An Open Letter to Prosecutors

lawyer in court

Dear Prosecutor,

My goal is to always have a cordial and professional relationship with you. In fact, we may even like each other and develop a friendship outside of the workplace. But make no mistake about it that when we are in the courtroom, I am not your friend nor am I about to do your job for you.

Our roles are very different. Your job is to administer justice and, when appropriate, to prove someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I, as a criminal defense attorney, am tasked with zealously, aggressively, and ethically representing my clients and putting your case to the test. Can you really prove your case? Is there evidence that you have overlooked or ignored? Did the police break the law and violate my client’s Constitutional rights in their investigation?

If you forget to call a witness at trial or to file a motion, don’t expect me to point it out to you. It’s called an adversarial system. Don’t get bent out of shape or offended if, heaven forbid, you screw something up and I don’t jump to your rescue. Let’s remember that more times than not, you are trying to put my client in prison, or at the very least label them as a convicted felon. I wouldn’t expect you to tell me if there is an argument that I neglected to make that would better my client’s position or case.

Please stop whining and crying to me about being offended because I did my job and I did it well. Lawyers represent their clients’ interests and advocate for them. Criminal defense attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona are no exception. And by the way, if you have such a problem with the fact my doing my job sometimes makes you look foolish, it’s a wonder why you and so many of your colleagues keep referring close friends and family members to me when they get in a serious legal jam. Let’s try this: if you feel foolish in the future, look in the mirror and accept some responsibility for what you did (or didn’t do) to feel that way and stop blaming me. Grow up.

So yes, we can still go to lunch and happy hour, and I will continue to happily accept your referrals. Have them call me at (602) 663-9100. But remember that our jobs are very different and it’s not my job to do yours for you. If this is too much for you to handle, maybe should consider a less adversarial profession such as politics.

- Jason Lamm

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