Can an overly aggressive attorney be a detriment?

ThinkstockPhotos-164415435Clients often ask, “Will you represent me aggressively?” or “Would you consider yourself an aggressive attorney?” as if the only correct answer is “Of course!” We understand the desire to find an aggressive attorney and the misconceptions that have led most to believe that aggression wins cases, but both our professional experience and statistics have found quite the opposite to be true.

The Importance of Good Rapport

Effective criminal defense attorneys win people over. They can connect with and relate to people…to their client, to their witnesses, to witnesses for the prosecutor, to the prosecutor, to the judge, and to the jury. Every single connection made in the courtroom is a step closer to a desirable outcome. These connections are not the result of raised voices or examination that feels like a brutal assault. They are, instead, the result of the mutual respect that develops when two people address each other courteously, respectfully, and humanly. And these connections? They benefit the client by producing better outcomes. As the old adage says, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

Honest & Realistic Promises

Aggressive attorneys are renowned for making unlikely guarantees. If your attorney does not talk to you about some level of risk in the case you should ask yourself whether you have chosen the attorney who best fits your case. Honestly acknowledging risk gives your legal counsel an opportunity to prepare for and address that risk appropriately and may also give you opportunity to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally.

Choosing the Right Attorney

You can let go of the desire to hire an aggressive attorney without compromising and hiring a sub par attorney. Clients should instead seek out an attorney with the following:

  • Experience in cases like theirs
  • History of positive outcomes
  • Good rapport with the judge trying the case
  • Good rapport with the prosecutor
  • Extensive knowledge of law applicable to your case
  • Professional demeanor and exchange
  • No emotional investment in your case
  • Realistic goals and plans
  • A clear understanding of your perspective and desired outcome

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