Crime and Criminal Lawyers

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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7 Responses

  1. shg says:

    Two points of clarification. I am *not* always blunt. Sometimes, I’m brusque, and on occasion, gruff.

    Second, the individual discussed in the post was from the left side of the country. The people I’ve spoken with, mentioned in your quote, are from all over the United States and Canada. This is not a New York problem.

  2. nidefatt says:

    We don’t seem to have these problems where I am in Idaho, but I seem to recall they were having them in Boston before I left.
    A lot of your problems, dear brethren, may be that you’re not very good attorneys, even if you’re good criminal attorneys. Here, we tend to do a lot of business in property, not cash.

  3. shg says:

    So in Idaho, the good lawyers get paid in chickens? How long before there’s a mad rush of hungry Boston lawyers to Boise?

  4. Ken Arromdee says:

    The idea that if there are more suppliers and fewer customers, the price gets driven down, is a well known fact of economics and I am surprised that anyone is surprised at it or thinks that remedying it is possible.

    And people often prefer price over quality prices because they can easily determine the price, but they have no way to determine the quality of service. The solution to that would be to make it easy for laymen to compare the quality of lawyers, which I suspect is neither desired, nor in many cases, possible.

  5. Will Coy-Geeslin says:

    My thought is that the statutory environment in criminal law empowers the prosecution to control the cost-benefit analysis in plea vs. trial such that the incentives are overwhelming to avoid trial, regardless of the strength (or factual basis) of the state’s case. 97% of fed and 95% state cases are resolved by guilty plea. The mechanized, rote assembly line process of overcharging results in a plea offer that is within a predictable range reduces the ability of the defense bar to have a meaningful impact on outcomes. Regardless of skill, there is simply less defense needed if one does not go to trial. Imagine the opposite situation: a fully-funded system in which 95% of criminal charges go to trial. Lazy cops/prosecutors could not be as sloppy as the system allows them to be now when factual guilt/innocence is really beside the point. It’s “justice” by flowchart and not an adversarial criminal trial process as was assumed by the drafters of the constitution(s).

    http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2012/08/do-prosecutors-have-too-much-power.html

  6. Will Coy-Geeslin says:

    intended to include this as well

    “The Unexonerated: Factually Innocent Defendants Who Plead Guilty”

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2103787

  7. Will Coy-Geeslin says:

    Did not realize how closely my thoughts tracked this language from Lafler v. Cooper: “(“until today, [plea bargaining] has been regarded as a necessary evil. It presents grave risks of prosecutorial overcharging that effectively compels an innocent defendant to avoid massive risk by pleading guilty to a lesser offense ; and for guilty defendants it often—perhaps usually—results in a sentence well below what the law prescribes for the actual crime.”