This is from Mark Bennett’s Blog. He is a mentor of mine.
When a person hires a lawyer because of the lawyer’s relationship with the prosecutor, he assumes that the prosecutor will cut the person a break for the sake of that relationship. Cutting the client a break for the sake of the relationship with the lawyer would be selling out the client (the State); that could happen.
But it’s at least as likely that the defense lawyer will sell out her client for the sake of the relationship with the prosecutor as that the prosecutor will sell out his client for the sake of the relationship with the defense lawyer. The prosecutor has represented his client for years; the defense lawyer has represented hers for weeks.
By offering her relationship with the prosecutor as a selling point to the potential client, the defense lawyer has said that lawyers sell out their clients for friendship, and that she is friends with someone who would do so. Since birds of a feather flock together, the client can safely assume that the defense lawyer also would sell out a client for the sake of the same friendship.
Your potential lawyer has a 20-year friendship with the prosecutor. She has, so far, a thirty-minute relationship with you. If she has to choose between those two relationships, which will she choose?
Better by far to hire the lawyer for whom—and for whose friends on the other side—compromising the client’s interests for the sake of friendship is not an option.