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  • Writer's pictureClayton T. Robertson

Is Your Criminal Defense Attorney Just an "ADP" Practitioner?

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

By Clayton T. Robertson (Criminal Defense Attorney / Civil Rights Attorney)

Does your criminal defense attorney run what I call an "ADP" model of practice? This consists of appearing at the arraignment on the complaint, obtaining discovery from the DA (consisting of the one-sided "guilt reports" written by law enforcement), and showing up at the preliminary hearing?



Preliminary Hearing

Or does your attorney proactively seek out all information and evidence potentially helpful to your case? These items include but are not limited to the following:

Pre-File Intervention (representation after the incident but before a complaint is filed by the DA to try to convince the DA not to file charges or to file lesser charges)

Questionnaires (extensive intake process with detailed confidential/privileged forms)

Specific Discovery (additional detailed requests for evidence focusing on known items for this case type with a motion to compel if necessary)

Communications with Family Support Group (with updates on general case developments with an attitude that family is part of the "team" not persons to be avoided)

Jail Visits ("in-custody" clients are unfortunately at a disadvantage, but an attorney who regularly visits his or her clients at the jail helps off-set many of these issues)

Technology (an attorney must be comfortable with new technologies, online resources, and other technological developments to stay up-to-date)

OSINT (social media/online research concerning witnesses and other relevant persons)

Background Checks (including witnesses and others)

Public Records Requests (documents obtained in this manner rather than with a subpoena)

Subpoenas (a powerful tool for attorneys who know how to use and defend them)

Records (other records, including client's medical, military, counseling, and other records to support a defense)

Search Warrants (available only to law enforcement, but your defense attorney can obtain copies from the court clerk's office to evaluate the case or potential case)

Investigation (witness interviews, scene canvass, physical evidence, surveillance videos, locating witnesses, etc.)

Voluntary Production (a form of informal discovery in which persons or entities voluntarily provide evidence helpful to the defense)

Scene Views (including scene photos, attorney visits to view the location, etc.)

Legal Research (an attorney who is comfortable both in court on the fly and hitting the legal research "books" to stay up to date on the case law in your favor)

Motions (demurrer, bail review, motions to suppress, diversion, motion to dismiss, motions for police officer records, etc.)

Petitions (for juvenile records and other evidence in cases involving minors)

Negotiations (experienced/good relationships with prosecutors)

Coordination (with other practitioners, such as family law, licensing, immigration, etc.)

Experts (access to experts in numerous subject matters for case consultation and/or testimony)

Mitigation (letters of support, transcripts, certificates of completion, awards, character witnesses, mitigation packets, etc.)

Alternate Courts (experience with collaborative courts for better possible case dispositions)

Relentlessness (the personality of a lawyer who will not stop until nothing else can be done)

Trial (everything ultimately leads up to this point, though with some combination of the above your attorney will hopefully have explored more options for a case resolution)

Note: All cases are different, so you should consult with an attorney for an individualized case assessment.


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