September 16, 2014
White-Collar Defense Attorney
Through my prison advice services many of my clients and prospects seek my opinion on what white-collar defense attorney they should hire. Out of prudence I always recommend a handful of competent, experienced white-collar defense attorneys. In Los Angeles, clients of mine have had success with lawyers that include, Alan Eisner and Dmitry Gorin of Eisner & Gorin LLP, and Mark Werksman, of the The Law Offices of Mark Werksman.
This short blog cannot cover everything you should look for in a white-collar defense attorney. As a starting point, however, any white-collar defense attorney should have references you can check, they should have massive experience in federal court, and they should be sympathetic to your plight. You should access whether you have the budget and need for a big firm or whether a more boutique type firm would be better for you. Do they charge hourly or is the rate inclusive? Is it a conflation of both?
Moving on, please ensure they have not become so desensitized to the judicial process. In other words, this is your first go round through the system. For you, as it was for me, this process can be distuburing, painful, life wrenching. For most lawyers, however, they have been down this road hundreds of times. Getting sentenced to 24-months for you is life changing, but for them they see it daily–hence some desensitization to the process. They could be the smartest attorney in the world but if you do not feel comfortable around them your results will not be what they should. The lawyers I referenced above seemed to have cracked the code between showing expertise and compassion for their clients. That is a big deal.
When you call or email your white-collar defense attorney you should not feel as if you are “bothering them,” or “taking their precious time,” as so many defendants, myself included, complain. They have an obligation, a duty to advise and to tend your questions and concerns; never refrain from asking them whatever is on your mind.
As a rule, whomever you hire, make sure to work openly and honestly with them. Sometimes embarrassment about our criminal conduct leads one to sugarcoat exactly what happened. You are just wasting money while you work towards the truth. Sugarcoating or living in denial may provide some moments of solace, but longer term, I know, the consequences are disastrous. How can you expect a lawyer to defend you properly if you do not tell them everything? They cannot. Be prepared to purge and go all in with your white-collar defense attorney. Confronting reality can be tough, I know, but I assure you serving an extra three years in prison because of your failure to work properly with your lawyer is tougher.
Also never forget that while your white-collar defense attorney will prepare you for your defense, they are not prepared to prepare you for life in federal prison, halfway house, home confinement, federal probation and life after prison. Just as I would never presume to disperse legal advice, a white-collar defense attorney should never dispense prison advice.