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The Champion

November 2016 , Page 34 

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Sitting and Rocking With the Client

By Cynthia W. Roseberry


Getting to know the client is essential for effective representation. When it comes to defense counsel’s level of emotional involvement with clients, however, the spectrum is broad.

One attorney may choose to hang back and let the mitigation specialist bond with the client. From this safe vantage point, the attorney can provide effective legal representation that is unencumbered by emotion. Another attorney may get to know the client and the client’s family in a close and personal way. If a jury finds the client guilty, it is as if a member of the defender’s family has been found guilty.

There must be some level of involvement; being detached from the client is not an option. The depth of involvement will be determined by each attorney. The stakes are high. When a lawyer has gotten to know the client and has been zealous advocate — even when the client will spend years in prison — counsel can be satisfied she did her best. Equally as important, in these situations

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