Presentation at Crimmigration
Continuing Education 2016
Tarrant County Bar Association Office
I simply stole this from the paper. I believe it provides great advice on both sides of the Immigration Issue. Criminal defense lawyers needs to consult and expert as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, attorneys allow their desire to avoid ineffective assistance claims or grievances to conflict with their duty to remain loyal to their clients.
Always, be mindful of how what you put on the record can be used against your client. Also, remember your client must give consent for you to disclose attorney-client conversations.
The criminal defense attorney is responsible for advising her client. This is not a responsibility that can be delighted or abandoned.
Unfortunately, sometimes clients are afraid or distrustful, so they choose to be dishonest with their lawyer. In other instances, clients may be mistaken about their immigration status.
This means a criminal defense attorney should do independent investigation into the client’s immigration status. These listed documents are what a lawyer should be looking for.
This is an example of a complaint in an ineffective assistance writ. The lawyer was not found ineffective; however, this fact was noted by the court. This misrepresentation was not dispositive, so a misrepresentation by the client doesn’t absolve lawyers of their duty to investigate.
Immigration consequences are completely intertwined with the decision whether to plea guilty.
Not ineffective in this particular case; however, the outcome could have been difference if the record relate to “prejudice” would have been more developed.
You should not use “ineffective” as the bar for your representation. You do not want to be the lawyer on the case that breaks open a new area of ineffective assistance, like the poor guy in Padilla.
Get money from your client or the court to get an expert involved. As we know, “Not having the money,” is not a legitimate reason to forgo the proper representation of a client.
Once again, do not make something a part of the clerk’s file that could be used against your client. “Admonishments” are fine to file with the court. Your client’s acknowledgment of removability or inadmissibility is NOT ok to file. This is where CYA can conflict with LOYALTY.
Markup your plea papers. Have your clients initial the important parts. Remember, a clerk’s record is MUCH easier to track down than a report’s record.
Have the hard conversations with your client. Have it early and often. You may be scared your client won’t follow your good advice to accept a plea, or you may be afraid of your client firing you. Your fear is not an acceptable reason to abandon your duty to candidly and clearly communicate with your client.
I’m not an immigration expert. But I do love criminal defense. Anytime you have a question about a case, I am happy to talk with you about it. CONTACT PAGE
Finally, if you don’t love criminal defense, don’t do criminal defense. I promise, you can make money doing something else. Our clients deserve lawyers that care.Read Love and Work…