March 2013 - Pg 13-Attorney Question
Affiliated Attorney Question of the Month
Reasonable steps toward providing for one’s own protection are more complex than getting a gun and learning how to use it. Understanding the laws applicable to using deadly force in self defense is critical, as is preparation to interact with the criminal justice system after self defense. Having an attorney to call for representation is one preparatory step, and ironically, it is one of the most challenging for most armed citizens, since attorneys and the criminal justice system are often an aspect of modern life that many will never encounter.
The Network encourages members to have an attorney in their home area on whom they can call should a need arise. To facilitate finding a gun-friendly attorney, the Network affiliates with attorneys all across the nation, not with the intention of making a judgment or recommendation about the attorney’s expertise, but rather to provide members with a starting place for their attorney search. In addition, several Affiliated Attorneys have asked if they could affiliate to be available to assist with pre-incident or post-incident financial concerns, so the Affiliate list represents a variety of skill sets. If the member already has an attorney, the Network never interferes and Network benefits of the deposit against attorney fees paid for representation after self-defense actions will be sent to the attorney the member designates, whether or not that attorney is affiliated with the Network. The choice of attorney ultimately rests with the member, which is only right.
The attorney a member engages to represent them in the days following a self-defense incident may or may not be the attorney or one of the attorneys on their defense team if criminal charges or civil suit results from the situation.
In providing resources for the member’s trial, the Network may well make a recommendation that the local attorney associate with an attorney who can contribute trial experience defending cases with similar issues, as well as expert witnesses or other resources to strengthen the member’s defense. As the Network’s Legal Defense Fund grows larger and stronger, the resources available for these efforts increase.
The way affiliated attorneys manage their interactions with Network members is left entirely up to the individual affiliated attorney. Because these pro-gun attorneys are influenced by their own experiences and how they practice law, there are differences in how the various affiliated attorneys prefer to interact with Network members, including even a few who do not concur line by line with Network recommendations about getting to know an attorney prior to having a serious need. In the end, considering all the varying opinions make us stronger, encouraging individual members to think about their needs in legal representation, not just blindly accepting a dictum from the Network, if indeed, the Network was in the habit of issuing dicta!
Periodically, this journal discusses consulting with an attorney you can call for representation after a self-defense incident. We’ve found that one of the most interesting ways to get input is asking our Affiliated Attorneys how members can most effectively contact them or other pro-gun attorneys. As you might expect when we polled our 275 Affiliated Attorneys we got a tremendous variety of answers that we hope you will find as interesting and instructive as we did. The response is large enough that this discussion will occupy this column over the next several months.
Here is the question we put to our Affiliated Attorneys and some of the answers we received–
“How do you recommend a Network member connect with an attorney for a brief consultation to be sure the member understands their state’s self-defense laws, as well as assuring themselves that the attorney is someone whom they want as their counselor after self defense?”
With this edition of the eJournal we will start a series spanning several months to share their answers with you.