nominated as Combat Carry's legal counsel.
 

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I'll add my appreciation too Erich - excellent reference material. :smile:

Oh and Bob - where ya bin dude?? Long time no see! :eek:
 

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Erich,

Thanks, that really answers the question and gets us started.
 

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In our CCW class, they gave us a list of attorneys in the Phoenix area that have been especially successful in defending permit holders. One actually specializes in defending defensive shootings. He is a CCW instructor, and of course a permit holder. They suggested that we call one on the list and ask for several business cards. I called the specialist....
 

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Thanks Erich, you answered questions I was hesitant to ask.
 

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Good thread Team.....thanks to Erich for his post, most helpful! We may have to open up other threads....hmmm.....any doctors out there specializing in gunshot wounds! :tongue:
 

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Glad my post was of some use folks!
 

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You may also want to check with the NRA. I know they have a list of proven PRO 2A lawyers. I don't know where to access it, but I have seen it before.

It's also a good idea to keep your chosen laywer on speed dial, and maybe keep his business card in your wallet.
 

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When I was at the Riddle of Steel last year one of the guys there was criminal defense lawyer. He had this great quote that stuck in my head:

Fish only get caught when they open their f'ing mouths!
 
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