Monday, June 25, 2012

Just My Luck

I had a busy weekend being "on call" for the Saturday and Sunday that have just passed.

Being on call means that you are often called upon to deal with cases of a varying nature. Some cases are quick and easy, others are more serious and often take longer to deal with. Whilst I was out and about I received a call from a local firm of solicitors who said that they were dealing with a 3 handed case (a case involving three suspects) and that they feared there would be conflict of interest in the future, and wanted to ensure that their conflicted defendant was still represented. After a brief discussion with the other firm, the Police Station and importantly the Client, I made arrangements and went down to the Police Station.

When I got to the Police Station I realised that the case was reasonably serious. An allegation had been made that my Client was in some way involved in the supply of a large quantity of cannabis. The case also seemed more serious than usual as the Serious Organised Crime Agency had been involved in the case.

After taking instructions from my Client it became clear that I was dealing with a person who had been manipulated by the others who had been arrested, and, that it was more than likely he was an innocent person who was in the "wrong place at the wrong time". After we had finished the interview the Officer dealing with the case hinted that they accepted my Client's innocent account and did not think that he would be prosecuted for any matters at all.

Criminal defence solicitors are increasingly paid for cases on the basis of a formula. The formula makes a basic payment for the seriousness of the offence, that payment depends on how the case proceeds (for example is there a guilty plea or a trial) and if the case proceeds to trial the basic payment is increased depending on the number of pages of evidence served by the Prosecution. In this particular case it seemed quite clear that SOCA had been following some of the people who were arrested and therefore the page count for such a case would normally be quite good.

Whilst I was very happy that my Client was not charged with an offence, it was rather unlucky that I had been dealing with a Client who was not going to be prosecuted. I have no doubt that the firm that referred the Client to me made a conscious decision to hold on to the Clients that they thought would generate the bigger fees.


Manish Kumar said...

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edmund @ Preston Process servers said...

How this will all change if the new pricing structure comes in. Fixed fee justice? you'd be paid the same regardless of size of case. Prospect of a ten week trial? er, go guilty mate!

Parvaz Khn said...

I also be-leave everything is luck.Nice discussion.Thanks.
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Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. I have always thought that solicitors have interesting work, and now my son is thinking about becoming one. I'm trying to learn more, and I'm going to have him shadow someone.

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definitely you are impressing criminal lawyer who has helped out in such an unusual way. all the story is interesting and reflect truth as well :)

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