Monday, August 07, 2006

The Fixer

While I will maintain anonymity as best I can on this profile, this person's nickname is for real and is known by many in the legal community. If I know it a lot of people must. I'm not worried about it because this will be a flattering profile.

The Fixer is a successful criminal defense lawyer. He is not a high-profile guy. You don't see him in the papers or on TV much. I've known him for some time now and can't think of a bad thing to say about him. I do have a lot of good things to say.

He's friendly and he can be a bit of a mentor to less experienced lawyers (like me). I'm not saying he lectures at seminars, but if you see him in a Court (he's in a lot of courts), you can ask him a question and he'll give helpful advice -- usually short and to the point.

He seems to work an awful lot. I go to a lot of local courts for traffic tickets and more serious criminal cases. I remember one day I went to four different courts and saw him at each one. I make it to a lot of courts as well, but he's been doing it a lot longer and I suspect he goes to more courts.

His most notable trait is where his nickname comes from. He's The Fixer. He gets deals for his clients that most other lawyers would be unable to get. I'm not referring only to plea bargains, but also to various stages of the criminal process (like bail) where he manages to get better treatment for his clients.

Now some lawyers get deals for their clients by aggressive defense work, finding any kind of hole in the prosecution's case and then using that as a reason for a better deal. The Fixer's method is a bit of a mystery. Does he know the right people? Does he use political connections? Is he just so smooth that prosecutors want to give him deals? Maybe it's all of the above, or something entirely different. He's playing that part of a game at a much higher level than the rest of us.

I don't know how he does it. But he does. I've seen the results. In one case he handled bail was set at one-tenth of what I expected. That can make a big difference to the client - it's the difference between being in jail while your case is pending and being on the outside. When you're in, you'll take any kind of deal you can get. When you're out you're not looking for a deal, so the offers tend to get better. If I was charged with a crime and I wanted the best deal I could get, he's the first person I would go to.

I'm not sure he's the lawyer I'd want if I were innocent. I don't know about that aspect of his skills, but if I woke up from a coma, was told I had been charged with a crime, and that The Fixer was my lawyer, I'd be comfortable.

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