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We see a lot of Houston criminal-defense lawyers advertising about the number of cases they have gotten dismissed.

This is not a good thing.

Don't get me wrong: It's a great thing to get cases dismissed. That's always the objective. We love getting cases dismissed. Especially the hard cases!


An unfortunate trend in lawyer advertising is the "live chat" box on the website.

This'd be great if it connected the potential client with a lawyer or paralegal or someone who could actually understand the problem and assist the client, but it seldom is. Instead, it's a glorified answering service.

Here, for example, is what you get when you click on the live chat on one Houston criminal-defense lawyer's site:


Get It in Writing!

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I heard a complaint recently from someone who had hired a lawyer for a criminal case in Harris County after the lawyer a) texted her out of the blue on the cellphone; and b) promised to get her case dismissed within six months.

The unsolicited text message was a violation of various rules and laws (see the TCDLA Voice for the Defense article here), and the promise was-as this client discovered-a lie.

Don't hire sleazy lawyers. If a lawyer is breaking the rules to get you to hire him, he is a crook. You may think you want a lawyer who cheats, but the cold hard truth is that you are the only one who is going to get cheated, because you are the only one who trusts him. The judges, prosecutors, and every other lawyer in the courthouse knows who the sleazy lawyers are, and doesn't trust them with anything. You can only get cheated by people you trust. You have to trust your criminal-defense lawyer. Therefore you have to have a lawyer that you can trust, which means a lawyer who is generally trustworthy.


We've got your back.

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I won't pick on anyone in particular, but about two thirds of criminal-defense lawyers' websites are utter nonsense, if you know anything about criminal defense.

But these folks are marketing themselves to people who don't know anything about criminal defense. It benefits them to keep the clients ignorant.

I'd rather have clients who understand the system and what we, together, are up against.


Hello, World

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Mark here.

I've been writing online about criminal-defense issues for nearly two decades, at my Defending People WordPress blog, and in my Substack newsletter of the same name (if you subscribe, fees go to my 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the First Amendment Funding Organization).

I wrote well over a million words on those two sites. If you wanted to understand how I think, you could go back and read everything I'd written. I think most of it holds up pretty well, but my mind has been changed on some things in that time.

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