Yet another gorgeous Spring morning in Atlanta where I am handling federal criminal defense matters from my home “office”. I am working on various situations related to alleged fraud concerning the Coronavirus pandemic. This got me to thinking of lessons I learned (and some re-learned) when it comes to dealing with the “feds.” Some of these current matters on which I am working are merely “investigations“, while a few others are actual ongoing federal criminal cases. Some of the lessons I’ll discuss below are common to each type of situation.
First, it helps when the federal criminal defense lawyer has a good reputation. There are many federal prosecutors around the country, and they simply cannot know all attorneys who handle federal criminal cases. However, the group of lawyers who regularly handle such cases, whether prosecutors or defense lawyers, is relatively small. Lots of great criminal defense practitioners never venture out of the state court systems, which means that the “federal bar” is a much smaller group. Because the attorneys on each side is a relatively small number, it is very easy to find out information about a prospective opposing lawyer, even if the attorney might not know the person from earlier cases. A good reputation is valuable, and a bad one very hard to shake. Having that good reputation does not get a better “deal”, but it does assure the federal prosecutors that the defense lawyer at least knows what he or she is doing. And, this makes the early steps easier, for a known quantity is easier to trust. Continue reading