Saturday, May 19, 2007

"The Average Attorney, Full of Law School Brainwashing."

The 4th Circuit recently held that the right to counsel does not extend to have your non-lawyer friend represent you in a criminal proceeding. (U.S. v. Baucom). The defendants basic claims were that they hate lawyers and cannot afford the ones they trusts so their friends should be allowed to represent them. In the "attempts" to obtain counsel they felt was satisfactory they continually stalled and asked the court for more and more time as they sent questionnaires to potential attorneys rather than attempting to make personal conduct. Defendant's affidavit is by far my favorite language of the ruling.

Defendant...has little confidence in the legal profession...Defendant is aware of a few attorneys he trusts, but their multi-thousand dollar fees are out of the question...He does NOT trust just any attorney out of a grab-bag whom the government is willing to furnish; neither would this defendant be satisfied with such an “attorney’s” concept of the Constitution of the United States after the average attorney, full of law-school brainwashing, thinks that the Constitution is what the judges say it is, rather than what the Constitution itself, says it is.
In case you had not figured it out yet, both men were changed with tax evasion and were of the opinion that even entering a plea of not guilty would accept the validity of the fact that they owed a tax to begin with. Counsel was appointed but the men refused to cooperate-and continually threatened to sue them and the judge who appointed them. Eventually the court grew tired of the stall tactics and told the men if they did not have counsel by a certain date they would be forced to be appear pro se, it was on his date that they sought to have their friend who had not graduated from law school, passed the bar exam, or been admitted to the state bar-despite claiming to be in good standing with "several" bar associations.

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