A Principled Approach to Criminal Defense Representation
At Barket, Marion, Epstein & Kearon, we are different from other law firms, and we think our differences put us in a better position to serve our clients and protect their rights. The following principles are at the core of our philosophy toward the practice of law:
- Respect for our clients: At the outset of a case, we focus on our client as a person. Our clients, regardless of the crimes of which they stand accused, are entitled to the same respect and courtesy that we extend to other attorneys, prosecutors and judges. In the best light, they are innocent and are facing prosecution and perhaps punishment for crimes they did not commit. In other cases, they have simply made mistakes that society has classified as criminal. Each person we represent will be accorded respect by our firm, and we will insist that judges, prosecutors and ultimately jurors see them as people, not merely "defendants."
- A focus on success: We know that people hire us to preserve and protect their freedoms, their reputations, their careers and in some cases their lives. This is a goal-oriented profession. We will define the quality of our work by the successful results we obtain for our clients. Criminal defense lawyers often use language that permits and excuses failure. Phrases such as "I did everything I could" and "I tried" are used to excuse failure. In this office, we never view failure as acceptable or unavoidable.
- Prompt and honest communication: At all times, our clients will have a complete understanding of the work we are performing on their behalf and the progress of their cases. We are honest with our clients in all respects. Often that will mean confronting them with difficult facts about themselves or about their cases. We feel that it is better for them to confront these problems in our office instead in front of a jury or judge. Phone calls from clients, adversaries and courts are in most cases returned the same day they are received and never later than the next business day. Normally, every client should receive every document received or prepared on his or her behalf. If a client is incarcerated, we will visit that person regularly.
- Experience dealing with the media: We will, within the bounds of the disciplinary rules, defend our clients in the forum of public opinion as well as in court. The press will be attracted to some of our cases. We never act out of a motivation for publicity, but neither are we intimidated by the media. We recognize that the prosecution uses the media to announce an indictment, and we will assert our client's position in the same forum. "No comment" signals a guilty client or a timid lawyer. Our clients are presumed innocent, and we are not afraid to assert their innocence. One of our assets is the experience we have had in dealing with high profile cases. From that experience, our clients can expect that we know how best to deal with the press. We treat the media with respect and honesty. We may not be able to provide them with all the information they want, but we never intentionally deceive them and are always cooperative.
- Thorough investigation and trial preparedness: The quality of our litigation is dependent upon the quality of our investigation and preparedness. Very few cases will be won with only brilliant courtroom skills. Most cases can be won, however, by thoroughly investigating the matter, speaking with witnesses and researching the applicable law. We will not threaten litigation, but we will never shy from trials. Our reputation speaks for itself. We try cases when necessary, after thorough preparation.
- Readiness to pursue favorable plea bargains: Resolving cases without litigation is a skill that we take great pride in. Most cases are resolved with a plea. Obtaining a favorable plea bargain is frequently in the best interest of the client. The results are certain, and the client can save the cost and anxiety of litigation. Favorable pleas, however, are almost always the result of thorough preparation and investigation. We work up every case as if it were going to be tried. In doing so, we find that very few cases need to be tried.
- A reputation for integrity: We always conduct ourselves honorably. We argue facts based on the evidence. We never intentionally deceive any lawyer or judge. The defense of our clients is based on actual events and real witnesses. It may come as a surprise to many, but we have found that the truth is most often the best defense. There is nothing more valuable than our word and good name. While we will do everything possible for our clients, we will never sacrifice our integrity. The rules apply to us, and we will follow every ethical principle to the letter of the law.
- A consistent approach to cooperation with prosecutors: Almost always, we will decline to represent those seeking to cooperate with the government. They don't need our services. Their fate will ultimately be determined by the good will of the government. If we wanted to help put others in jail, we could become prosecutors ourselves. Our goal is to help our clients get out of trouble without making trouble for other people. We recognize that justice is corrupted by a system that allows for favors to be bestowed on those willing to cooperate. Individuals who are so immersed in crime that they know of others' criminal conduct qualify for government leniency, while the person who makes one mistake is left to endure the full punishment for the crime. This is not process that we view as honorable or worthy of the oaths we have taken to uphold the constitution and zealously defend our clients.
- A fair fee structure: Lastly, we earn the fee we charge and charge only the fee that we earn. Our fee structure is based not just on the time we spend on a case, but also our expertise and experience. People who retain us purchase not just our time but our decades of experience and the expertise that we have developed. We are not the cheapest lawyers available, nor the most expensive. The old saying that "you get what you pay for" applies here, and with Barket, Marion, Epstein & Kearon, you get quite a bit.
Located in Garden City, we serve clients throughout Long Island and New York City. To schedule a consultation, please contact our office at 516-745-1500 or by e-mail.