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Holler: Blawgging in Praise of the Criminal Defense Attorney

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By Mark Wilson, Esq. on September 22, 2014 1:10 PM

What's new and notable in the legal blawgosphere? Lately, it seems many websites are singing the praises of criminal defense lawyers.

Yes, life is tough for the criminal defense attorney. You're constantly asked why you represent guilty people, and if you're a public defender, people don't think you're a real lawyer (as in, "Should I get a public defender or a real lawyer?").

Cheer up, though: You're doing the work the Constitution calls for -- and at least it's not document review. Here are a few blogs and websites you may want to check out:

  • 'What the Public Defender?' If you're into Tumblrs heavy on animated GIFs, then you'll love this one, which contains entertaining reactions to such PD problems as "When you open a new file and find out your client has 7 open DUIs" and "When a police officer tells you he thinks you're the devil."
  • 'I am incompetent!' We already wrote about the story of the defense attorney who dressed as Thomas Jefferson during his disciplinary hearing before the Kansas Supreme Court. Lowering the Bar, however, discovered video of the oral argument! If you cringed your way through our summary of Dennis Hawver's failure to provide competent representation to a death penalty defendant, you're going to love this video. "I had no idea cell phones had GPS capabilities at that time. Did you? I didn't!"
  • Defense attorney wins MacArthur "Genius Grant." Among last week's winners of MacArthur Foundation grants was Jonathan Rapping, the founder of Gideon's Promise, which trains public defenders and help reform the criminal justice system.
  • DNA tests exonerate two More in Brooklyn. Two men wrongly convicted of a kidnap and murder in 1992 had their convictions formally overturned. According to the Village Voice, the convictions happened during a time when police were pressured to do whatever it took -- even cutting corners -- to reduce crime in New York.
  • Lawyer tied to Mumia Abu-Jamal withdraws from Obama administration post. Sadly, the fact of a lawyer's past as a defense attorney can subject him or her to criticism by politicians who can't or won't understand what the defense attorney's job is. Debo Adegbile was nominated for a job at the Justice Department, but Republicans didn't want him, according to Philly.com, given that Adegbile helped represent Mumia Abu-Jamal during his time with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

And a few more blawgs of note from the past week:

  • Enlisting some legal help. The U.S. Air Force is again allowing members to omit the phrase "so help me God" when taking enlistment oaths, if the members so choose. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog explains how the issue came about.
  • How to walk out of a mediation. As you probably know, not all mediations work out well. Seattle attorney Karen Koehler (aka The Velvet Hammer) shares some lawyerly tips on when and how to walk away from the table.

Holler is our weekly roundup of some of our favorite posts from the blawgosphere. Have any suggestions for future installments? Let us know via Twitter (@FindLawLP) or Facebook (FindLaw for Legal Professionals).

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