The Lawyer as negotiator, Part 7 of 12
Time is the lawyer’s principal currency when negotiating a case for the innocent or guilty. When the client is unable to get released from jail while the case is pending, the ability to negotiate is limited by the client’s patience. When the client is not in custody, the longer the cases are pending, the more inefficient a court becomes.
So, when a prosecutor’s evaluation of a case or the punishment offer is unreasonable, the Judge should pressure the prosecutor to reevaluate her position. In serious cases, this is when a prosecutor will pay closer attention to her evaluation and offer.
Unless the client understands that Time is the currency for negotiation, he will likely become frustrated that he must sit in court through routine appearance dockets and wait for something to happen.
The frustration is understandable in some clients that have the impression that their lawyer should be loudly advocating, arguing and convincing the Judge and prosecutor. My response to their frustration most times is that “if they feel like they are just sitting there bored and waiting while nothing happens, that is exactly my intention; that nothing happen.