Entrepreneur: 9 Things to Know when Hiring a White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer, by Jeff Grant, Esq.

Hiring a defense attorney is a monumental task, and most are monumentally unprepared for the effort.

1. You are in trauma, whether you know it or not

Your entrepreneurship, intellect and survival skills have betrayed you. You are in pain, and will do — and pay — almost anything to make the pain go away. You’ve probably been looking over your shoulder for a long time. It’s normal to be terrified; who wouldn’t be?

2. Long-term plan instead of short-term relief

You know this, but you are probably in fear of what you think is the worst thing that can happen — prison. Prison is not the worst thing that can happen — the worst thing that can happen is not having a comeback story. Keep your eye on the prize. That is, a carefully and thoughtfully constructed long-term plan for health, purpose and prosperity for you and your family. It’s okay (in fact, it’s vital) to give yourself the time and space to step back and make good, thoughtful decisions. You are in the desert, and it will be a long journey to the promised land.

3. Your brother-in-law probably knows nothing about hiring a white collar defense lawyer…

…Neither does your dentist, haircutter or almost anyone else. Everyone around you is most likely offering “well-intended advice.” And maybe already picking at your bones. But, there is dependable professional help out there in the form of private general counsel with specific experience in the intricacies of white collar defense and all of the other legal, business, family and emotional issues you are likely to face.

4. There is very little chance that your case will go to trial

Over the past two decades, less than two percent of white collar prosecutions have gone to trial. This means that whether a “trial lawyer” has spent much of the last twenty years as a prosecutor or as a criminal defense attorney, they probably have no (or very little) white collar trial experience. But, we are stuck in an old paradigm where we think we need a trial attorney to swoop in and save the day. This might happen on television, but it almost never happens in real life.

5. Ever wonder why lawyers have such fancy offices?

Do you want to pay for expensive overhead (maybe you do) or for excellent lawyering? Isn’t it more important to find out if you and an attorney have a great connection, and can work together? Has your defense attorney taken the time to really understand you and your family, your back story, all of your issues, and your life goals?

6. Your criminal defense budget

Your criminal defense lawyer can’t do it all; you’ll need a team. Your defense attorney’s job is to marshal the best resources in order to make a persuasive presentation to the prosecutors, to the probation officer at your pre-sentence investigation, and to the judge. How much of your criminal defense budget/retainer will be allocated for experts (forensic accountants, investigators, mitigation experts, medical experts, etc.) to give a complete and accurate picture of you, your family and your side of the facts?

7. Outside your criminal defense budget

Your issues are most likely way bigger, and more complicated, than just your criminal matter. How much of your overall budget will be allocated for other attorneys and professionals (business attorneys, tax attorneys, bankruptcy lawyers, family law, civil litigation, estate planning, accountants, etc.)? How much of your overall budget will be allocated for other obligations (restitution, fines, forfeiture, taxes, antecedent debt, alimony, child support, etc.)?

8. Does your spouse/significant other need separate counsel?

In a word, yes. Or at least, probably. You’ve been shouldering this thing alone for so long, it’s hard to be a good partner again. Believe it or not, your spouse’s interests are probably not fully aligned with yours. They have their own body of rights that deserve professional attention.

9. Out of isolation and into community

You don’t have to go through this alone. Believe it or not, there is a rich community of people who have been prosecuted for white collar crimes, and their families, who want to give of themselves freely to help you.

Jeffrey D. Grant, Esq.

GrantLaw, PLLC, 43 West 43rd Street, Suite 108, New York, NY 10036–7424, (212) 859–3512, jgrant@grantlaw.com, GrantLaw.com

A purpose-driven attorney.

Jeff Grant is on a mission. After a hiatus from practicing law, he is once again in private practice and is committed to using his legal expertise and life experience to benefit others.

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Jeff Grant is a Private General Counsel/White Collar Attorney at GrantLaw in NYC and w/ co-counsel & criminal defense counsel throughout the U.S. GrantLaw.com

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Jeff Grant - White Collar Week

Jeff Grant is a Private General Counsel/White Collar Attorney at GrantLaw in NYC and w/ co-counsel & criminal defense counsel throughout the U.S. GrantLaw.com