In my 13th year of running my own criminal defense firm, I love that my cases have gotten more complex and interesting. The reality is that greener lawyers are not equipped to a large scale fraud, conspiracy, or homicide cases. Experience is not gained overnight, and the experience need to defend major felony cases is learned both inside and outside the courtroom.
But in addition to expanding my horizons in terms of my caseload and experience, including far more frequent ventures into federal court – not just in Phoenix but around the United States, I have donned the hat of a legal analyst for several local television stations and national networks. Admittedly, there are times where I have to talk out of both sides of my mouth.
While I remain true to my beliefs, the fact is that a one sided perspective doesn’t make for good TV. Offering insight as to both sides of a case sometimes gives me flashbacks to my brief stint as a prosecutor many years ago. And while I occasionally feel the urge to rip off my microphone and run out of the studio, dodging the maze of lights and wires, in search of a shower to wipe off my feelings of betrayal to the defense bar and my clients, the fact of the matter is that providing objective legal analysis to millions of viewers actually makes me a better criminal defense attorney.
Many lawyers tell their clients what they want to hear, no matter the truth or the reality of their predicament or plight. I’ve never done that and I never will. Perhaps it’s actually the offending lawyers’ lack of experience and inability to see the totality of the situation, let alone what the ‘other side’ sees.
So maybe my double life and internal conflict isn’t such a bad thing after all. Perhaps it’s made me a better lawyer, and, if nothing else, I’ve learned the proper way to apply makeup so I don’t shine in front of the camera.