When I graduated from Indiana University McKinney School of Law in 2002, I began working for the law firm of Jones, Hoffman & Admire located in Franklin, Indiana. At that time, that firm’s founding partner, Tom G. Jones, had built wide-ranging practice involving the small town staples of family law and criminal defense, but also involved significant work in the areas of medical malpractice, personal injury, as well as the representation of several governmental entities including the Johnson County Board of Commissioners and the Johnson County Sheriff. While working for this firm, I became intimately involved in several significant and serious criminal matters and immediately became aware of the power and advantage that the State of Indiana has over criminally accused, particularly those who are indigent and unable to afford quality, experienced representation. It was during this time that I was involved with one of the firm’s senior partners in overturning our client’s conviction of B Felony Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury by successfully arguing the case before the Indiana Court of Appeals, which resulted in the reported opinion of Beauchamp v. State, 788 N.E.2d 881 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003) which is still regularly cited today for the proposition that indigent defendants are entitled to funds for expert witnesses where the State is intending to present overwhelmingly complex scientific evidence against them at trial.
Shortly after leaving the firm of Jones, Hoffman & Admire in 2005, I was immediately engaged in the defense of someone charged with a C Felony Battery with a Deadly Weapon after my client knifed someone in the neck in the middle of the street, in broad daylight, in Helmsburg, Indiana. The Prosecutor in this case despised my client because she had prior experience with him and would never believe that the act that he had committed was done in self-defense. Again, it was through my involvement in this case that I learned that often times Prosecutors are often blind to the truth of many aspects of their cases and see things only through a lens which confirms their thoughts of a client’s guilt. More significantly, police officers in this case worked with the Prosecutor to gather evidence in such a way so as again to paint a picture of guilt of the accused. In fact, without my perseverance, the “alleged victim’s” much larger knife would have never been found hidden in the crack of the seat of his car. Shockingly, even though this hidden evidence was found, the Prosecution still wouldn’t offer my client anything less than pleading guilty as charged to the C Felony Battery with a Deadly Weapon. Unfortunately, in the face of this sort of adversity, many lawyers would likely fold because many lawyers are afraid of taking their cases to trial. However, after a three-day trial, the jury found my client not guilty of all charges on the basis that he had acted in self-defense. This trial taught me that they only way to deal with unreasonable prosecutors who make unreasonable offers is to let juries decide what justice looks like.
Between 2008 and 2020, I focused my practice almost exclusively on family law matters. Over these years, I have tried literally hundreds of divorces, child custody cases, contested adoptions, and a myriad other family law matters to the courts. My family law practice has provided invaluable experience in understanding people, understanding human nature, all the while allowing me to hone my skills as an attorney in listening to and cross-examining witnesses. But after numerous discussions with the founding partner of the Criminal Defense Team, Andy Baldwin, I decided in 2020 to combine my skills with the other members of the Criminal Defense Team hopefully to the benefit of all of our clients. Since working with The Criminal Defense Team, I have come to see first-hand how the collaboration between several attorneys working together brings out the best possible outcomes for our clients.