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Monday, January 17, 2011

Contingency-Fee Criminal Lawyers

I was browsing lawyer BAR association ethic rules. I came across an interesting bit. Lawyers are barred from accepting contingency-fee arrangements in criminal trials!

In a contingency-fee arrangement, a lawyer only gets paid if he wins.

Contingency-fee arrangements are common in civil trials. The lawyer is paid a percentage of any money collected, receiving nothing if he loses.

In some areas, State thugs encourage frivolous lawsuits. For patents, copyrights, and "civil rights" lawsuits, a prevailing plaintiff lawyer receives attorney fees, in addition to monetary damages. This encourages a lawsuit in cases where actual damages are small. This provides the lawsuit victim/defendant an incentive to settle. A victorious defendant does not recover legal fees as easily as a victorious plaintiff.

Suppose I were frivolously charged with a crime. By lawyer ethics standards, I'm barred from signing a contract with my lawyer that says he gets paid only if I'm acquitted. It's a frivolous charge. Why should I pay if my lawyer does a lousy job and I'm convicted?

The State bars criminal defense lawyers from accepting contingency-fee arrangements. The lawyer's interest is *COMPLETELY DIVORCED* from his client's interest. The lawyer's goal is to maximize hours billed. It makes no difference if his client is convicted or acquitted. In fact, the lawyer gets to bill more if the client is convicted. The lawyer gets to argue sentencing and maybe appeals.

Lawyers work for the State first and the client second. A criminal defense lawyer isn't going to sacrifice his career to keep someone out of jail. In many ways, a criminal defense lawyer is an assistant prosecutor. If the judge insists, the defense lawyer will not introduce favorable evidence or make certain arguments.

For one example, a defendant was charged for violating Federal marijuana laws while operating a "medical marijuana" store, legal according to state law. The lawyer was barred from mentioning "It was a medical marijuana store!" during the trial. Jurors said they would have acquitted if they were told that. In effect, the defense lawyer sold out his client to the State. An honest lawyer would have refused to self-censor when defending his client. However, the lawyer was not willing to risk his career, to keep his defendant out of jail. In that trial, the lawyer was effectively an assistant prosecutor.

For another example, a criminal defense lawyer who mentioned "jury nullification" would be held in contempt of court. He would lose his law license, his career, and the $200k+ invested in law school. Criminal defense lawyers help provide the illusion of legitimacy to State "justice".

If accused of a crime, I'd try to represent myself. However, it's a tough decision. If I'm imprisoned and tortured for months before the trial, that would adversely affect my ability to explain effectively. The State "justice" system is biased against pro se defendants.

However, when a pro se defendant says "Your authority isn't legitimate! This trial is a sham!", that has an effect on the judge and prosecutor. No matter how pro-State brainwashed you are, it's unsettling to see someone pointing out how it's all a scam. Some judges brag about their ability to handle "tough" trials, where the victim is a nonviolent offender who questions the legitimacy of the prosecution.

You don't get picked to be a Federal judge, unless you're pretty thoroughly brainwashed as a pro-State troll. What percentage of "crimes" are really victimless nonviolent crimes? I suspect it's a large percentage, but I haven't seen any statistics.

I was surprised to notice that criminal defense lawyers are barred from making contingency-fee arrangements. The State thinks of everything! By banning contingency-fee arrangements, the interests of the lawyer are completely divorced from the interests of the client.

A lawyer is required to act for the State first, and himself second. The client is a distant third. The lawyer will try to defend the client, but without compromising the State or his future career. This makes a lawyer useless in politically-motivated trials, where the defendant's main argument is "This law is immoral!"


Anonymous said...

In civil cases, a certain number of plaintiffs will float a bad case just for an out-of-court settlement. There is never any intention that it goes anywhere.

To make up for the lack of content, the plaintiff's lawyer will make lots of threats and huff-and-puff to drawn attention away from the lack of a case.

When a non-lawyer reads a letter, all he or she "sees" is the threats.

When a lawyer reads a letter he/she looks for evidence.

Lawyers know this and so pad out dodgy demand letters with threats rather than law references or evidence.

Pay up now they will say or you will have to pay my expensive lawyer's fees.

If you go to a lawyer in a civil case, your lawyer will tell the other side how much money you have so they know whether it is worth suing you.

I've seen on other websites, comments by people that they are surprised one of the first questions they are asked by their lawyer is how much money they have. This question comes before actually working out whether a valid case exists or not against them.

If you have no money the case will mysteriously vanish.

If you have money, a case will materialize out of thin air and no evidence.

Once a sick joker tried to sue me. His case was rushed and he didn't do any research. Material publicly available proved their case was nonsense. I had hard documentary evidence the guy was at the very least LYING BY OMISSION. He had not one single scrap of evidence. I had lots against him and capable of being verified by several reputable and independent third parties.

I constantly phoned my lawyer to tell him to give this DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE to the other side.

He did not. This case against me could have disappeared with just one phone call.

But 2.5 months went by and nothing happened. The other side did not have the decency to tell us they have dropped the matter.

At some level it was dishonest.

I got the strange feeling my lawyer was trying to protect the other side's lawyer from being caught out lying at the least by omission.

My lawyer was useful in the fact he told me that the case will no nowhere.

But bad in the fact that we could have crushed the other side under the weight of their lies, but this did not happen.

If they were just trolling for free information, then there is the view you should not respond in any meaningful way other than to negate what they have presented.

You should not aim to educate them, just say enough to invalidate what they say.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...


When I posted the first comment here, I got an error message back saying it was too large.

So I posted again in two parts.

Please remove the last two posts by Anonymous as the duplicate the first post.

FSK said...

This was about criminal defense lawyers, and not civil lawsuits.

The State legal system is a scam.

Anonymous said...

I think about legal system as of tennis. Prosecution is on one side and defense attorney is on the other. A defendant is a ball. Each time somebody hits a ball and defendant pays money. God forbid when prosecution kicks the ball to the defense attorney and a customer does not have any money. The analogy of tennis is useful because a) trial is just a game for prosecutor, defense and the judge. b) As long as a defendant has the money the game can continue forever c) All participants, excerpt the defendant enjoy the game.

Anonymous said...

As I said before, there should be standard flow charts for legal proceedings. Anyone who can read them should be able to connect the dots and work their case with or without an attorney. The entire process could be done by computer doing away with courtrooms altogether. A human judge/jury does the actual determination, etc. of course. Confronting your accuser could be totally virtual.
Imagine you are at a certain point in a trial, and you have a GUI with list of options that is context sensitive to the current state of the proceedings. Click, you have an objection, another click and you have a motion... and so on.

FSK said...

The rules of the legal system were written by lawyers. They have no interest in making the system accessible to non-lawyers.

There are plenty of ways to organize a more efficient legal system. The problem is that the State has a monopoly. Even if you could come up with a clever innovation, you can't implement it.

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