"You want a lawyer who will work hard for you, not give up, and is not afraid to challenge anybody, anywhere on your behalf."
-Attorney Andrew Cotrupi
It is common to see on attorney's website, or during your meeting with an attorney, the self-proclaimed declaration about how "aggressive" they are; a real "pit-bull" lawyer who loves to cross-examine the police. This is done with the belief that being "aggressive" will somehow get you, the client, a better result.
The reality, however, is that most lawyers equate "aggressive" with being obnoxious. Being obnoxious usually gets you a bad result, and it is always important to remember that if your lawyer is obnoxious the only recourse is usually against you, the client.
Being aggressive with a purpose, however, is a very different concept. You want a lawyer who will work hard for you, not give up, and is not afraid to challenge anybody, anywhere on your behalf. This isaggressive with a purpose, always remembering the fight is for the purpose of helping the client, not satisfying the lawyer’s ego.
To this I offer you the following facts:
1. When the court system wanted to save money and have juvenile cases heard by "Marital Masters" and not judges I objected. Marital Masters were not experienced or trained in criminal matters and saving money at the expense of my juvenile clients was not acceptable. The entire system fought against the notion that juvenile cases should be entitled to the same level of judicial supervision as adult cases. We appealed and the Supreme Court agreed with us, changing the way all juvenile cases are tried in this state. See, In re Nicholas G, 142 N.H. 38 (1997).
2. When the local County Attorney’s office began sending threatening letters to individuals accused of DWI to coerce them to pled guilty, I objected. I argued to the court that the proper remedy for such threats was dismissal of the case and the case was dismissed. When the County Attorney appealed to the State Supreme Court they succeeded in having the decision reversed and set for trial. See, State v. Chace, 151 N.H 310 (2004). I again succeeded in having the case dismissed, this time for good, and the County Attorney’s office was ordered to participate in ethics training.
3. When 40 UNH students were arrest for "Hazing" they were offered a "deal". Admit to having committed a crime, do community service and agree to testify against your friends and we will drop the case in a year. The problem was, all 40 were innocent, but only 3 went to trial. All three were acquitted.
4. When the court asked this firm to represent a man charged with negligent homicide for driving under the influence of drugs, or during drug withdrawal, we agreed and challenged, aggressively and with a purpose every piece of evidence, legal theory and witness. We challenged the longstanding accepted practice of allowing lab supervisors to testify about other lab personal's work, we argued it denied the accused the opportunity to confront and cross-examine his accusers. The trial court noted it was accepted practice and rejected our argument. We appealed to the State supreme court who again noted it was common and acceptable. Our appeal was accepted by the Appellate Defenders to take the issue to the United State's Supreme Court. In the first time in recent memory, the United State's Supreme Court agreed with our arguments, reversed the State Supreme Court ruling, and sent the case back for further hearing. It is anticipated this case will alter the way all dwi, drug and forensic cases are prosecuted in this state.
These are just a few examples of cases being aggressively pursued, with a focus on helping the client obtain the best result possible.