On Being a Plano Criminal Defense Lawyer
Why I Take Pride in Helping My Clients Protect Their Future
I am honored to be a criminal defense attorney for two significant reasons.
I am honored to be a criminal defense attorney because it is a job our Founding Fathers considered so important to maintaining a free society that they wrote it into our Constitution. Take a look at the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. You will find a part that reads, "...and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense." That's me. That’s my job, and there aren’t many people who can say their job is specifically identified and guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
When the vast and virtually unlimited resources of the Government stack up against someone accused of a crime, people like me guarantee them a chance to have their rights protected, no matter what. It is a fundamental principle of our freedom. The honor of my job seemed to be self-evident to our Founding Fathers, no matter what people think today.
I am honored to follow in the footsteps of some of this country's greatest heroes. People like John Adams and Abraham Lincoln (to name just two) were criminal defense lawyers before leading the country as presidents. In fact, John Adams declared toward the end of his life that one of his greatest services to our country was successfully to defend the British Soldiers accused of murdering American Colonists in the incident many labeled "The Boston Massacre."
That John Adams esteemed above all else his service to this country as a criminal defense lawyer in a notorious murder trial is a lesson for us all. John Adams helped to found the United States of America, and he was our second President, yet it was his service as a criminal defense lawyer that he believed was perhaps his greatest achievement.
John Adams represented the British soldiers in the Boston Massacre case at great personal risk. He knew that representing the soldiers in the murder trial was highly unpopular, but he did it anyway putting his beliefs before his political career. He believed his own personal safety might be in question if he took the job, but he did it anyway. It was an act of great patriotism to defend those British soldiers.
Adams knew that railroading the accused in an unfair trial to serve political purposes would have been an ugly stain upon a newly formed free country. It was critical that those British soldiers receive a fair trial represented by competent counsel, and John Adams knew it. He not only took the job, but he won. It took a great Patriot like John Adams to stand up against great public outcry and speak the truth—for freedom's sake.
It is a lesson we seem to have forgotten.
Some scorn criminal defense lawyers. To them, I say this: Someday, God forbid, you may be arrested, and when the whole world wrongfully decides you are guilty—when vast and virtually limitless resources of the Government are arrayed against you to ruin your life and take your freedom—there will be at least one person on this earth who will stand up and fight for you, sometimes against impossible odds. One of us will take up your cause to take on an opponent who has more lawyers, more experts, and more money than you can even imagine.
As they seek to drag you through the very gates of Hell, one of us will be there to stand against them all—your last and best hope.
For my own part, I know that at the end of my career I will be able to “strip my sleeves and show my scars" won in the battlefields of freedom in which I fight. I will look back and remember courtroom battles where the stakes were not piles of money, but human freedom. I will remember glorious life altering victories and heart-wrenching defeat.
And like John Adams, I will know that I served my country well.
~ Scott Edgett