Alan Caplan, Second Opinions, second opinions criminal, second opinions federal cases, federal law, problems with attorney, need help with my case, federal court help, criminal law, federal court second opinion, second opinion state cases, state court help, state court, state law
Q. Do I have to tell my present retained or appointed lawyer that I have consulted with you about my case?
A. No, that is wholly and completely your choice and decision. You have an absolute Constitutional Right to speak at any time with another attorney about your case or situation, and you do not have to get permission from your current lawyer to do so.
In our initial telephone conversation we would certainly discuss how best to deal with your present lawyer. In many cases it may be in your best interests to have me make contact with your current attorney. In that way I might get a better insight about the overall situation or understanding of the case from your attorney's perspective. That will, in turn, aid my effort to give you an accurate opinion about whether he/she is adequately protecting and representing your interests.
Also, it is my experience that a person's doubts about their lawyer's performance are often caused by nothing more than poor communication skills by that lawyer, and not necessarily because of incompetence or lack of effort. In those circumstances, I may be able to facilitate better communications between you, so that you can move forward with greater confidence in your present attorney.
Q. What happens if you recommend that I might be better off hiring a new lawyer?
A. If my conclusion is that you may best served by obtaining new counsel, I will help you find someone. However, to meet my Guarantee of Objectivity, I will not agree to handle your case as primary counsel under any circumstances. As I explained, the only way we both will be sure that I have no hidden interests or agendas, and that my evaluation will be totally objective, is if I cannot receive any financial benefit if you decide to hire a new attorney.
I also will refuse to accept anything in the nature of a 'referral fee' or other compensation from any attorney whom I might recommend. I have handled state and federal cases throughout the United States, and have developed many contacts and resources to help me evaluate the backgrounds and skills of other criminal defense lawyers. I would therefore be sure that you had the names of at least two attorneys for you to choose among, and you alone would then make the final choice.
If you have any questions, please contact me to discuss further.
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