Jump to content

Any lawyers?
*fluff* question


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 ~mimo~

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:41 PM

How do you represent people (in court) when you KNOW the person is guilty and/or it goes against your morals? unsure.gif

#2 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:46 PM

Well if you KNOW they are guilty then you can't represent them very effectively, you can't adduce any evidence that is inconsistent with their admission (to you) of their guilt....so effectively you don't give them a defence. Or you tell them to plead guilty and try to get a reduced sentence.

#3 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

I used to refer them off to other lawyers if it was something that was morally reprehensible to me and I was convinced they were guilty. It's ok to do that if you are doubtful of whether you can represent them well enough.

#4 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

There are a few answers to this:

The official one is that we trust the system.   The police and the prosecutors are there to do their (ethical) best to prove your client's guilt, the judge and jury are there to make the right decision, the defence lawyer is there to defend their client, and the rules of evidence are there to make it fair.   If everyone does their job right then it should all balance out.  

But we have heaps of rules.  Legally you can't lie to the court so you can't actually deny they did it if you KNOW they are guilty - that is they have told you they did it.   In civil trials you can't run a defence if you don't believe it has a reasonable prospect of success.

But the reality is that its such a rare situation that IME most lawyers won't encounter it.

Most of us do other types of work, and people who do criminal work are more often concerned with sentencing issues (like mental health, drugs, family responsibilities, rehabilitation programmes etc).  

I acted for a corporate client who most people would nominate as the epitome of evil, and I never was put in a position of doing anything to deny their guilt/responsibility.

Edited by meggs1, 30 November 2012 - 07:13 PM.


#5 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

There are a whole heap of rules.

First up, all lawyers are officers of the court, and the court is paramount - so no lying to the court.

Second, you have duties to your client. Everything they tell you is privileged, so you cannot tell the court (or anyone else for that matter) that they are guilty. However, they are not able to direct you to run a case that is inconsistent with their guilt. That leaves you with ensuring that the prosecution have done their job correctly, and observed the legal niceties - like ensuring the elements of the crime are proven, evidence is all admissable, and that kind of thing.

Basically, its your job to ensure the other side do their job correctly. Of course, many clients don't understand that you cannot act contrary to their admissions, so in the end you advise the court you cannot continue to represent them, and they get another lawyer.

One of the really important part of our legal system is making sure that the law is impartial and 'just' as fair as possible. That means we all have a duty to ensure that convictions on criminal charges are above board, and as sound as possible. Some people feel really passionately about the system, and everyone's right to have a fair trial and the best representation - and that's why they represent people charged with crimes.

I personally cannot think of anything worse than a legal system that hangs 'criminals' out to dry. It leads to sloppy policing and investigation, and really BIG mistakes. Eventually, that would trickle into other parts of the legal system, and that would be a terrible thing for those who are on the receiving end of an accusation.

#6 ~mimo~

Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:42 AM

Thanks for explaining!

Btw I'm just curious. Random thought that popped in my head.

#7 princessanarchy

Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:51 AM

I HATE these questions. Go watch LA Law and feel better about life. Grr.
#sorry - cranky


#8 Froger

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:20 AM

OP, I have included a link to an excellent article about the matter. It clearly outlines the "cab rank" rule, which the general public seem to have no idea about, and also the way lawyers contribute to upholding the rule of law, and why they are duty bound to still represent the unpopular.


QUOTE
Several lawyers made the point that when lawyers fail to stand between the most undesirable clients and the power of the state the entire system is at risk. As one public defender said: ‘We can’t import into the system a subjective value judgement about which case is more worthy than another, who is more deserving. If this happens, the system — and our entire society, really — cannot be said to represent justice.’[69]

Another leading barrister said: ‘It is simply essential to the system that everyone, no matter how unpopular, gets a defence.’[70]



QUOTE
Many lawyers who represent unpopular clients believe that the very legitimacy of the legal system is reflected in how it treats the worst. As one prominent barrister stated:

The quality of the system is tested by how it treats the worst. … The worst, most revolting criminal or terrorist or whoever it happens to be, if you can get a fair trial for them then everyone else is guaranteed a good run. But if the system starts taking short cuts because somebody is so bad, then it’s the system that’s coming apart.[71]





QUOTE
A legal aid lawyer who has also been in the private Bar[76] made the same point, but with self-deprecating humour:

Why represent clients that others loath? Sometimes I think it comes from my deeply indecisive nature. I don’t know whether someone is guilty or not. In 99 per cent of cases they say they are not guilty. As a lawyer, I say okay, that’s the system; you’re entitled to put this case. It’s all the more important when you have a deeply unpopular client. It’s more important to get the jury to put aside their prejudices. We don’t know things. That’s why we have a system designed not to find out the truth but to find out whether the Crown has proved its case.[77]
Another prominent lawyer made a similar point about lawyers ‘knowing’ that their clients are guilty:

People say you know. But everyone who has done any amount of trial work has had the mortifying experience of thinking you know what’s true and you find out that what the client has told you is true, and you were bloody wrong about your assumed knowledge of his guilt. … [This experience] makes it easier to suspend judgment. We have a system. The jury decides. I don’t.[78]
One criminal defence lawyer agreed, noting that ‘first impressions can be totally wrong.’[79]

He told a story about a client who had been accused of rape. With a wry warm-heartedness common to criminal lawyers, he described his client as an ‘idiot’ who ‘looked like a rapist’ with his ‘big bulging eyes’ and who acted like one with his ‘secretive’ and ‘strange’ manner. The complainant, on the other hand, was ‘compelling.’ When she testified at the committal hearing, she was ‘brave and snivelling’ as she offered up the awful details of the crime. She was later exposed as a liar by a purportedly corroborating witness — her soon-to-be former boyfriend. The complainant’s plan had been to extort money from the accused, but the boyfriend began to fear that he would be accused next.[80]





http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp...uery=cab%20rank

I highly recommend this interesting article on austlii, for understanding the basics.




And here is a short smh article about one aspect of the subject.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/att...1101-17agv.html

Edited by SarahM72, 01 December 2012 - 09:28 AM.


#9 chat

Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:15 PM

As someone suggested, the court is paramount and a lawyer is an officer of the court.  Everyone has the right to a fair trial though and I believe Barristers have to take on jobs unless they clash with other work which is why people like Martin Bryant will always be represented in one way or another.  It takes a special kind of person to work in criminal law day in and day out.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

The myths and truths of gender swaying

Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.

10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas

It's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not branch out when you put up your tree this year and add a personal touch with a few DIY decorations? We've found the perfect easy-to-make ways to put more festive fever into your home.

The dangerous new trend of glucose challenge test refusal

A dangerous trend is seeing more mothers-to-be declining a relatively simple and painless test to check for gestational diabetes.

Office of Fair Trading reveals naughty toys ahead of Christmas

The Office of Fair Trading has pulled seven toys from shelves ahead of Christmas after they fail safety tests.

Video: Baby boy's trouble with twins

These twin girls will no doubt have fun fooling people in years to come, but nobody will be as confused as baby Landon.

Long-term reversible male contraceptive on its way

Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.

'I tried to kill my baby': one mum's story

After bathing and dressing her three-month-old son, Amanda had a rare moment alone with her baby.

Attack of the 'mummy brain'

I feel that almost every day, someone in my life - be they a friend, family member or complete stranger - feels the need to excuse my behaviour as I have other things on my mind.

Mum of baby who fell ill after drinking raw milk speaks out

A Melbourne mother has described how her son turned grey when he became seriously ill after drinking raw milk.

Australian divorce rate lowest since 1976

Modern newlyweds are now well into their 30s and marriage still offers something powerful a new book argues.

The aftermath of a traumatic birth experience

In Australia, 30 per cent of women find their birth experience traumatic, with 6 per cent going on to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Young mum burns 'from inside-out'

A young mum is in intensive care after she took a friend's antibiotic and wound up with an ailment that is burning her body 'from the inside-out'.

The disagreement that can break a relationship

If he doesn't change his mind, all I can hope is that I will. It would be a waste to spend the rest of my marriage mourning a baby that never was.

Co-sleeping or no-sleeping? Mum videos worst nap ever

One mother's futile attempt to sleep in caught on camera in a hilarious - and very cute - video.

Why children misbehave during the festive season

While we all like to imagine the holiday season as being a fun, loving and bonding experience; often our reality is quiet different.

I was fat-shamed by my doctor

The fear of being weighed is the most significant factor in women cancelling medical appointments - and now weight-shaming has happened to me.

End of an era: no more childcare

As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

The 7-year itch is more like the 10-year itch: study

Contrary to popular belief, making it past the seven-year mark doesn't mean your marriage will be smooth sailing from there on.

Stop telling us that parenting gets harder

I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.

Should children be forced to sit on Santa's lap?

We teach kids it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe, so why do some parents force their children to climb in to Santa's lap?

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Baby born weighing almost 14 pounds

Yes, the bouncing baby girl was born by caesarean section. And mum says no more kids.

The dummy debate

I'm the first to admit that when I used to see tiny babies with dummies in their mouths, I thought "Hmm, lazy parenting." And now I apologise.

'I thought I was an only child'

Imagine meeting your double at a school sports event, or regularly being mistaken for someone you haven't met. Separated twins Margaret and Joy tell their story.

Mums reveal their nappy bag essentials

Ever wondered what other mums carry in their nappy bags? We have, so we asked mums to tell us their must-have nappy bag items.

Toddler died because he wasn't given antibiotics soon enough

A 15-month-old boy would almost certainly be alive today if doctors had given him antibiotics sooner, a coroner has ruled.

VIDEO: moment a toddler falls on to train tracks in Melbourne

Shocking footage has emerged capturing the moment a pram carrying a toddler rolled off a platform and onto train tracks in suburban Melbourne.

Sold on natural birth? Read the fine print

In the excitement and anticipation of a first pregnancy, I ignored the fine print: some women, some of the time.

Child with alcoholic mum who drank while pregnant won't win pay-out

A young child is not entitled to criminal injuries compensation after her mother drank excessively while pregnant.

Superbugs killing India's babies, posing wider threat

A deadly epidemic that could have global implications is quietly sweeping India, tens of thousands of newborns dying because antibiotics no longer work.

Can you teach a toddler to sleep in?

Parents share their tips on getting their early risers to sleep in, even for just a little bit longer.

Keeping your relationship on track as new parents

About 70 per cent of couples experience a slump in their relationship within three years of having a baby. Here's how we tried to get back on track.

America's favourite baby names of 2014

Americans are turning to television, Netflix and sports for ideas for what to name their wee ones.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

As Sydney grieves the loss of Sydney siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, reports have suggested that both died as heroes.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.