Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney

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Trial

By on Apr 26, 2017 in Communication, Court, Criminal, DUI, Noah Weil, Trial | 0 comments

I’ve had this conversation with a few clients regarding their cases this year, and the issue does seem to come up now and then. So for the definitive blog post on the subject: Trials are not about scoring points. What do I mean about “scoring points?” A point is a successful attack on the other side or the other side’s witness. Get a cop to admit he was wrong about the time of day? That’s a point. Make someone cry on the stand? That’s a point (maybe?). Get some evidence suppressed, regardless of its quality? Point. Your objection was sustained? Two points for Gryffindor the defense! Here’s what doesn’t happen: At the end of the trial all the scores are tallied up. Whoever has the highest score, the jury declares them the winner in the form of “Guilty” or “Not Guilty.”  Here’s what actually happens if you’re trying to acquire points: You pick weird fights and score meaningless victories. The jury listens respectfully and then during deliberations agrees this was a really easy case for them. Then your client goes to jail for a while. Countless times I have had clients come in and talk about the failings of the police officers and the witnesses. And sometimes, those mistakes do matter for a case. But very often, those missteps and typos and flagging memories don’t matter at all. Because my job at trial is not to score points. My job at trial is to win. I don’t care about anything else. They can make my witnesses cry and they can get all their objections sustained. If the jury comes back “Not Guilty,” I win and they lose and my client gets to go home to his family.  My eye is always on that single prize: My client exonerated at trial. If the battles I pick and the blood I draw gets me there, it was a fight worth fighting. If it does nothing to move my case forward, it gets left on the cutting room floor. I’m sympathetic to my clients because 1) they were usually at the scene of the incident and so they know everything that happened, and 2) they have had time to reflect on the injustices done to them. And...

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By on Jan 27, 2017 in Civil Rights, Communication, Constitution, Court, Criminal, Judges, Jury, Negotiation, Police, Sentencing/Penalties, Trial | 0 comments

Innocence is the worst. Now don’t get me wrong, innocent people are great. Unlike some people in the criminal justice system, they committed no crime. We can’t say that about everyone involved in the system. But for me and my work as a criminal defense attorney, I have a real problem with when I work with innocent people, because that means an innocent person was charged with a crime. When an innocent person is charged with a crime, it means something has gone wrong. The dirty secret of the criminal justice system? Innocent people are charged with crimes all the time! And then it falls on my shoulders to take a bad situation (innocent person charged with a crime) and try to stop it from turning into a tragedy (innocent person convicted of a crime). That’s a lot of pressure! Stupid innocence.  To be sure, it is literally my job to defend people charged with crimes. And I really, really like my job. And I think I’m pretty good at it.  But innocent people, those poor guys, are in a nightmare scenario. The system has already failed them. They were arrested. They may have spent some time in jail. They had to hire a lawyer. And they definitely have to keep coming to court, being reminded over and over again of the nightmare, until the case is over. When will it be over? Maybe when the case gets dropped. Or maybe when they plead guilty and admit to doing something they didn’t do. Or maybe when a jury of their peers says they’re guilty of the crime! The sense of powerlessness, of the monstrous  gears of justice grinding you into a fine powder, is just overwhelming. Where do I come in? Now I am the one tasked with throwing a monkey wrench into those gears until the innocent person is safe and free. There is no one else. I had a couple memorable cases with innocent people recently. In the first the person asserted his trial rights and faced his accuser. The accuser’s story was full of holes. The police investigation was incompetent to the point of being laughable. The jury found him guilty. In the second I dug up records, pointed out holes in the accuser’s...

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By on Jun 17, 2016 in Communication, Court, Criminal, Podcast, Trial | 0 comments

This week I’m joined by New York State prosecutor Nicholas Evanovich. A friend of the show, he was very excited to come on. We have a good discussion about work with witnesses, preparing them to take the stand.      You can download the complete episode here. As always, if you enjoy the show, please rate and subscribe on...

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By on Mar 25, 2016 in Administration, Communication, Court, Criminal, Judges, Misconduct, Procedure, Promotion, Trial | 1 comment

Let’s talk about ethics. Some people believe ethics are a good thing. They probably are. But here’s what the ivory tower ethicists won’t tell you: sometimes ethics get in the way of business. Look I understand. You want to do the right thing, regardless of personal gain. That’s laudable. That’s noble. That has, sometimes, been the American way. Good for you! But what about lawyers? Aren’t we more special? Attorneys have specific rules of ethics called the Rules of Professional Conduct (“RPCs”). Although there are minor differences, every state in the country has a very similar version of the RPCs. These are the ironclad, unbreakable rules that govern attorney ethics. They are the bedrock of the very real responsibility attorneys hold when they have their clients’ lives in their hands. These rules are incredibly important to the public trust of lawyers, and the system of justice itself. They are sacrosanct.  As an attorney I would love to follow them, come what may. But I’m not just an attorney, I’m also a business owner. And while I think ethics are great or whatever, my family needs me to put food on the table. I hate having to choose between feeding my daughter her pizza and having my clients represented by an ethical attorney. But what’s the solution? How can I fulfill my personal and societal obligations to represent the people who entrust their life to my care, while also maintaining the admittedly lavish lifestyle me and my family have grown accustomed to?  Answer: Crowdsourcing. That’s right! You, the average schlub, can help your favorite attorney and favorite justice system work together. I was inspired by Patreon, a website that allows patrons to support their favorite artistic creators. And attorneys consider themselves lonely artists. Our work is simply painting pictures of justice on a justice canvas with justice paint and a justice brush. The law used to be isolating, just us against the world. But now, thanks to crowdsourcing, you can be a part of the process! How does it work? It’s simple! All you have to do is sign up for a patron level, described more fully below. This will result in an automatic debit from your bank account every month (P.S. Tipping is not a city in China!)....

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By on Sep 22, 2015 in DUI, Podcast, Trial | 0 comments

Here’s Part 2 of the trial prep episode. I discuss how the trial ended up and the process of the case that led to that finish. Let me know what you think!     You can download the episode...

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By on Sep 22, 2015 in DUI, Podcast, Trial | 0 comments

Here’s the first episode of my new podcast: NoahLawyerPodcast! This episode was recorded just two days before a DUI trial. I discuss the parts of the trial and what I’m trying to accomplish. Let me know what you think!   You can download the episode...

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The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters in which results and testimonials have been provided. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.