I'm a Public Defender AMA

Story
Posts: 93
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Story » Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:52 am

Clamence wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:24 am
Just got hired as a PD. I’m going to be thrown into the fire of misdemeanors. I know much of this varies by state and even county, but is there anything you wish you knew before starting? Anything to make the work easier? Whether it’s organizational, mental, legal, or what have you.
Do you have prior PD experience? Your posts in other threads make it seem as if you do.

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Clamence
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Clamence » Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:01 pm

Story wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:52 am
Clamence wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:24 am
Just got hired as a PD. I’m going to be thrown into the fire of misdemeanors. I know much of this varies by state and even county, but is there anything you wish you knew before starting? Anything to make the work easier? Whether it’s organizational, mental, legal, or what have you.
Do you have prior PD experience? Your posts in other threads make it seem as if you do.
I have had a number of legal internships at PD offices, clinical experience in law school, and I worked as a "post-bar" in a PD office (a position unique to California where I was something between a lawyer and a legal intern, writing and arguing motions, conducting prelims, negotiating pleas with DAs, counseling clients, etc.), but I have never been a full-on lawyer at a PD office. So I have whatever PD experience that amounts to.

Cal Trask
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:24 pm

Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Cal Trask » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:29 pm

Is there a specific CO office you’d like to know about? Your experience will vary somewhat depending on whether you’re in a metro or rural office.

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Clamence
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Clamence » Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:41 pm

Cal Trask wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:29 pm
Is there a specific CO office you’d like to know about? Your experience will vary somewhat depending on whether you’re in a metro or rural office.
The office is actually in California.

Cal Trask
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:24 pm

Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Cal Trask » Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:19 pm

Whoops, was quoting the wrong person there.

tigger03

Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by tigger03 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:59 am

How likely are new Colorado PDs to get placed somewhere outside their top 10, or like at their bottom choice?

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abyss
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by abyss » Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:18 am

tigger03 wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:59 am
How likely are new Colorado PDs to get placed somewhere outside their top 10, or like at their bottom choice?
I wouldn't think it's likely, but you sign up to be placed anywhere so there's always a chance at being placed in Sterling, Trinidad or somewhere similar. I just requested being placed in a metro area so my wife would have an easy time with job transitions and for better schools for my kids. Generally, it's very likely you'll be placed in one of the front range offices.

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Borhas
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Re: I'm a Public Defender AMA

Post by Borhas » Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:42 pm

Clamence wrote:
Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:24 am
Just got hired as a PD. I’m going to be thrown into the fire of misdemeanors. I know much of this varies by state and even county, but is there anything you wish you knew before starting? Anything to make the work easier? Whether it’s organizational, mental, legal, or what have you.
mental
- regular exercise and diet. the lifestyle will take a toll on your body and soul. Do what you can to build up your fundamental life skills. Something after work (other than drinking) that will take your mind off work and allow you a bit of your own space. If I did jiu jitsu when I was a PD I wouldnt have burned out as quickly.

- dont make promises you cant 100% keep, to judge, client, co-workers. Over deliver, under promise, always. It will reduce stress, believe me.

organizational
- if possible block off some time on a specific day and tell your in custody clients to try to call you at that time if they need any quick updates. It'll make it more likely that you keep in good touch with them and hopefully reduce jail visits.

legal
- be very clear. repeat yourself. ask questions from clients to determine if they actually understand what you are telling them. Discuss the possibilities of the hearing in detail so that the client doesn't get flustered and start going off the rails on the record. E.g. be very clear about what waiving right to speedy trial is when discussing a continuance. Be very clear about when next court dates are. If possible give a card with the next court date to your client.

-write your own motions, dont get too reliant of the copy pasta motions from colleagues

-read the fucking statutes, read the fucking cases. Literally most lawyers dont do this. If you do, then it will show and you will gain credibility with co-workers, adversaries, and even your clients (people in jails talk about their pds with each other)

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