Blog - The Verdict
MSB Solicitors Liverpool
Thursday, 02 October 2014 00:00

Criminal lawyers are as bad as the scum they represent

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The government want to cut the number of firms nationwide carrying out criminal work from 1,600 firms to 525. More than two thirds of firms will be wiped out and their staff will lose their jobs.
 
I can hear some of you cheering already. Grasping lawyers lining their pockets by getting lowlife off serious offences.
 
But behind that stereotype lies a very different truth.
 
Most  of my clients have never previously been in trouble with the police.
 
Most are in work, have families and live law abiding lives. Some even vote Tory.
 
A taxi driver accused of making a homophobic remark to a passenger
 
A teacher accused of altering a form for the local council amounting to a forgery
 
A young lad celebrating his 18th birthday given a wrap of drugs  by his mates
 
A nurse accused of drinking and driving
 
A doctor accused of possessing indecent images on the family computer
 
A company director accused of defrauding the taxman
 
A young man defending his mate in a fight outside a pub accused of GBH
 
The list is endless.
 All denied these offences. Most of them were at risk of losing their jobs and some were at risk of prison.
 
All were acquitted and are grateful for a legal aid system that meant that ordinary people of modest means could be represented by skilled, properly qualified lawyers at their hour of greatest need when their family life, careers and even their liberty were at risk.
 
Any experienced criminal lawyer could tell you hundreds of these life stories. Most of you never get to hear about them. Your neighbours are unlikely to tell you about their experiences when the full force of the state takes aim at you and the criminal justice system take over your life
 
The legal aid system was the fourth pillar of the welfare state, created in the same post war era as the NHS, our modern state education system and the welfare system.
 
Now it is at risk of destruction and even opposition politicians are silent. There are no votes in defending legal aid.
 
So I repeat, the government want to cut the number of firms nationwide carrying out criminal legal aid work from 1,600 firms to 525. More than two thirds of existing firms will be wiped out and their staff will lose their jobs.
 
When you, your partner or child needs us next time, we will not be there to help if this government forces through its plans.
 
A wet behind the ears, overworked and demoralised “lawyer” employed by Capita, G4S, Serco or their ilk may speak to you at the police station or on the phone before your day in court. A broken down old war horse may be available to represent you at court but not until the day of the hearing (and even then, s/he will have so many other clients that morning that you will get a few minutes consultation at best)
 
Welcome to the brave new world of criminal defence.
Last modified on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 15:35
Sean Sexton

Sean was one of the founding partners of MSB Solicitors.
Twitter handle: @seansexton58

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