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

 

Win a Mountain Buggy Swift

To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.

Shopping with kids: breaking the pester-power cycle

You're out shopping with your little one and they're incessantly whining that they want a treat. It's easy to say no ... the first time, at least.

eBay jacket may hold clue to murdered girl's identity

A jacket similar to the one found with the remains of a brutally murdered little girl in South Australia has been identified on eBay.

New mum forced back to work early due to paid parental leave 'technicality'

Shelley Parker had to keep driving buses until the date her baby was due and will have to rush back to work at the end of this week after being denied paid parental leave on a "technicality".

Pregnant Amanda Palmer poses naked for book drive

It has to be the most original way ever of promoting a children's book donation day.

The conception dilemma facing many parents today

Some parents who conceived through a sperm donor will be wary of telling the child, while others prefer to deal with it early on. But recent research suggests it makes little difference either way.

The wedding photo the bridesmaid would rather forget

We've probably all seen a passed-out bridesmaid at one wedding or another, but it usually happens towards the end of the night.

Pregnant TV meteorologist takes on haters

Pregnant TV meteorologist Katie Fehlinger has hit back at haters who called her a "sausage in casing".

Honest words from first-time mums

I didn't want to say anything negative to my pregnant friend, but I wish I'd been more honest.

Adorable baby experiences rain for the first time, couldn't be happier

Harper had seen rain from the comfort of indoors before, but had never had the pleasure of being outside and experiencing it first hand.

What it's really like to start a family in your fifties

Many people suppose that it must be much more tiring to have a baby in middle age, but all the mothers in the playground look exhausted, whatever their age.

'Biggest hypocrite ever': Josh Duggar admits to Ashley Madison account

An American reality TV star has been busted with a cheating website account, according to US media.

Long recovery ahead for girl hit by car weeks after baby brother's death

A little girl is more alert and starting to talk after being hit by a car a week ago, but still faces a long recovery.

How to react when a toddler lies

Q: My almost-3-year-old is starting to figure out that he can lie when asked if he ripped the book, threw the food, hit his brother, etc. Totally normal, I know. How do we respond?

The circular experience of a Centrelink client

A mum-to-be experiences the frustration of dealing with Centrelink, myGov and everything in between.

Kelly Clarkson announces live on stage: 'I'm pregnant!'

Singer Kelly Clarkson has announced she is pregnant with her second child during a concert in Los Angeles.

Hack

How to search the leaked Ashley Madison data

At least three sites are republishing Ashley Madison's user data on the public-facing internet.

Mum dances her way through labour

There are a fair few ways to distract yourself and beat pains while in labour, but it's probably a rare woman who chooses her dance her way through it.

'Rest in peace, my little lion': premmie baby Jacob passes away

Baby Jacob, whose photo of him born at just 27 weeks was deemed 'too graphic' for a fundraising site, has died.

Mum killed three young sons 'to help her daughter', prosecutor says

Niall Pilkington's death last summer apparently raised little alarm in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Tragic accidents happen, after all.

Shorter women have shorter pregnancies: study

When a group of researchers studied nearly 3500 mothers and their babies, they noticed a curious pattern.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The worst 20 minutes of my life

Thirty seconds was all it took to turn a shopping trip into my worst nightmare.

Top baby names for England and Wales in 2014

George has overtaken William in the official rankings of most popular British baby names - and Game of Thrones is still having an impact on parents.

Baseball or baby? Dad's tough choice

What's more important, a baby or a baseball? That's a question this dad seems to struggle with.

Childbirth choices: five star or free?

It's not often you hear the words labour and luxury in the same sentence but for some, a 5-star start to parenthood is exactly what they seek. And with a number of private hospitals now offering packages which include a post-birth stay at a sumptuous first class resort, many mums are choosing to recover in style.

'Where did your boobies go, Mummy?' and other soul-destroying comments from kids

Most women carry a smidge of baby weight after giving birth. If you're lucky enough to have an older child in the house, they can keep you on track with your weight loss goals.

Do you read me, baby?

Is it too soon to be reading to my two-month-old son? If not, what should I read?

Minimising sibling rivalry when you've got a baby

Sibling rivalry is an act of competition, but if your children feel involved and special, this type of jealousy will be minimised.

Will studying on maternity leave take you away from your most important job?

I remember when I was trying to decide if I could combine motherhood and furthering my university education.

Win a Pacapod this Father's Day

To celebrate dads and families, we are giving away a Picos Pack from Pacapod Australia filled with a few extra goodies ENTER NOW

Preschooler hit by car shortly after baby brother's death

A mother has had a frantic race to the hospital after her daughter was hit by a car, just four weeks after her infant son died.

Gay couple and Thai surrogate in custody tug-of-war

A six-month-old baby girl is trapped in the Thai capital in a bitter custody wrangle between her Thai surrogate mother and her biological father.

Couple denied IVF over parenting concerns

A mother of six has been denied access to IVF treatment in order to have another child over concerns about her parenting skills.

The book that promises to put your children to sleep

Exhausted parents from around the world are singing the praises of a "miracle" book which promises to put even the most restless child to sleep in just minutes.

5 things every parent who feels guilty needs to know

Parenthood can make you feel bad, but you're not alone.

Royals criticise 'dangerous' attempts to photograph Prince George

The British royal family criticized paparazzi on Friday for what it called their increasingly dangerous attempts to photograph young Prince George.

'No jab, no play' rule to cover Victorian kindergartens and childcare centres

"Anti-vaxxers" face not being able to send their children to childcare centres or kindergarten if they refuse to have them immunised.

15,000 birthing kits on their way to developing countries

Giving birth in a hospital surrounded by medical experts is tough enough, but some women deliver babies without a clean sheet to lie on.

Photo of premmie 'too graphic', fundraising site says

When their son Jacob was born at just 27 weeks, Christina and Jeff Hinks were thrown into an uncertain world.

The latest Bugaboo collections: cool chevron and runner prams

Bugaboo sure likes to keep things fresh, and with the Australian spring/summer season coming up, there are two new Bugaboo pram releases.

Making room for two in the bed

Mum's room or their own room? Cot or bassinets? Deciding where twins will sleep can be tricky.

 

FREE TICKET

See Hi-5 LIVE in Sydney!

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
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.