Many of us get into the law because we want to make a difference, are passionate about the law, and helping our clients. There are Admiralty lawyers who love maritime law on the high seas, and helping their clients navigate those legal waters. Family attorneys fight for children, who do not otherwise have a voice in court. Even Tax attorneys are fascinated by IRS red tape and keeping you in the black.
Criminal defense lawyers indeed love the law and helping people, but the job can be exceptionally heartbreaking. Our job is to represent Justice. Innocent people, as well as anyone accused of a crime no matter how heinous, deserve to be treated fairly by the government. I must admit, defending innocent people, and their civil liberties, is the best part of my job no matter how insurmountable the odds seem.
This is why I have gravitated to medical marijuana cases and self-defense cases. These are difficult to fight, require hard work and preparation, but in the end we are fighting for the greater good. Every marijuana patient we protect, and every exonerated self-defense client, are good people who need the protection of the law.
My friend and colleague, attorney Jaye Ryan, recently lost a case. She was defending a man accused of killing his foster child, a baby born heavily damaged by his mother’s meth addiction. He and his wife were adopting this child out of the kindness of their hearts, as they had done successfully many times before, having been recognized by the state of California for being teachers and leaders of the Foster Care system. From the beginning, this is a heart-wrenching story no matter how you look at it. In this case, the attorney had to combat corrupt cops and prosecutors, online harassment, pseudoscientific evidence, juror misconduct, ON TOP of the bias against her client.
This is where compassion comes in. Jaye Ryan fought for a fair trial and for her client’s innocence against adversity. She will continue to fight in appeals. She is defending a man’s life against all odds because she believes in the fight.
I work so hard for my clients because I want Justice to prevail. I want a defendant’s civil rights, and ultimately everyone’s, to be protected. The passion, and compassion, of your attorney is more valuable to your defense than fancy diplomas and slick suits. I salute everyone at every level involved in the pursuit of Justice!