Monday, September 13, 2004

"But I still have 2 more offers" and other trends

This has not happened of late, but there was a period when I had several clients with whom I was discussing proposed pleas from government counsel tell me about "the 3 Offer Rule" - that is, that the Government would make them three offers prior to holding firm, so they did not have to accept the first two.

I tried explaining that I had cases in which as many as 9 different offers (albeit some being very similar except for details) were made, and I had cases were the only offer was jury trial or straight plea. I would also tell them that I had also had some cases in which the first offer was, say, for 46 months, and then the offers would only increase thereafter.

Obviously enough defense attorneys clarified to their clients "the 3 Offer Rule" that I no longer get clients talking to me about it. Or, perhaps the person who was telling them this is no longer around.

You'd think that was the end, but there is always a new fad. A good friend from the U.S. Probation Office here in San Juan recently retired from Government service, and now offers his services as a sentencing consultant. He's probably praying for the guidelines to be upheld, as he was one of the Sentencing Guidelines Specialists at the Probation Office. Now, after a few defendants with really complex guidelines issues in their cases have retained his services, every defendant approaches me and says I want you to ask the Court for a guidelines specialist. I think Sammy has a chaser! Hey, Sammy, just kidding!