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Showing posts from April, 2014

Cowboy solicitors

When I was training, I was taught that solicitors and barristers should be highly professional, doing their best for their client no matter what – especially if the clients’ interests conflicted with the lawyers’ personal interests.
What I see in practise from those undertaking legal aid work almost always conforms to those high principles.  Sadly, the more I hear about lawyers undertaking privately financed work – i.e. criminal law work paid for by the client rather than legal aid – is falling short of those principles far too often.
Today I spoke to a client who has a drink driving case.  He contacted me and another solicitor for representation.  Neither of us has seen the prosecution evidence since it has not been served yet.  I have my note of our original conversation in front of me, I advised him on possible defences, special reasons and the likely sentence if convicted or if he chose to plead guilty.  After hearing his account, it was clear that there was no defence arising fr…

Do I need a solicitor?

People often call me after they've been charged with drink driving to ask for legal advice... makes sense, I suppose.  The one question I get asked the most (except "how much is this going to cost me?") is "Do I need a solicitor?"  Now, I'm an honest sort of chap so my answer is always "yes"... I mean unless you happen to have the expertise to analyse the prosecution evidence, look for holes in it and devise an appropriate defence or put together a well crafted speech in mitigation that is.

A few months ago a lady contacted me looking for some advice and somebody to help her minimise her sentence after she was charged with being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle.  Convinced she had no defence all she wanted to do was plead guilty and take the punishment that was coming her way.

When I spoke to her and looked at the evidence I quickly realised that she had been in a private car park that did not fall within the legal definition of either a road or…