If you listen to nothing else this week, listen to today’s episode of On Point with Tom Ashbrook as he discusses the mortgage crisis and what we should do about homeowners who are facing foreclosure.
Say it ain’t so, David F.! Last night’s episode of Raising the Bar included a storyline about a client of Bobbi the public defender, who had been waiting two years for a trial, but which the prosecutor kept putting off because she wasn’t ready. Then the prosecutor bluffed and put the trial on the “ready list”, knowing full well that the client really shouldn’t go to trial. With me so far?
In another subplot, Zack Morris has a client who is (again) getting screwed [and there's this innovative tangent about how the warrant is defective because it doesn't state the chemical name of Ecstacy. Oh, this client is also the gay clerk's secret lover]. In order to convince the prosecutor to give him a misdemeanor, he agrees to convince Bobbi to not object to a continuance in her case where the guy has been waiting forever.
The last I remember of this subplot was that Bobbi told Zack to stuff it. I even remarked in the liveblog that that particular loose end had not been tied up and I wondered whether they’d pick it up in the next episode.
Perhaps it was toward the end of the show and I lost interest, but Miranda today informed me that, actually, the implication was that Bobbi agreed to continuance because Zack asked her to. This is hinted in the second to last scene, when they all congregate in the bar. As Zack enters, he sees Bobbi and the rabid prosecutor sharing a drink and laughing. Zack comments that Bobbi has a new best friend and she tells him that the prosecutor bought her a drink and that now Zack owes her.
I totally missed it. So chime in if that happened and if that’s your interpretation of the scene. Because if it is, then I’m really disgusted.
The implication, obviously, is that we trade cases. You give me something on this case and I’ll give you something on that case.
I can’t tell you how many times clients have told me that they felt they “got sold” in previous cases. That their lawyer “traded” them in for a favorable result in another.
Not only is it completely unethical, but also quite disgusting. We have a duty to each client and no self-respecting public defender that I know would do something like that.
For Feige to suggest that – and with the character of the intelligent, passionate and no-nonsense Bobbi no less – is a surprise.
Scott wrote a while ago about “the bank” going out of business. I don’t think this is the kind of bank he had in mind. If it was, then I’m glad it went out of business.
You absolutely do not – ever – compromise the rights of one client for another. You fight for both. I don’t care how difficult the prosecutor is. You lose all credibility when you start leveraging clients against one another.
I’m absolutely flabbergasted that David F. would include this in his show and insinuate that such things actually occur. This does nothing to dispel the commonly held misconceptions that we work for the state, we don’t care about our clients and we’re evil.
On the show itself: I think it has stopped being a legal show and has turned into a pure and simple drama that happens to be located in a courthouse. That’s how I will continue to watch it.
But not if this shit happens again.