Chapter 7 &. 8
Q#1: (Chapter 7) illustrates how defense attorneys can be subject to informal sanctions and rewards. The chapter also highlights how variations in cooperation with the other actors in the courthouse by the defense attorney can affect the defendant. Is a defendant better served by a hard fighting attorney “the gambler” or someone who works within the established norms?(Neubauer and Fradella) Which would you want if you were the defendant? Explain your position.
If I were a defendant, I would like to have a defense attorney who works within the established norm-within the system. The assertion by Neubauer and Fradella (170) that defense attorneys’ working within the set norms and in cooperation with the court community do not best represent the interests of the client is in my opinion incorrect and fallacious. It is worth noting that, this interaction or cooperation between a defense attorney and other courtroom workgroups does not erode the best interests of a defendant (171) but rather, betters the results for a client. This is because. such a defense attorney gets access to helpful, important information from the prosecutor, which he/she would otherwise have no access to. As a client, a defense attorney who takes a cooperative posture may help thee attorney get favorable bargains-plea bargains-, and would, in addition, shield a client from being penalized as a result of the defense attorney’s hostility. Neubauer and Fradella (171) argue that, the so called “gambling” attorneys may harm their clients since they may, in a bad way push the judges’ and prosecutor’s hand into handing a client long and unreasonable sentences.
Further, an attorney working within the set norms and in cooperation with other courtroom groups are considered good counselors and sober advisors since they have the capability to predict and ascertain the reactions of the court community with regards to certain cases. This gives them an upper hand when it comes to offering a client advice with respect to how to proceed with a case. This implies that, such attorneys have the ability to develop realistic and strategic approaches to cases on the basis of knowledge and experience. Moreover, in retrospect to what many studies have advanced, attorney’s cooperating and interacting with other courtroom groups have the motivation to defend their clients vigorously and have the capability to go to trial where and when, in their judgment, it seems necessary.
Q#2: (Chapter 8) describes the three ways someone can become a judge. Which of the three pathways do you believe results in the selection of the best judges? Explain your position.
My position with regards to which selection process-executive appointment, election or meritocracy selection-, is best is based on various factors. Therefore, it is difficult to conclusive confirm which criterion is generally the best, but on the basis of various interpretations I can take a position. For instance, on the basis of the quality of judgment a judge would dispense, I would hold the position that the Missouri Bar Plan or the meritocracy selection process is the best process for the selection of quality judges. Borrowing from the arguments advanced by judicial reformers, it is important to complete make courts free of politics. This is because. elected or appointed judges tend to take the populist posture while deciding cases. The merit collection process tends to cure these ills and in some way incorporate elements of the other-election and appointed-processes (Neubauer and Fradella 194). This process has increased the participation of legal professionals and has significantly reduced the influence by political parties in the selection process.
Neubauer, David W., and Henry F. Fradella. America’s Courts and the Criminal Justice System. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
Chapter 7 &. 8