US Judge orders a retrial after disastrous defense by a lawyer who interviewed his client for only 5 minutes before a trial.
A young lawyer, called in April 2005, screwed up the defense so badly that the judge, of his own motion — a much rarer thing in the US than the UK, ordered a new trial. The young lawyer, a Mr Christopher of the Florida Bar — a Solicitor-Inadequate?, made such a hash of it that the Defendant’s constitutional right to a fair and impartial trial was fatally compromised. Judge William Fuente said that ‘defense attorney Byron T. Christopher “did not render effective assistance” and didn’t adequately prepare for trial’. Juror Delores S. McCain, an alternate juror at Rolon’s trial, said : “Everyone on the jury agreed … We were saying, ‘I hope this guy wasn’t getting paid much. It was sad. I think the guy’s guilty, but he didn’t get a good defense.’ ”
Mr Christopher began work as an assistant for the Hillsborough state attorney in April 2005 but was no longer working for him by October 2005 for unknown reasons. Incompetence maybe?
Sadly, while we in the UK slave to be admitted and gain a practice, in the US the incompetent do seem to be able to wreak havoc more easily.
While drunken shenanigans were entirely acceptable, a warning needed to be given: you are lawyers and so highly regarded by The Lowing Herd, your peers and your punters. Remember that it is a crime to get caught drunk driving. Don't do it.
Don’t, whatever you do, do what these two Oklahoma asshats did: attorney Lewis B. Moon, 42, and Oklahoma County public defender David James Bedford, got totaled and drove around causing trouble in a drive-in diner.
When arrested they behaved extremely badly. Which is fine; that’s what one is supposed to do. But after being goaded by the local filth about being sent to County Jail they bit and insisted on going. In fact they did so repeatedly. They got the “County Jail” baton & ran with it. Not only did they run with it they got a gold medal.
Oh another story too...
Lawyer makes ‘You wanker’ sign at judge: court responds with motion of its own
OK there’s no story here just the headline. But that's all you need to know really.