spleenworship wrote:Here, you have to pick and choose when you are going to call the cop a liar, since you have to deal with the same cops over and over again, and it helps sometimes to have them not actively hostile to you. In Philly and Miami they saw my reluctance as a weakness, because they have the luxury of dealing with a thousand or more cops, so they don't really run into the same people day after day.
I think the correct answer to that question is "I wouldn't call the cop a liar unless I had incontrovertible proof that he was lying/misremembering, because calling a cop a liar without incontrovertible proof will just hurt the client, hurt future clients, and hurt my reputation in the courtroom".
In my experience, if a cop testifies the sky is green, then the sky is green. Judges will ALWAYS side with the cop.
Don't get me wrong, I love to insinuate that the cop was lazy, didn't take good notes, doesn't remember everything, didn't investigate something he should have, etc. I do that because its often true, you'd be amazed how often cops just arrest somebody without talking to important witnesses. But when a cop directly testifies to something, you're screwed.
The best example is if the cop testifies to something your client said. Your client can deny it up and down, but if the cop testifies to something your client said, its an immutable fact of the universe and you need to accept it.
Also, a good relationship with a cop is invaluable for discovery purposes. You'd be amazed sometimes how cops will just disclose relevant things about a case while you're just shooting the shit waiting for a case to be called.