skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 51094 Find in a Library
Title: PRIVATE PRACTICE OF CRIMINAL LAW - LIFE IN THE REAL WORLD
Journal: CRIMINAL LAW BULLETIN  Volume:14  Issue:5  Dated:(SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:381-409
Author(s): P WICE
Corporate Author: Warren, Gorham and Lamont, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Warren, Gorham and Lamont, Inc
Boston, MA 02111
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE EXAMINES THE WORKDAY, ACQUISITION AND RETENTION OF CLIENTS, FEES, INCOMES, LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS, AND BASIC QUESTIONS OF ETHICS OF CRIMINAL LAWYERS.
Abstract: THIS ARTICLE DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A DESCRIPTION OF THE WORKING CONDITIONS OF THE PRIVATE CRIMINAL LAWYER, IS PART OF A MORE EXTENSIVE STUDY COMPLETED DURING 1976-1977 BY A VISITING FELLOW AT THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WHO INTERVIEWED 180 PRIVATE CRIMINAL LAWYERS REPRESENTING THE ENTIRE SPECTRUM OF CRIMINAL LAWYER TYPES IN THE FOLLOWING 9 CITIES: WASHINGTON, D.C.; PHILADELPHIA, PA.; CHICAGO, ILL.; HOUSTON, TEX.; NEW ORLEANS, LA.; MIAMI, FLA.; DENVER, COLO.; SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.; AND LOS ANGELES, CALIF. AT THE TIME OF THIS STUDY THERE WERE APPROXIMATELY 10,000 PRIVATE CRIMINAL ATTORNEYS OUT OF A NATIONAL TOTAL OF OVER 450,000. SOME OF THE DISCOURAGING ASPECTS OF THE PROFESSION WERE SHOWN TO BE THE LENGTH AND INTENSITY OF THE WORKDAY, THE DECENTRALIZED COURT SYSTEM IN SOME CITIES, INCREASED TRAVEL COVERING GREATER DISTANCES, STAYING CURRENT, AND MAINTENANCE OF A SEPARATE PRIVATE LIFE. THE VALUE OF REPUTATION IS SIGNIFICANT WHEN EXAMINED WITH RESPECT TO COMPETITION IN PRIVATE PRACTICE. CLIENTS ARE GENERALLY SECURED BY WAY OF REFERRALS AND REPEAT OFFENDERS. REFERRALS CAN INVOLVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM BECAUSE OF FEE SPLITTING DIFFICULTIES. THE NET INCOME DISTRIBUTION OF THE INTERVIEWED LAWYERS, WHICH IS BASED ON THEIR ESTIMATES, IS REVIEWED. IN SOME INSTANCES IT IS IMPLIED THAT INCOME ESTIMATES ARE RATHER LOW WHEN COMPARED WITH CIVIL COUNTERPARTS. SETTING RETAINERS WAS CONSIDERED THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY FOR COLLECTING FEES, AND THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA WERE USED FOR SETTING FEES: SERIOUSNESS OF THE CHARGE, IMPORTANCE OF THE CASE TO THE CLIENT, ABILITY TO PAY, COMPLEXITY OF THE CASE, PROBABILITY OF GOING TO TRIAL, AND EFFORT EXPENDED IN PREPARATION. THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CLIENT IS BASED ON CONDUCT DURING THE PRETRIAL PERIOD AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A TRUTHFUL AND TRUSTWORTHY ATMOSPHERE. COUNSELING THE CLIENT IS REVIEWED IN TERMS OF PREPARATION FOR CERTAIN CONVICTION AND IMPRISONMENT. THE MAJOR AREAS OF ETHICAL CONCERN WAS SHOWN TO BE CONFIDENTIALITY, EMOTIONAL NEUTRALITY, MAINTENANCE OF PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS. REASONS GIVEN FOR REFUSING A CLIENT INCLUDE DETERMINATION BY CLIENT TO BE MORALLY OBJECTIONABLE, REFUSING TO PAY FEES, AND FAILURE TO FOLLOW ADVICE. TABULAR DATA AND FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (JCP)
Index Term(s): Attorney client relations; Attorneys; California; Code of ethics; Colorado; Criminal codes; District of Columbia; Florida; Illinois; Louisiana; Pennsylvania; Texas; US Department of Justice
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51094

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.