The Really Big Mean Dog School Of Law: Claiming Indigent Status While Raking Money in Through the Back Door.

September 21, 2014

I have a totally not traced Picasso for sale. See me after class – Arizona

Welcome back class. Please take your seats and open your tablets, you will want to take notes. Todays class is going to focus on the clients of those of you who may become defense attorneys. We at the Really Big Mean Dog School of Law like to call a spade a spade, so we will just cut to the chase about defense clients.

Defense clients are guilty a large portion of the time. The ones who makes up seventeen different stories before settling on the most believable one are always guilty, but also Einstein-y. This is where your skills as a defense attorney will first be put to the test. Einstein-y clients almost always figure out a way to make money off of the heinous crimes that they have committed. They also almost always don’t want to part with any money they may make off of the trial.

The first thing that the Einstein-y client needs in order to claim indigent status is to be a high-school dropout because they were way too Einstein-y for school. One or more low paying part-time and or seasonal jobs are very handy for the Einstein-y indigent. At almost 30 years old, they should own absolutely nothing, sponge their living arrangements off of a relative and should owe a large amount of money to companies and persons living/or dead. A zero or negative balance in their bank account is a bonus.

On your clients behalf you will file a motion for a hearing to have your client declared indigent. These are easy. You don’t even need peripheral witnesses. Bank statements, paystubs, and a letter from Grandma stating that your client does indeed freeload off of her grandparents should be sufficient. Your client should be declared indigent without you having to even break a sweat. Isn’t being a defense attorney fun?

It is only once the Einstein-y client has been declared indigent that the real work begins. The problem with these clients is that they always spoiler (never) know more than you do and will do everything in their formidable power to test your patience as you struggle to keep their indigent status intact. Why the hell should some Einstein like client have to do something as banal as pay for a defense to murder or something.

Immediately upon incarceration your client is likely to want to do all kinds of Einstein-y things to generate interest and as a result income. Shooting their mouth off in front of anyone with a camera man and a make-up artist is only one of the myriad of ways that your client will make you work for your money. They know more than you and will not agree that maybe shutting the fuck up until after the trial is a good idea. They will test your patience to the point where you may dislike them 9 days out of 10. Being Einstein-y, they will realize even if you do not that they need to strike when the iron is hot. It is your job as defense attorneys to run interference and assure everyone that of course your client is not making any money.

We recommend that you have your client pick a relative that can be bought off relatively cheaply to open an irrevocable trust for your client. Specify that the trust is for something that is at least believable to whatever morons might want to donate money. We recommend appeals and or private investigators. This will convince at least the very simple that the money is not going to be used for things like ice cream parties and may have the effect of getting larger donations. You as lawyers of course realize that as long as your client retains their indigent status they will never have to pay a legal bill, but the simple will believe this hook, line and sinker….Suckers!!

Next, to deal with any items the client may decide to sell for profit, we recommend selling things in an auction format with the promise of NET proceeds going to some unnamed charity. I know, at first glance it looks like you may be suggesting that the client actually give away hard earned murder money, but no. For example, if the client auctions off something they used as a prop during trial and sell it for $1000 Gross, you can deduct auction costs (we recommend 80%), delivery of item, delivery of item to auction purveyor, actual cost of item (usually zero so pad it a bit). If you are a good defense attorney you can kill two birds with one stone. You can usually wind up donating less than 1%of your Gross while quietly funneling the other 99% into your clients commissary account or the aforementioned irrevocable trust. If you donate the 1% to an actual charity you can use it as a mitigating factor at trial. Two birds students. Two birds.

Eventually, anyone who hasn’t consumed your clients Kool-Aid will start to question why someone who is indigent and has cost taxpayers several million dollars is allowed to earn all of this money. At that point you can drag out the irrevocable trust, the relative who totally isn’t taking a dime to administer said trust, the fact that your client is donating all NET proceeds of all sales to charity and if none of that works you can just have your mitigation specialist, who we will talk about during our next lesson, go all over social media and start calling all those who question your clients indigent status haters who have no lives.

That is it for todays class. Next class will cover forgery of documents, mitigation specialists/dance instructors and how to get someone to lie under oath. Class dismissed.

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