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Release: Criminal Defense Lawyers Respond To Pro-Nikki Haley Ad

There has been a great deal of public discussion over the last month in South Carolina about criminal defense lawyers.  The discussion has taken the form of opinion pieces in media regarding DUI laws and political attack ads on our televisions.  It has run the gamut from sensationalized negative portrayals…

There has been a great deal of public discussion over the last month in South Carolina about criminal defense lawyers.  The discussion has taken the form of opinion pieces in media regarding DUI laws and political attack ads on our televisions.  It has run the gamut from sensationalized negative portrayals of criminal defense attorneys, to steadfast support of the profession as a fundamental part of our democracy.

Ours is a nation and state founded upon the rule of law.  It is the rule of law which counters tyranny.  Our founding fathers knew tyranny and they knew that there is no stronger check on tyranny than the right to counsel in defending ourselves when we stand accused by the Government.  Forty-five (45) percent of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were lawyers.  Fifty-eight (58) percent of the signers of the United States Constitution were lawyers.  Those founding fathers knew that the only thing standing between the individual citizen and the awesome power of the government would often be a lawyer.

The criminal defense bar in South Carolina serves the public by not only protecting the constitutions and laws of the United States and South Carolina, but also in working with legislators, law enforcement and victims advocacy groups to ensure that the criminal justice system in our state is fair and practical.  The recent passage of Emma’s Law in this state would not have been possible without the work and assistance of the criminal defense bar.  We are fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers and sisters.  We are the small businesses that help form the backbone of our local economies.  We are the neighbors and friends who make up our communities.

Despite all that he accomplished throughout his career, President John Adams held that his defense of British soldiers charged with the Boston Massacre was “one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.”  Having helped draft our Declaration of Independence and found our country, President Adams knew that the rule of law was the bedrock upon which our republic was founded.  He understood the importance of every man being entitled to defend himself from accusation.  President Adams understood that his defense of despised criminal defendants was one of the most patriotic things he had ever done.

To attack someone for their defense of a person charged with a crime is not only shameful, it is un-American.  Those who perform this patriotic duty for our country deserve our thanks, not scorn.

Kitty Sutton
Executive Director, S.C. Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (SCACDL)

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SetTheBarHigh April 29, 2014 at 11:06 am

People kick lawyers in the teeth until they need one and then they cannot praise them enough when they win. Lawyers are bright and rich and so there is a lot of jealousy against them.

Nunc Pro Tunc April 29, 2014 at 11:09 am

In the Matter of SetTheBarHigh … disbarred for lying before the court, tax fraud, DUI with Jean Toal, abusing client funds, inter alia.

Elfego April 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Wait until one screws you!

James April 29, 2014 at 11:30 am

Haley sure does hate them trail lawyers until she needs one to pull her ass out of a jam.

nitrat April 29, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Or, to appoint one to a state agency, state board or be her private pilot.

Wanda Lancaster April 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Ms Haley is doing what put her in office in the first place, playing to the ignorance of the “lowest common denominator” It’s unfortunate that many of the people she is hurting the worst will vote for her based on such ridiculous statements. I have spoken to some of these folks. Many will tell you. “I don’t care, he defended criminals.” don’t confuse them with facts their minds are made up.

Elfego April 29, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Maybe she will divide us like Obama and the Democrats!

Tom April 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Or impoverish us like Bush and the Republicans.

Elfego April 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm

You need to look up the definition of impoverish there buddy. Then look over the last 6 years. People that buy into what you say are really uninformed or absolutely dumb!

Elfego April 29, 2014 at 4:26 pm

As I have said before lawyers run the Criminal Justice from beginning to end. It starts with deciding who will be prosecuted. The court is run from beginning to end by lawyers and most cases outcome is decided by lawyers,jury or not.
You very seldom if ever see a lawyer sued for anything and never for inept representation. In case where the public is so negligent a lawyers will sue you to death.
No one else gets paid to dream up a lie and no one else controls a lawyer but another lawyer. A big fraternity. The one with the most money normally wins unless it is against deeper pockets.
I have seen the system from beginning to end and it is probably the best anywhere but that is the problem it has not improved with the exception on DNA the last 50 years.
Lawyers can lay verdicts on juries but it depends on who the best actor is. I was raised to believe court was for finding the truth but you find most anything there but the truth.
I t saddens me to see this but I have seen it from bottom to the top!

Tom April 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm

So you are a criminal?

Elfego April 29, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Nope! Never been charged or convicted of anything!

Joe Friday April 29, 2014 at 9:44 pm

See thats he problem with the Criminal Justice system!

Godslayer April 29, 2014 at 4:57 pm

“You very seldom if ever see a lawyer sued for anything and never for inept representation.”

How fucking ignorant. Lawyers get sued all the time for malpractice. Do some simple research before you spout your ignorant horseshit.

Elfego April 29, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Not for defense of clients!
Proving Malpractice Isn’t Easy
If your attorney made serious errors, you may consider suing the lawyer for malpractice. Unfortunately, it is very hard to win a malpractice case. Malpractice means that the lawyer failed to use the ordinary skill and care that would be used by other lawyers in handling a similar problem or case under similar circumstances. In other words, it’s not malpractice just because your lawyer lost your case.
To win a malpractice case against an attorney, you must prove four basic things:
duty — that the attorney owed you a duty to act properly
breach — that the attorney breached the duty: she was negligent, she made a mistake, or she did not do what she agreed to do
causation — that this conduct hurt you financially, and
damages — that you suffered financial losses as a result.
In practical terms, to win a malpractice case, you must first prove that your attorney made errors in how she handled your case. Then you must show that you would have won the underlying case that the lawyer mishandled. (This second part is not required in Ohio.) Finally, you will have to show that if you had won the underlying case, you would have been able to collect from the defendant.

Of all the cases where people have been turned lose for being wrongly convicted how many lawyers have you seen who defended them were sued? Even the Prosecutor is not sued although some of those convicted are awarded money from the state.

inciteful April 29, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Plantif bar trial lawyers conprise 6% of all lawyers and 70% of all lawyers in the South Carolina legislature. Their influence over tort reform has always been disproportional, even within their own profession. I wouldn’t give their concerns about these ads too much concern or ink.

mr.adams April 29, 2014 at 4:45 pm

John Adams never used his position in elected office to lower the sentence of a convicted child predator.

Cope101 April 30, 2014 at 11:26 pm

But he did advocate for the interests of his accused clients. Which is what a lawyer’s job is.
If Haley has evidence that Sheheen used political power to improperly affect the outcome of a case then she should by all means say so, but that is not what the RGA ad criticized Sheheen for

Centrist View April 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm

“Ours is a nation and state founded upon the rule of law.”

And laws are made by men, often for the specific benefit or to the specific disadvantage of other men.

TontoBubbaGoldstein April 29, 2014 at 7:15 pm

criminal defense lawyers

Why the hate for criminal defense lawyers?

Are they somehow worse than criminal family court lawyers? Criminal property lawyers? Criminal tort lawyers?

*Asks innocently*

James Goldsmith April 30, 2014 at 7:31 am

The Republican Party is controlled and manipulated by consultants too stupid to have a real job. They are highly addicted to polling data which they regard as gospel in determining what a candidate believes and how they convey “the message”. Worse still, their moronic efforts have convinced low information voters, as well as the middle class, that the Republican Party does not care about their concerns.

nitrat April 30, 2014 at 8:55 am

Gee, I thought the problem was that they HAVE convinced the low information voters and middle class that they do care about their concerns when all they really care about is ideology that has nothing to do with any average person’s day to day life.

James Goldsmith April 30, 2014 at 9:40 am

Conservatives believe in economic and regulatory freedom which benefits all people and historically has served to lift poor people out of poverty. Poll driven, consultant created nonsense clouds the issue and allows the Dems to fool people into thinking they care about the lower and middle classes when, in reality, their policies over the past six years have been devastating for poor and middle income folks.

Cope101 April 30, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Good response. The ad was embarrassing, and I hope most people saw through it

Elfego May 1, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Federal Election Commission Lawyer: Politicking for Obama on Taxpayer Time

April 30th, 2014 – 3:04 pm

A lawyer for the Federal Election Commission has resigned after being found to have engaged in prohibited political activity to help President Obama’s reelection on government time. The Federal Election Commission is the agency charged with regulating campaign finance for the presidential campaigns and serving as a purportedly neutral federal agency. The Washington Times reports on a finding by the Office of Special Counsel about the actions of this FEC lawyer:

The employee, a lawyer whose name wasn’t divulged, solicited campaign donations for Mr. Obama and other political campaigns, and even took part in a web broadcast from an FEC facility where the employee criticized the GOP and Republican 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

More than 80% of money donated to lawyers are to the (in my opinion) crooked Democrat Party and they have infiltrated all of government.This lawyer in the White House is much more of a crook than Nixon could have ever been!

Michael Rosenstein May 5, 2014 at 6:12 am

This is a strong word from Criminal Defense Attorneys of the State and Hailey really created an impact on them.


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