The best post conviction lawyer is one who is committed to uphold justice in all cases.
No matter who you are or what you have done, a great attorney believes that you are entitled to a fair trial, the presentation of all evidence in your case and receiving unbiased treatment from prosecutors and judges.
Before you hire a lawyer to represent you, here are some of the qualities that you can consider in an attorney…Your lawyer should have prior experience in handling post conviction issues. These type of cases require expert-level knowledge concerning the constitutional issues that are presented as well as the statutes that are at play in these cases. Your lawyer may also need to ground his or her legal arguments in fundamental constitutional principles, so he or she should have a strong grasp of documents like the Magna Carta.You should see that your attorney is passionate about upholding justice. When your case becomes complicated, a lawyer with a passion for justice will not back down. He or she will see that your case is handled with a diligent work ethic from start to finish.The lawyer should have strong analytical abilities and a keen awareness of the facts in your case. He or she should carefully listen to you as you discuss what has happened in previous trial matters. The lawyer will need to assert certain facts of your case to back up the post conviction claims that are made in a petition.The lawyer should have a knowledge of the specific state laws that govern post conviction issues such as prosecutorial misconduct, admission of DNA evidence, and other factors that can have a great impact on your case.Your lawyer should also have a specialized certification that enables him or her to practice before the Supreme Court. You never know whether your case will pose a constitutional issue that ultimately makes its way up to the Supreme Court.A lawyer must have superb writing skills, because judges will carefully review the petitions that are submitted on behalf of defendants. Judges want to be able to develop a clear understanding of a case based on the petition that is submitted.A persuasive communication style is essential since lawyers may need to appear in front of a judge. The lawyer may need to assert certain claims on behalf of a defendant at a trial.Post conviction cases usually require a filing of documents in both the state and federal systems. Usually, a lawyer will begin handling your case by filing a petition for post conviction relief in the state system. If the petition fails, then a lawyer will move on with your case by filing a petition in the federal system.Before post conviction remedies are sought, you will have the opportunity to file an appeal of your case. An excellent lawyer should have a strong understanding of the appellate court system. He or she should have experience in appellate practice to help you in the process of filing an appeal of your claim.Ultimately, the lawyer should be someone you can trust. If you do not feel a sense of trustworthiness with your current lawyer, then you should seek the services of a a different lawyer.It is important for you to invest your time in finding an excellent lawyer for your case. Arch McColl, anexperienced post conviction lawyer (in Dallas, Texas) will take the time to carefully review your claims and ensure that you have zealous representation for your case.What causes some lawyers to stray from the paths of truth and justice? How does one go from being a respected, highly ethical member of the bar sporting an unblemished record, to becoming a common criminal? Why would a successful attorney throw away a profitable career and opt instead for an orange jumpsuit and barred windows? I don’t have the universal answer to these questions. I can only speak to my own case, and by doing so, hope that some of the signs, symptoms and events to which I refer ring a bell for someone on the brink today, in time to prevent what might become another tragic ending of a life and/or career.There is a prevailing perception that the practice of law equates to wealth, prestige, power, and consequently the fairy tale, “happily ever after,” ending for those privileged individuals who select a legal career as their chosen profession. Unfortunately, this is a gross misconception as evidenced by the following facts. One survey cited by Martin J. Seligman in his article, Why Are Lawyers so Unhappy, revealed that 52% of lawyers indicated they were dissatisfied with their lives.1 The third leading cause of death among lawyers is suicide, behind cancer and heart disease.2 Male lawyers are twice as likely as the general population to take their own lives.3 The rate of depression among lawyers is 3.6 times that of other professions,4 and the American Bar Association estimates that 15 to 18% of lawyers and judges suffer from alcohol and drug abuse.5 That percentage represents a rate nearly twice the rate of the general population.6 The divorce rate among lawyers, especially women, also appears to be higher than the divorce rate among other professionals.7 Problems in areas such as gambling, eating disorders, compulsive behaviors, sexual addictions and the recent increase in internet addictions have all joined the lists of recognized abuses and addictions negatively impacting lawyers and judges.8 They are among the highest-paid professionals, and yet as a group, they are disproportionately unhappy and unhealthy. While many are retiring early or leaving the profession for another career, for some escape may be too late. Joseph Story, the distinguished United States Supreme Court Justice from 1811 to 1845, aptly stated that, “[t]he law is a jealous mistress and requires a long and constant courtship.”9 It is not unheard of for jealous mistresses to kill.
The above facts indicate that regardless of the wealth and prestige that may come with the career, lawyers as a whole are not happy individuals. If statistics aren’t enough to convince you, consider the following. From 2010 until June 5 of this year, at least 12 attorneys in the State of Kentucky alone committed suicide. Most of these victims were trial lawyers, all were men, and the average age was 53 years old.10 According to an article published in the Louisville Courier-News on Monday, June 3, 2013, Kentucky Bar Association officials stated that stress was believed to be at the crux of the suicides.11 I do not believe it takes a genius or a trained medical professional to reach this conclusion. If there were statistics available on the simple connection between stress and suicide, stress would probably be found to be at the crux of the overwhelming majority of suicides. As you already know if you have read Part One in this series of articles,12 stress physiologically causes a hormonal reaction in your body that causes depression. As also previously discussed, one of the characteristics common in lawyers and law students is perfectionism. Perfectionism, taken to the nth degree, increases stress and thereby exponentially intensifies the chances of depression.In addition to perfectionism, a second characteristic that plagues attorneys at a higher rate than most other professionals is pessimism. Studies have generally concluded that optimistic people do better in life. Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania, who studies positive psychology, says most optimists do better in life than merited by their talents alone.13 They work longer hours, invest and save more money, pay their bills more promptly, are less likely to smoke, and are more likely to remarry after a divorce.14 But the opposite is true in the case of attorneys. In law, Seligman states, pessimism is considered prudence, or good sense.15 Pessimism in this context is not the usual “glass is half empty, glass is half full” viewpoint; rather, it is the pessimistic explanatory style. This type of pessimist views the cause of negative events as established and universal facts of life, such as, “it’s going to rain forever,” or “that [situation, factor, incident] undermines everything.” The pessimist attributes negative events to pervasive, permanent and uncontrollable forces, whereas an optimist envisions them as short-lived and capable of changing.
For most professions, pessimism hinders performance. A pessimistic insurance agent will sell fewer policies and burn out more quickly than an optimistic agent. Pessimistic students get lower grades and score lower on achievement and college entrance exams than their optimistic counterparts. Pessimistic athletes have more substandard performances and a more difficult time bouncing back from poor game performance than do optimistic athletes. Take for example a pessimistic pitcher or catcher in baseball. Studies have shown that they do worse in close games than optimistic players in the same positions.16 While pessimists may be considered losers on many fronts, there is one conspicuous exception, and that is lawyers. Why is this true?
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