The Advantages Of Retaining A Private Attorney As Opposed To A Public Defender In A Criminal Case

Interviewer: What are the advantages of hiring an attorney over, let's say, someone going with the public defender?

Michael Golub: The first thing obviously is that if you hire an attorney, you can choose the person that you want. If you go to the public defender's office, yes, there are some great attorneys that work over there, some very talented people that work over there. And I mean I did that myself for 5 years. But there are also some not so talented people that work over there and the problem is you don't know who you're getting and you don't have a choice, you can't go and say "I want that person to represent me". It's whoever they give you is who represents you. And it may be good or may not be good, you don't have a choice in the matter.

A Public Defender May Be a Good Attorney But He or She Will Not Be Able to Provide Individual Attention to a Crime Due to Heavy Caseloads

The second is, that person typically is not going to have to spend as much time on your particular case as a private attorney will have to do that because that person's going to - when I walk into court, I'm going to have usually one file with me, maybe sometimes I'll have a couple but usually, it's going to be one person I'm representing; they're going to be walking in the court with a box of a 100 files. Typically there's not as much time and there's not as much attention - individual attention that they're going to have. And usually, their goal is to process things through the system efficiently. Their first goal is to try to get some sort of a plea agreed in that term, quickly and to move the cases along.

A Client Can Work in Close Coordination With a Private Attorney But Not a Public Defender

Now, it's not to say that I am not going to try to move the case along too, if I can get a good deal for somebody, and get them through the systems quickly, I will but I am going to have more time to actually look at it and look at the evidence and help the person make the best decision. And they're going to actually spend more time with me and they're not going to meet 5 minutes before court.

The Stigma Attached With Retaining a Private Attorney to Handle a Criminal Case

Interviewer: Are there any particular like stigmas about attorneys that you have to dispel for people?

Michael Golub: Well, I don't know if there's any stigmas where you wouldn't want to hire an attorney. You've got the stigmas about how can you represent people that are guilty and that sort of thing but everybody that says that if they're charged with something, they're going to hire an attorney, it's the only reason why somebody wouldn't hire one.