No. 1. The United States Constitution guarantees effective legal representation to anyone accused of a criminal offense. In my view, effective representation by a lawyer is dependent upon the lawyer’s experience, thoroughness, creativity, aggressiveness, and professionalism. Of course, a lawyer is most effective when adept at both oral and written presentation of the rights and claims of the client, to whom he must be exclusively loyal. And ultimately, effectiveness is determined by effort and results.
No. 2. Not only should a lawyer take every possible lawful action to achieve the best possible result for a client, he or she should also promptly and fully inform the client as to each and every development in the client’s case.
No. 3. Despite the lawyer having practiced for many years and having represented many clients, he or she should never forget that as to each client, the matter in which representation occurs may well be the most important matter in the client’s life. Each client has real problems and real concerns, and his or her lawyer should be responsive at all times to any question or concerns the client desires to express. No matter how significant or trivial such question or concern may in fact be, if it is important to the client the lawyer should immediately address it.
No. 4. A lawyer should zealously protect the client’s rights utilizing all proper means, and through experience and confidence be willing to vigorously advocate those rights in a courtroom setting.
No. 5. No lawyer should undertake the enormous responsibility of representing a citizen accused of a crime unless he or she is willing to acknowledge the awesome nature of such responsibility, given that his or her performance may well impact a client’s liberty and future life direction.
No. 6. A client who has chosen to retain a particular lawyer is entitled to the representation in hearings and other contexts by that same lawyer. Only with the client’s consent should that lawyer involve another lawyer on his behalf.
No. 7. Because the selection of one’s lawyer is a crucial decision to be made by an accused individual, that individual should be encouraged to meet with a sufficient number of potential lawyers in order to intelligently make the extremely important decision as to whom to retain. He or she should know that the lawyer will be the face of and voice for his or her case, and through such meetings gauge who should fill that crucial role in his or her life.
No. 8. A lawyer should only undertake the representation of as many clients as he or she can effectively represent. A “volume” practice may be good for the lawyer, but it may be bad for his or her client, for whom “corner-cutting” is unacceptable.
No. 9. A lawyer should ensure that communications with a client are absolutely confidential, allowing the client to rest assure that he or she can inform the lawyer of all details relating to the matter at issue without fear of compromised privacy.
No. 10. Virtually never can a lawyer honestly guarantee a particular result in a case. However, the lawyer should always be able to genuinely guarantee that he or she will do absolutely everything that is lawfully possible in order to vigorously protect the rights of a client.