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August 10, 2007



Many years ago I was appointed to defend a 19 year old man against auto theft charges (he was found sleeping in the stolen vehicle, albeit on the passenger side).

Client asserted that “Randy” (last name unknown) gave him a ride, stopped at the market on the way, and Client falls asleep in the car, only to be roused by the cops. My client further claimed to have 3 alibi witnesses for the actual theft so I dispatched my erstwhile PI to take alibi witness statements.

Instead of doing as instructed, the PI meets with my client in Jail, then phones me stating: “I have solved the case. There is no Randy, there is no alibi, I broke your client down and he confessed. I could only reply, sarcastically, “thanks a lot, Ron”.

So now, I am in an unenviable position. In fact, I am screwed. I don’t merely suspect my client’s defense is a lie, I KNOW it’s a lie.

So I ask the trail judge to let me out do to a “conflict” Judge insists in a disclosure of the conflict, I demur. So the conflict-motion to withdraw it sent next door to Judge #2’s department for in camera proceedings. I fill in Judge #2.

Judge #2 asks my client “Is it true that you insist on taking the stand”? Client replies in the affirmative. The Judge then asks “Are you going to lie”. The Client replies “yes”!

Judge tries to dissuade Client, to no avail, he literally insists to Judge #2 that he 1) is going to take the stand at trial in front of Judge #1 and 2) that he will lie. (The kid had balls, I will give him that much.)

Motion to withdraw GRANTED. Conflict defender appointed.

True story…….

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