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Interview with Attorney Coimbra

What made you choose a career in criminal law?

Throughout my youth and adolescence, I distinctly recall having watched films and read books about a variety of injustices dealt on accused persons by overzealous prosecutors and law-enforcement agencies. I recoiled upon learning of the vast number of wrongful convictions, including the imprisonment and execution of people who were later discovered to have been factually innocent of the crime for which they were accused.

I believed I had to play a part in pushing back against such grave injustices. I also believe that we could not claim to be a democracy if the voices of the innocent and wrongfully accused were drowned out by a seemingly all-powerful criminal justice system. I wanted to be part of leading the battle cry against miscarriages of justice in my own way: by representing criminal defendants.

In your opinion, what sets your firm apart from other firms in the area?

There are many things that set us apart. First, we developed a close and productive relationship with each of our clients. We listen to them intently. We commence work on each case literally the minute that we are hired, enlisting the resources of our office and staff of attorneys, law clerks, research lawyers and investigators to make sure that the prosecutor and the court listens to our client's side of the story. We are open seven days a week, unlike other law practices. We work very closely as a team to develop a grand strategy in every case.

We become embroiled in a very aggressive effort to attack the criminal charges from the very instant that our clients hire us. We never sit back and wait for the arraignment to begin. By the time we begin representation in court, generally we have already picked up the momentum that is needed for an effective push-back against criminal charges. We set an extremely high bar for ourselves so that we leave no stone unturned in terms of developing the best possible defense for our clients.

Tell us about a case that you are particularly proud of:

We represented a person with an important vocational position, someone who stood to lose her license to practice her cherished profession on account of a serious criminal accusation. From the instant we were hired, our team assembled and developed a grand strategy to attack the criminal case before there was even any court proceeding. We persuaded the prosecutor that our client was a productive and contributing member of society.

We highlighted the various weaknesses in the accusation and sprung into action with a combination of compelling legal argument and mitigation. Our client was extremely afraid that her mistake would cost for everything, including her profession and way of life. Because of the extreme diligence that we devoted to her case, not only was she not convicted of the original charges; we got the entire case dismissed. She was able to continue her career unscathed.

What steps do you take to prepare for a difficult case?

We enlist our collective creative efforts as legal professionals. We conduct immersive investigation of the events, all parties involved and develop a master strategy to foresee any possible obstacles that may present themselves throughout the case. By gaining momentum very early on and by coordinating our unique talents in a beautiful symbiosis (like the members of a symphony orchestra or athletes in a sports team), we produce a masterful combination of offense and defense when confronting any legal accusation against our clients.

How do you view your role in the attorney-client relationship?

We view our role as one of zealous and loyal service to our clients. Many attorneys like to lord over their clients in a condescending fashion, keeping them in the dark about the events in their case. We take the exact opposite approach, relentlessly providing dedicated support to (and maintaining a continuous flow of communication with) the client. We view ourselves as our clients' protector, as the armor against the spears and arrows directed against them by the awesome power of the government. We are also extremely results- and mission-oriented. We will not rest until we get the job done and until our client is exonerated and is able to return to normal life.

What sets you apart from other criminal defense attorneys – why is this important?

The best way we can answer this question is to illustrate a common complaint about other lawyers made to us by our clients. A significant portion of our clients are the former customers of other criminal defense attorneys. Time and again, we hear tales of discontent about how their cases were handled by their previous lawyers.

We are often aghast at how negligently, uncaringly or simply incompetently our competitors represented their former clients. They tell us anecdotes about how many of them have no clue what they are doing. This stands in stark contrast to the very high standards that we set for ourselves. Our online reviews and awards are a testament to the professional dedication and devotion that we have to our clients and the very formidable challenges that they face.

How does having experience benefit your clients?

Having the vast amount of experience that we have allows us to foresee challenges that commonly a rise in defending against criminal charges. It allows us to foretell the prosecutor’s tactics. It allows us to be ten steps ahead of the government while our less experienced competitors can barely keep up with the prosecutor’s legal maneuvers.

What types of cases do you specifically handle?

We represent clients against sex crimes charges, theft charges, DUI charges, weapons offenses, and anything where our client faces the prospect of incarceration or imprisonment. We handle "open cases," meaning that there is an ongoing criminal prosecution in the courts, as well as "post-conviction" cases, meaning that the case is closed but we are combating the adverse consequences brought about by a prior conviction.

In your opinion, what is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is to experience the tremendous relief and joy that comes with a favorable decision (dismissal, reduction in the severity of the charges, acquittal a trial, etc.) for our clients. There is nothing quite like seeing smiles on the faces of our clients and hearings the sighs of relief when we have the great pleasure of informing them that, after intensely hard work on behalf of our law firm, we were able to achieve the outcome that we set to accomplish for them.

What advice do you most often give your clients and why?

We frequently advise our clients not to panic even in the face of frightening criminal charges, to maintain a level head and not to make any decisions that might seem to bring a momentary reward but which can actually harm their cases in the long run. For example, many criminally accused persons are under the misapprehension that it is wise to divulge information to the police, either through a formal police interview or answering "simple questions" by a detective or other law-enforcement investigator. We understand the job of the police and, through many years of experience representing our clients against all manner of charges.

We can categorically say that cops may often be willing to engage in subterfuge and deceit to extract a confession or admission from accused persons. In addition, words that could reasonably be interpreted as cries of innocence can be twisted into something sinister. Without protection from experienced criminal lawyers, the criminally accused person can be figuratively digging his or her own grave by speaking to police absent the presence of his or her attorney. Therefore, we always advise them to remain silent and allow us to shoulder the burden of communicating with law-enforcement in the prosecution so that our clients are not exposed to unnecessary risk of contributing to their own criminal prosecution. We always advise them to remain silent and allow us to shoulder the burden of communicating with law-enforcement in the prosecution so that her clients are not exposed to unnecessary risk of contributing to their own criminal prosecution.

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