Many lawyers tend to complain when our clients try to play to lawyer. These lawyers either feel as if the client is trying to usurp of exclusive domain or simply don’t want to take the time to explain why the law doesn’t work as the client believes it does. Yet as this article, Court: NY Lawyer’s One Mistake Enough to Overturn Verdict, John Caher, New York Lawyer (November 18, 2005) bears out, it pays to listen when your client offers ideas on legal strategy. The article reports on the case of Herman Turner, whose conviction was recently vacated for ineffective assistance of counsel. Turner’s lawyers had failed to raise a statute of limitations defense that Turner himself had brought to their attention.
As for me, I’ve always listened to my clients’ questions about legal issues in the case. After all, as a lawyer, it’s my job to do my best for my client – even if my best may mean checking my own ego at the door.
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