Does An Attorney's Knowledge Matter?

There's an old adage that knowledge is power, and this is nowhere as true as with the law. Probably every reader has heard that the person who represents himself has a fool for a client. The reason is the knowledge involved, and the ability to remain objective, something that comes to attorneys in time and that comes to everyone with experience. There are two aspects that make up a good attorney's knowledge, and they are knowledge of the law and knowledge of the parties involved.

To begin, there are two common misconceptions that should be cleared up. First, what people who are not attorneys frequently misunderstand is that law school really does not prepare an attorney to practice law. Frequently, the legal principles that attorneys studied in law school have real nuances and complexities in the real world. Secondly, people frequently think that an attorney can just study what the law is. Certainly, an attorney can study to find out something that he or she does not know, but, just as with law school, studying something is far different than practicing it.

When it comes to an attorney's knowledge, there are two important elements. The first is that it is essential that any attorney know the law. No one wants to be represented by an attorney unaware of what the law is on a particular subject. As was discussed above, not everything learned in law school is really the case in practice. This is the difference between the academic study of law and the actual practice of law. For example, it would seem from the studying the law that when a police dog, or K-9, sniffs and finds drugs, that the search is good, but there are several nuances and complexities in the real world, such as how long it took the dog to arrive, and so on, that can play into whether or not the dog sniff was actually valid or not. Being able to spot the difference between, for example, a legal search and an illegal one, can make or break a criminal case, and has real-life consequences for people's lives. You don't want to depend on an attorney studying something when someone's liberty is in the balance. Being familiar with these nuances and complexities, means that an attorney can protect your liberty.

The second important element to an attorney's knowledge is that attorney's knowledge of the parties involved in a case. When I speak here of parties, I refer to everyone involved from the police officer, who arrested someone, to the state, who prosecutes someone, to even the judge, who will rule on motions and objections at trial. Knowing the particular parties, how they will handle issues that come up, and, most importantly, being able to predict how they will react under particular circumstances, can often mean making the right or wrong decision in your case. Any attorney representing someone needs to know with whom he or she is dealing. Police do not always exercise their authority correctly within the confines of the Constitution, prosecutors do not always seek justice instead of convictions, and judges do not always enforce the law the way you or I think they should. Knowing and being able to predict how a particular party will react under specific circumstances only comes with knowledge, and whenever seeking an attorney, knowledge should be a key consideration.

Knowledge is essential at Johnson Law Group. We work together, putting our more than 100 years of experience to work on our clients' cases. Our attorneys make sure they stay on top of new law, whether it be an upcoming change in a statute or a new appellate ruling on existing law. The reason is simple: knowledge is power. We empower our clients, and get them results.

Copyright © 2017 by Brendan Bukalski

The information provided in this column is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as legal advice or interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship . As a general rule, all specific legal problems should be handled by an individual's attorney. All rights reserved. Any copying, duplication, or commercial use of the information contained in this column is strictly prohibited without prior permission.