Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
For Book: Attorney Steps in to Help?
Old 10-06-2018, 09:18 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 12,443
For Book: Attorney Steps in to Help?

Here is another subplot in the legal thriller I'm writing:

A young woman is acting as her own lawyer in a case in which she's accused of resisting arrest.

In my book, the main character (an attorney) is watching the trial. He takes pity on the defendant, and steps up in the middle of the trial and volunteers to represent her (pro bono).

Could that happen in real life?
__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-06-2018, 09:34 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 10,694
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Here is another subplot in the legal thriller I'm writing:

A young woman is acting as her own lawyer in a case in which she's accused of resisting arrest.

In my book, the main character (an attorney) is watching the trial. He takes pity on the defendant, and steps up in the middle of the trial and volunteers to represent her (pro bono).

Could that happen in real life?

What's his alternative motive (seeing money is put aside?

1. Future relationship with the young woman?

2. Marketing his skills?

3. He is a lousy attorney and can't find work?

4. Other?

(I've never met an attorney that worked for free or for food)
__________________

__________________
Saying on a Get Well card from a friend of mine after I had my second hip replacement - "Don't let the Old Man in..."
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 09:47 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 12,443
None of those things. The idea is that he's a nice guy, and he just can't stand to see the woman defending herself poorly. Note that the judge seems annoyed that the woman is making mistakes.

In the case, the woman was standing somewhere and interfering with the police unintentionally. When they asked her to move, she got indignant and said she had the right to be where she was. The police wrestled her to the ground and handcuffed her.

My character asks to represent her, confers with her, convinces her to plead guilty and be contrite. She does so, explaining that she was confused about her rights. The judge gives her a light sentence.


This only takes thirty minutes or so.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 01:02 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,305
As a potential juror who sat through 2 days of utterly inept voir dire in a pro se case, I can tell you that it's not only the judge who gets annoyed in this situation. I can also tell you that even though the defendant was representing himself, he was still required to have a court appointed lawyer sitting there with him; although he was obviously ignoring all recommendations and suggestions from that lawyer.

The charges in that case were all felonies, but if resisting arrest is only a misdemeanor, which seems likely if the cops weren't injured and she was never charged with whatever crime they were arresting her for (interfering with police maybe?), I'm guessing there might not already be a court appointed lawyer so that would leave room for your character to step in. The thing is though, I don't see how he gets a chance to do it. He can't just interrupt the proceedings, and in such a short case there's not likely to be a break in the action that would let him speak with her before the verdict is rendered.
cathy63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 01:20 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
Oz investor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 780
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Here is another subplot in the legal thriller I'm writing:

A young woman is acting as her own lawyer in a case in which she's accused of resisting arrest.

In my book, the main character (an attorney) is watching the trial. He takes pity on the defendant, and steps up in the middle of the trial and volunteers to represent her (pro bono).

Could that happen in real life?
if the legal fight was gaining media ( or wide public ) discussion ... YES

sometimes the free advertising created completely offsets any fees lost .

good luck on the book
__________________
i hold the Australian listed versions of AU ( Anglo Ashanti ) , BHP , and JHG .

You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.

Samuel Levenson
Oz investor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 01:28 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
Oz investor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 780
Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
What's his alternative motive (seeing money is put aside?

1. Future relationship with the young woman?

2. Marketing his skills?

3. He is a lousy attorney and can't find work?

4. Other?

(I've never met an attorney that worked for free or for food)

come across a couple that never did the work they billed for ( like title and outstanding debt searches on a conveyancing ).

i would expect an ulterior motive ... ( there must be a rare exception to this but not in my experience )
__________________
i hold the Australian listed versions of AU ( Anglo Ashanti ) , BHP , and JHG .

You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.

Samuel Levenson
Oz investor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 01:55 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,203
Why is the woman representing herself? If she is indigent why doesn't she have appointed counsel? If not indigent why didn't she hire an attorney? Did she think she didn't need one? If so, then why is she so foolish? Did her attorney fire her because she was a difficult client? If I was an attorney sitting in the room I would wonder why she didn't have an attorney and it might be because she is someone who would be a difficult client.

The attorney who is watching the trial. Is he a solo practitioner? Most firms don't just let attorneys volunteer to represent people. You have to get approval.

Also, attorneys have to do conflict checks before taking on representation. Maybe that attorney represents someone who is to be a witness in the case and the attorney may have a conflict in representing this woman. Can't just assume there is no conflict.

From a practical standpoint -- why is the attorney in the courtroom watching the trial. Attorneys generally don't just do that unless they have a reason. Is he waiting for another hearing to start? Does he need to speak to the court? Why is he there?
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 05:21 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 12,443
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
Why is the woman representing herself? If she is indigent why doesn't she have appointed counsel? If not indigent why didn't she hire an attorney? Did she think she didn't need one? If so, then why is she so foolish? Did her attorney fire her because she was a difficult client? If I was an attorney sitting in the room I would wonder why she didn't have an attorney and it might be because she is someone who would be a difficult client.

The attorney who is watching the trial. Is he a solo practitioner? Most firms don't just let attorneys volunteer to represent people. You have to get approval.

Also, attorneys have to do conflict checks before taking on representation. Maybe that attorney represents someone who is to be a witness in the case and the attorney may have a conflict in representing this woman. Can't just assume there is no conflict.

From a practical standpoint -- why is the attorney in the courtroom watching the trial. Attorneys generally don't just do that unless they have a reason. Is he waiting for another hearing to start? Does he need to speak to the court? Why is he there?

Good info.


Yes, the attorney has his own small firm.


I will manufacture some reason for him to be in the courtroom, something like the ones you mentioned.


I'm basing this subplot on a trial shown in this Youtube video:


https://youtube.com/AZJzMvuJZto?t=614


(She won't have big boobs, though. Nothing to suggest ulterior motive. My MC just can't resist helping people (and wants people to like him))



My concept is that after the defendant is really screwing up, the attorney says something like:


  1. Attorney (known to judge): Excuse me, may I approach the bench?
  2. Judge: You don't have any standing here (??)
  3. Attorney: I'm hoping I can help everyone here ...
  4. Judge allows him, prosecutor, and defendant to approach bench.
  5. Attorney: I'm willing to represent the defendant. Shouldn't take long.
  6. Judge agrees.
  7. Attorney confers with his new client, convinces her to plead guilty, explain that she didn't understand the law, won't do it again, etc.
  8. She does so.
  9. Judge gives her a very lenient sentence.
It's 1-4 that I'm not sure about.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 06:34 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,203
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Good info.


Yes, the attorney has his own small firm.


I will manufacture some reason for him to be in the courtroom, something like the ones you mentioned.


I'm basing this subplot on a trial shown in this Youtube video:


https://youtube.com/AZJzMvuJZto?t=614


(She won't have big boobs, though. Nothing to suggest ulterior motive. My MC just can't resist helping people (and wants people to like him))



My concept is that after the defendant is really screwing up, the attorney says something like:


  1. Attorney (known to judge): Excuse me, may I approach the bench?
  2. Judge: You don't have any standing here (??)
  3. Attorney: I'm hoping I can help everyone here ...
  4. Judge allows him, prosecutor, and defendant to approach bench.
  5. Attorney: I'm willing to represent the defendant. Shouldn't take long.
  6. Judge agrees.
  7. Attorney confers with his new client, convinces her to plead guilty, explain that she didn't understand the law, won't do it again, etc.
  8. She does so.
  9. Judge gives her a very lenient sentence.
It's 1-4 that I'm not sure about.
Well...it is fiction. I mean the conflict issue in real life would definitely come up. Another issue with the fact pattern you have given is that you haven't established that the attorney that the attorney hasn't just committed malpractice. Maybe pleading guilty isn't what the woman should do. Has he gotten discovery of the prosecutor's case? Maybe the case is no good. Maybe there are witnesses who should be called. And so on. Criminal law is not my field so maybe there are other problems with this. But, him just walking in and telling her to plead guilty right then raises my eyebrows.

Of course, as I said, this is fiction. So lots of fictional legal stuff is just horrendous in terms of plausibility....
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 06:46 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 821
Assuming he's licensed in the jurisdiction, I don't believe there would be an issue with him stepping in to represent her.

While the prosecutor would grumble, the judge would probably welcome it.
CoolRich59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 07:01 PM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 821
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post

My concept is that after the defendant is really screwing up, the attorney says something like:
Judge: You don't have any standing here (??) Not standing as that concept only applies to the litigants. The judge would probably say something like: "Do you have some interest is these proceedings Mr. A?"

Judge allows him, prosecutor, and defendant to approach bench. The conversation would probably take place as a short recess, not an on-the-record sidebar. At first it would be just the judge and the atty; since, at this point, the conversation is not part of the official proceeding. Afterwards, I would think the judge would bring in the defendant, and, as a courtesy, the prosecutor. She would need to agree to be represented, and the prosecutor would need to know what's going on.
CoolRich59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2018, 07:25 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Long Island
Posts: 1,154
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Good info.


Yes, the attorney has his own small firm.


I will manufacture some reason for him to be in the courtroom, something like the ones you mentioned.


I'm basing this subplot on a trial shown in this Youtube video:


https://youtube.com/AZJzMvuJZto?t=614


(She won't have big boobs, though. Nothing to suggest ulterior motive. My MC just can't resist helping people (and wants people to like him))



My concept is that after the defendant is really screwing up, the attorney says something like:


  1. Attorney (known to judge): Excuse me, may I approach the bench?
  2. Judge: You don't have any standing here (??)
  3. Attorney: I'm hoping I can help everyone here ...
  4. Judge allows him, prosecutor, and defendant to approach bench.
  5. Attorney: I'm willing to represent the defendant. Shouldn't take long.
  6. Judge agrees.
  7. Attorney confers with his new client, convinces her to plead guilty, explain that she didn't understand the law, won't do it again, etc.
  8. She does so.
  9. Judge gives her a very lenient sentence.
It's 1-4 that I'm not sure about.
Hi Al,

I have never, ever, seen an attorney not representing a party jump up and interrupt a trial.

Typically procedure to get to the Judge, would be to get a close as possible to the judge's clerk. Clerk, if sitting far enough from Jury, may motion you to come up to his desk, but typically (if they are in the mood to acknowledge you AT ALL) he/she might walk to the back of the courtroom and take you outside into the hall, where you can explain what you are doing there. Clerk can in turn get to judge when there is a lull, or slip judge a note. There is also the option of trying to reach a law secretary in chambers.


If the judge was inclined to entertain this unorthodox approach, the Jury would be taken out of the room, before any type of discussion took place. This is not a side bar issue.


And, the pleading guilty would typically be part of a deal. An attorney would want to know the likely outcome of a plea prior to advising his client to plead guilty. For example, agree plea to a lessor charge, i.e. disturbing the peace, get prosecutor to agree and recommend an ACOD.

This attorney looks like he's looking to be held in contempt, followed by a malpractice lawsuit.

Attorneys do upon occasion, work for free. It is called pro bono.

They do, upon occasions watch portions of (other people's) trials - but they usually have another reason for being there.


When a party is proceeding pro se, in those instances/ courts where they typically are represented by counsel, there is usually a reason for it - such as they drove off their prior counsel. Judge's hate that. (I'm not taking about small claims or landlord tenant revolve around pro se litigants.)

As far as a pro se messing up, that part is spot on accurate.
__________________
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.
MarieIG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2018, 09:27 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 12,443
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieIG View Post
Hi Al,

I have never, ever, seen an attorney not representing a party jump up and interrupt a trial.

Thanks, Marie!


I think I might scrap this subplot. But if I keep it, maybe this scenario:



  1. There is a recess and the attorney talks to the defendant in the hall.
  2. He represents her pro bono, and they talk to the prosecutor.
  3. They work out a plea deal


The point is: The main character is helpful to a fault.


But that's sounding pretty boring.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2018, 10:32 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Long Island
Posts: 1,154
Hi Al, I'm sure you will do a great job.

(I did pro bono work for a few years, when I first started - but not criminal. Pro bono was additional work on top of working about sixty hours a week at the time. I decided to stop one night, when I was in the office at 2:00 am after not having seen the children all day.). I decided my children needed me more. Now working 6 -7 days a week, so time is too short.

BTW, some people appreciated the work: others took it for granted.

Maybe again after retirement . . . but I would do it through an organized group/ charity so that malpractice insurance would be covered. Or maybe I'd rather work in a soup kitchen. I'm tired.
__________________

__________________
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.
MarieIG is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help with Next Steps--Lost Wallet flipstress FIRE and Money 20 08-19-2008 04:09 PM
Would like to Retire in 5 years- I need help with next investment steps Foodeefish FIRE and Money 7 12-14-2005 08:12 AM
Can a US attorney practice in Mexico? ken_d Other topics 2 01-24-2005 03:42 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:26 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×