Monday, April 15, 2013

For the Defense, a Master of Delay -

Douglas Rankin  -"I'm a trial, trial, trial, trial lawyer"
The headline aside, this is actually a pretty favorable portrait of former prosecutor, now defense lawyer Douglas G. Rankin.  He denies using delay as a tactic.  It's a profile that can be the basis for a good discussion of what it means to be a good lawyer. The factual focus in the article regarding delay in Bronx County Supreme is that while felony indictments in the Bronx have decreased 25% in the past decade, the number of cases pending for more than six months has doubled. From my few years as a pool attorney for the Public Defender in Newark, there is no doubt that trials take time, that witnesses move,  grow uncooperative, and are inherently unpredictable.  Cases that appear un-winnable can be won for such reasons. - GWC 

For the Defense, a Master of Delay - by William Glaberson
The grand exhibition hall of dawdlers that is the Bronx courthouse features procrastinating prosecutors, sluggish jailers and unhurried judges. But the true masters of delay are the defense lawyers. For them, muddled memories and lost witnesses — the passage of time itself — are the ingredients for getting clients off.So there was barely a raised eyebrow among those waiting in a Bronx courtroom in June when one gum-chewing, pocket-hankie-wearing lawyer strolled in late for the start of a trial over a grisly stabbing in Co-op City, saying his return flight from a weekend getaway to Puerto Rico had been delayed.Cheerful, with his rolling lawyer’s bag in tow, he exclaimed without apology: “Exhausted!”  Here, if a little late, was Douglas G. Rankin for the defense, the very personification of a justice system tied up in knots.
And then there is St. Expeditus   h/t John Steele
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