Best Public Defender Offices to Try Cases Forum

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litigation-nation

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Best Public Defender Offices to Try Cases

Post by litigation-nation » Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:17 pm

I understand that working as an ADA or PD are two of the best ways to get trial experience early in a legal career. But not all counties/districts are created equally. At this point I've worked with PDs that try a ton of cases and some who have gone years without a felony jury trial (COVID contributed to this anomaly, of course).

Does anyone here have a perspective on where one would want to target with PD applications to try a lot of cases? Either whether there are notable places to apply around the nation notorious for lots of trials, or whether there are certain demographic things to look out for (e.g. rural vs suburban vs urban, major vs secondary metro, conservative vs progressive jury pool, etc.).

I know that a lot of this depends on the inidivdual lawyer and individual clients, but I'm asking about general trends people have noticed.

Thank you!

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Re: Best Public Defender Offices to Try Cases

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:52 pm

Two places that come to mind as having reputations for lots of trials are Miami and Colorado PDs. In terms of places with a reputation for not providing as much trial experience for entry-level attorneys - NYC offices.

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Re: Best Public Defender Offices to Try Cases

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Nov 16, 2021 10:31 am

Colorado, Contra Costa, I think Maryland?, San Diego, some parts of VA especially for bench, PDS

gf2139

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Re: Best Public Defender Offices to Try Cases

Post by gf2139 » Thu Nov 18, 2021 9:50 am

If you goal is trial experience, any PD office should work. I was a state PD for a year and a half before clerking and trials pop up all the time.

Also, you will have difficult clients who, despite your best efforts and advice, want their case to go to trial when you know they're going to get hammered by the jury. Many of the more experienced attorneys will be happy to let you take the lead on those trials, you just have to ask. You learn more from losing than you do a win anyway.

When I was a PD, I offered to take a client who flat out refused any plea on some mid level drug charges. DA's office filed some BS failure to appear felonies just to try and force him into the plea. I tried the failure to appear case and, of course, got outright obliterated. (Its hard to defend the fact that your client was obviously not in court)

Opportunities like that exist in any PD office. Plus, your enthusiasm may better serve clients like my FTA guy because you can give them a little humanity right before they get sucked back into the system.

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