Interview Questions With Attorney Davidson
#1: What made you choose a career in criminal law?
As a prosecutor, I saw firsthand how devastating criminal charges could be to the lives of those accused and their loved ones. I enjoy working as a defense lawyer because it allows me the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of real people. While many of my colleagues from law school went on to work at large law firms where they represent corporations, big insurance companies and land developers, I found that type of work to be very unfulfilling. I much prefer trying cases in court and in front of juries when something very real is at stake - my client's freedom.
#2: In your opinion, what sets your firm apart from other firms in the area?
All too many firms that hold themselves out as criminal defense attorneys are not operating a law practice, they are operating a mill. At my firm, each client is treated like they are the only client. We provide personalized representation to each client and respond directly to their inquiries, rather than delegating to a paralegal or another non-attorney. Also, as a former major crimes prosecutor who has tried approximately 100 cases in front of a jury, I believe that my clients are at a major advantage with my experience on their side.
#3: Tell us about a case that you are particularly proud of:
We recently represented an older gentleman who was falsely accused by his grandson of sexually abusing him. As is often the case with false accusations, the grandson had himself gotten into trouble and fabricated the allegations against his grandfather in an attempt to avoid responsibility for his own misdeeds. Even though the prosecutor was willing to guarantee that our client would not spend a single day in jail if he took a deal, our client never wavered and refused to be bullied into a guilty plea. The case proceeded to trial with the knowledge that a finding of guilt would effectively result in a life sentence. After a weeklong trial, the client was found not guilty on all counts.
#4: What steps do you take to prepare for a difficult case?
There are three critical components that go into the formulation of an effective defense: experience, knowledge and diligence. Although many cases are resolved one way or another without a trial being necessary, it is important to approach each case as one that will end up in front of a jury. At our firm, we will obtain all available discovery including police reports, 911 recordings, police dispatch records, witness interview recordings, video footage and photographs. After thoroughly scrutinizing these written materials, we will determine which witnesses and potential witnesses needed to be interviewed and obtain a statement from those individuals. In addition to preparing for a possible trial, we also evaluate the case for any pretrial issues that may need to be resolved in front of a judge before trial. For example, a motion to suppress based on a Miranda violation or a motion to dismiss based on an unlawful police search. By going through this process and bolstering our defense, we will both improve our chances at trial and potentially leverage a more favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor.
#5: How do you view your role in the attorney-client relationship?
We never lose sight of the fact that it is our client's life and liberty at stake. While many attorneys take the position that their clients don't know what is best for them, we strive to consult with the client about the direction of the case at every turn, make ourselves readily available, and ensure that no client question or concern goes unaddressed. Ultimately, our clients entrust us with their future because of our knowledge and experience, so we endeavor to provide our guidance and input at each critical step.
#6: What sets you apart from other criminal defense attorneys– why is this important?
There is no substitute for experience. During the five years I spent as a prosecutor, I handled a wide variety of cases ranging from DUI to homicide. During that time and while in private practice, I have personally completed approximately 100 jury trials. Knowing how juries react to evidence, what the prosecutor's "playbook" is, and how judges respond to various legal arguments allows me to provide my clients the best possible defense. Also, unlike many other firms, we don't dabble in other areas of law such as personal injury, bankruptcy or divorce. My practice is devoted to criminal and DUI defense.
#7: What types of cases do you specifically handle?
Our firm handles most criminal matters ranging from DUI and criminal traffic violations, all the way to homicide and sexual abuse.
#8: In your opinion, what is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The most rewarding aspect of any criminal defense attorney's practice is hearing a two word verdict read in open court: "not guilty ". When a client is acquitted, it is not only a tremendous sense of relief for them and their family, but it is also the achievement of a goal that was realized only on account of months of hard work and diligence.
#9: What advice do you most often give your clients & why?
The majority of my clients are hiring an attorney for the very first time and have little idea what to expect. Due to shows on TV and inaccurate depictions of the criminal justice system in popular culture, many of them have unrealistic expectations regarding the amount of time it will take for their case to be resolved. Understandably, many clients simply want their case to be over. They want to put it behind them and move on. While I certainly understand that sentiment, I often find myself reminding clients that is how well, not how quickly, a case is resolved that matters. It is for this reason that I am often telling clients and prospective clients alike that they need to work with an attorney that they trust and feel comfortable with. If the client can rest assured that their case is being properly handled, it can often make it a bit easier for them to move on and not feel as though they need to put their life on hold until their case is settled.