There’s a great article in today’s Sunday NY Times about Ivan Fisher, a prominent NY criminal defense attorney who has found himself in some ethical hot waters. By all accounts, Fisher is a gifted trial attorney. His honesty, however, has recently been called into question. The story offers a lesson for any attorney: reputation and trust is everything and a lifetime’s body of work can be undone with even a single misstep.
The lesson from Fisher’s case is especially true for a criminal defense attorney practicing in the Central Rockies like Aspen, Glenwood Springs, and Vail. Trust is everything. If the prosecutor doesn’t respect or, more importantly, trust a particular criminal defense attorney, it can change the dynamic of plea bargaining drastically. It’s a small community and there’s a lot of repeat business between attorneys. Screw up once and you’ll be cast among the lot of the Fishers of the legal world.