Presenting Your Client Using "Conservative" Themes
Updated: Apr 30
By Clayton T. Robertson (Criminal Defense / Civil Rights Attorney)
One of your challenges as a criminal defense attorney is to argue successfully on behalf of your client in conservative jurisdictions, or more often, to conservative prosecutors or judges -- and ultimately to conservative jurors.
At a personal level, this often comes down to recognizing the differences between "law and order" (i.e., conservative) and "empathetic" (i.e., liberal) values. This is an overgeneralization, but it helps. (I am a combination of both as a former prosecutor and public defender. This helps my practice.)
Roughly speaking, what are some possible conservative themes? These include but are not limited to the following:
- Taking Responsibility
- Following The Rules
- Contributing To Society
- Pulling Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps
- Individual Accountability
Everyone believes in these values, but they appeal to some more than others. An attorney must keep these themes in mind as they argue your case, not just at trial but also at other proceedings or hearings (including bail review, diversion, pre-trial conferences, sentencing, etc.).