* Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy
No One Else Believed Her.
After an hour drive and fifteen minutes convincing the jail officers that I was legit, they buzzed me into a locked cell with Lisa. Initially, she accused me of being a cop, then a snitch until I finally convinced her I was an intern for her lawyers. Shortly thereafter, she confided in me that she had been raped by a deputy transporting her to court. The deputy threatened to make it look like she escaped if she told anyone, and further said that nobody would believe the word of a criminal anyway. He was wrong. I believed her.
I spent the drive back wondering how a mere intern would be able to convince the firm that she needed our help. After my opinion validated their own belief that the client was telling the truth, the lawyers did in fact accuse that sheriff’s deputy and ultimately, he was charged with a crime. The county was also forced to pay thousands of dollars to the victim.
I had never really thought about practicing criminal law until that case…but that was all that it took. My path was paved. That case defined justice for me. Justice is doing what is right, regardless of popularity, and it is being true to your word, fighting for the right result, regardless of what others think or who you are up against. I worked with passion fighting for clients accused of crimes and (when necessary) going to trial. I handled cases that included murder, child molestation, rape, domestic battery, drunk driving, and just about everything in between for the first eighteen years of my career.
In 2014 my life and career took a turn when my dear friend, who was a local deputy prosecutor, lost her fight with cancer. I was an emotional wreck and needed a change. Even though I had always viewed myself as a criminal defense attorney, I decided to give it a shot. It was a change, but I would now be part of a team, albeit as a prosecutor. Not long after becoming a deputy prosecutor, I was assigned to work with sex crimes, child neglect cases and domestic violence cases. Those are the cases most likely to end up at trial, and it was in the courtroom where I had developed my reputation and where I felt the most confident.
For almost four years, I learned how to think like a prosecutor. I also witnessed firsthand what ineffective criminal defense lawyers looked like. An ineffective defense attorney would not fight for their clients. They would not take cases to trial…even potentially winnable cases.
However, there was one law firm that bucked that trend. The Criminal Defense Team. Whenever the lawyers from The Criminal Defense Team were representing their client, I knew we would be in for a fight…if a fight was necessary. The lawyers in The Criminal Defense Team were aggressive and would take the case to trial if they felt it needed to go. They did things the right way.
When it was time for me to leave the prosecutor’s office, I knew there was only one firm that I could join that shared the passion that I had for criminal law. So, it’s not surprising I landed back here with The Criminal Defense Team. I am proud to once again fight for the accused in my community, but this time with added weapon of knowledge that I had gained from working as a prosecutor. Even better, I’m working with a team, rather than on my own.