April 2013 - Pg 8-Attorney Question
Affiliated Attorney Question Of The Month
This month’s column is a continuation of answers to a question that we posed in the March 2013 edition of this journal. If you have not read the March column, please review it first, as the following information builds on last month’s presentation.
The Network encourages members to have an attorney in their home area with whom they can consult both prior to and after needing to take self-defense actions. To facilitate finding a gun-friendly attorney, the Network affiliates with attorneys all across the nation, not with the intention of making a judgment or recommendation about the attorney’s expertise, but rather to provide members a starting place for their gun-friendly attorney search. The choice of attorney rests solely with the member. Likewise, how affiliated attorneys interact with Network members is entirely up to the affiliate. Lawyers, influenced by individual experience, firm policy and how they practice law, have a variety of ways in which they prefer to interact with Network members.
Thus, when we asked the following question, we received a considerable variety of answers that we hope you, our members, will find useful, especially if you have not yet found an attorney you would call after acting in self defense.
Here is the question we asked our Affiliated Attorneys–
“How do you recommend a Network member connect with an attorney for a brief consultation to be sure the member understands their state’s self-defense laws, as well as assuring themselves that the attorney is someone whom they want as their counselor after self defense?”
S. Magnus Eriksson
Magnus Eriksson Attorney-at-Law
10800 E. Cactus Rd., #62, Scottsdale, AZ 85259
This is a great question!
I set up a free consultation with the member where we both use the time to interview each other. It works great.
I get a feel for whether we are a good fit as a team and the member can figure out what he thinks of me. The members I have met are top-notch people and it is ideal to meet for the first time BEFORE the need for representation exists, something my “regular” criminal defense clients NEVER do.
Proactive steps can be taken that prevent future problems by talking about the law and potential mines to avoid stepping on. I always tell the member to retain the person I would have represent me, who is also a Network Affiliated Attorney, if they do not retain me. The meeting usually ends with establishing a new friendship and the foundation for representation of the member if need arises. More often than not, the meeting is a great PR tool that leads to additional clients being referred, not necessarily in Network type cases. It would probably be fair to charge for the consultation, and I may do that in the future, but right now this method serves me well.
My advice to members is look for an attorney with trial experience who understands guns, use of force legally, physically and mentally. That person may or may not be a criminal defense lawyer, but should have considerable jury trial experience, preferably before the Judges in the court where your case will be heard. There may exist otherwise great criminal defense lawyers who would not be the ideal candidate because they do not understand guns, gunfights, or even how to defend people who were justified in their actions. It is a very different job to defend a person whose actions should be brought to light than a person whose actions should not. Also, keep in mind that trying cases is an art, not a science and there is more than one way to do it!
Get all the training you can get in how to use weapons, and when and when not to use them under the law. It may cost you some time and money up front, but it could very well save your life and greatly increase the odds of surviving the nerve-wracking aftermath of a legally justified shooting.