Why You Use Fact Pattern Reports?
Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.
Okay. So, now we’ve gone through the procedures of arrest, we’ve also gone through first appearance, and now we’re up at arraignment. And we’ve also discussed the importance of communicating with the office of the state attorney in-between first appearance in the jail and arraignment. What comes next? Well, a lot of things can come next but one of the most important aspects of your case is to communicate with your lawyer and to tell your legal team what happened. Now, I am going to give you a textbook example of how to absolutely blow the process of communicating with your lawyer in order to maximize the amount of punishment and suffering you experience. And again, you are going, “Why would anybody want that?” It’s because they don’t know what they don’t know. And if you don’t know what you don’t know, ignorance isn’t bliss, ignorance can be very painful in the minefield of Florida criminal law because you take a wrong step and boom, you blow your life up. And we don’t want that to happen to you.
So, what am I talking about with communicating with your lawyer. Lawyers are trained by people known as Practice Managers when they go into private practice. Practice managers teach criminal defense lawyers how to upsell, resell, cross sell; and haven’t you been sold enough in life already? Of course, you have. But what most lawyers do is they invite you into the office and they invite you to do a word vomit. That sounds disgusting, doesn’t it? Well, it should because a word vomit is the worst thing you can do to your case because what’s going to happen is you are going to miss things.
It’s August of 1990 and I am starting my very first jury trial. Man, am I excited? I have been a criminal defense lawyer for all of a month and I had a case go to trial. So, we pick a jury from what’s called a venire panel of about 38 to 39 people. We got six people to be members of the jury. You don’t get 12 unless it’s capital case, and we selected one person as an alternate, so we had seven people in the box. Right around that time, someone came up to the judge, whispered in the judge’s ear and the judge said, “I am going to have to take a 5-minute break. Members of the jury, stay where you are. State/Defense, you are going to have to leave the courtroom”.
So, the state and I left and my client and I went one direction, the state attorney and their first witness went in the other. We chatted for a few minutes, court security announced it was time to come back and I am getting ready to do my very first opening statement in a criminal jury trial. I am so excited. I’ve met with my client all these times, I’m ready. And then I put my hand on the door of courtroom 301 only to hear “Oh, Mr. Cobb, I forgot to tell you X, does X matter?” And I’m like, “Yes, X means you lose and you get a year in jail”. And I kind of look over my shoulder because at this point, my hand is frozen at the door of courtroom 301, and I go, “John Doe, we have met 15 or 16 times, why did you not tell me X”. And he said something I’ll never forget. He said, “Well, I didn’t know if it was important and I kept forgetting”. Now, I had seven notepads of very expensive docket gold paper that I had filled with notes from our 15 or 16 handhold the office visits, which mainly consisted of him whining and me trying to get information. Why was he whining? He was stressed. What was I trying to do? Not getting involved in all that because I have a job to do. I have to logically be able to think so I was gathering information. Well, what happened was I ended up undoing this trial because I did not do something that all lawyers in criminal law should do. And in the next video, I am going to tell you exactly what that is.
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