Monday, August 27, 2007

Why The System Is Not Even Close To Fair Especially Fair For the Middle Class

Why Do Criminal Defendants with lots of Money usually win their entire case outright, or obtain a very favorable result? Money. I know this is not a novel thought, but let's look at some of the reasons why the money works. Fallacy number one is that the defendant who has money hires the best lawyer. Not so, most of the "marquee" criminal defense lawyers who command the big bucks, usually know less law, and are often ineffective trial litigators with little passion and zeal for their client. But if that is so, why do they sometimes achieve more favorable results than average attorney? The answer is, support staff, investigators, expert witnesses, and their ability to work full time and many hours on the client's case.
You see, very few working middle class defendants, who earn a living and do not qualify for the services of the public defender, and their ancillary services, such as expert witnesses, investigators, etc. , can afford to hire a lawyer who will provide them with a competent vigorous defense. You see, most middle class defendants shop around for the cheapest lawyer, negotiating like they are shopping for a new or used automobile. Why because they do not know how the legal system works, and they do not understand the time and effort it takes for a criminal defense attorney to win their acquittal. Instead they shop for the cheapest lawyer, and when that cheap lawyer gives them little or no defense, or forces them to take a plea for which they are innocent, they act surprised.

Unfortunately, the legal system works on money, and it is no different than any other fact of life. Money does buy justice, and until the system changes, beware of the cheap lawyer. Also, beware of the lawyer you guarantees, any lawyer who guarantees a victory is unethical, and the client should run away. Many clients do not understand that even with the most simple criminal trial, lasting only a few days, that a competent effective attorney must devote 30 to 40 hours of outside court trial preparation, such as preparation of opening and closing statements, the review of police reports, and the preparation of cross-examination of each potential witness for the state, as set forth in each police report. Not to mention, the review of the applicable case law and jury instruction.

Remember, in closing, for any indictable criminal charge, which requires a trial, any attorney who charges less than $10,000.00 as his retainer is not doing his client a service, but rather a disservice, because such an attorney, unless right out of law school, with no experience, can not afford to put his best efforts in time and talent in his client's trial.
Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
Elizabeth, New Jersey

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Shocked At Racist Comments

Shocked At Racist Comments

As a civil rights and criminal defense attorney I am currently involved in federal civil rights case in which I represent an African-American, Aundrey Green, who was brutally beaten by three New Jersey State Police Officers. During the beating Mr. Green was handcuffed and unarmed. Mr. Green was kicked and punched numerous times, and his head was split open by one of the troopers metal flashlights. Much of the beating, not all, was audio-video taped by the Motor Vehicle Recording tape, which was on the dashboard of the troopers’ vehicle. To expose this brutal beating and the officers involved, the MVR tape was posted on Youtube and can be seen with the following link,

To date, there have been 32,000 view of the Youtube video and 301 comments to same. What is shocking to me, and has opened my mind to the racism against African-Americans, is some of the horrendous and shocking racist comments made against Mr. Green because of his race. When will this hatred come to an end?

Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.