What the client wants…

Years ago, I had the duty of testifying in the case of man who had raped a child (less than 6).  If there is the face of evil, I saw it in that court.  So did the jury, which took less than 20 minutes to sentence him to life without the possibility of parole.

I happened to pass by the prosecutor a few weeks later, and we spoke of the proceedings.  I mentioned how I felt a “tinge of sympathy for the devil himself” and explained, “Not the defendant – his defense attorney.  Man, you got to defend that!”

But there is something in that.  I make jokes about lawyers like most people (Q: What's the difference between a lawyer and a leech?  A: After you die, a leech stops sucking your blood), but I know that a lawyer has a duty to his client, in this case a monster.  This brings me to the latest propaganda from the left, this article in the Atlantic.  

When Ted Cruz Helped Craft Bush's Immigration Reform Plan

In 2000, Ted Cruz was known as a Texas-raised, Harvard-trained domestic policy adviser to the George W. Bush campaign. ...

… Cruz helped craft the campaign's immigration policy, which called for speeding up the application process, increasing the number of work visas, and allowing the relatives of permanent residents to visit the U.S. while their applicants were pending…

… Bush, a self-described "compassionate conservative," went on to win the presidency and champion a law that would have allowed millions of illegal immigrants to earn citizenship. Cruz went on to win election to the Senate from Texas as a hero of the tea party movement and emerge as a sharp critic of a pathway to citizenship in the latest attempt at immigration reform on Capitol Hill. ...

… His role on the Bush campaign is a lesser-known part of the biography of a politician increasingly viewed as a potential presidential contender in 2016.

Okay, year 2000, who was Ted Cruz?  He was a 30-year-old lawyer, five years from law school, just out of private practice and a policy adviser to the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign.  So why is this relevant to the article quoted above?

What is the duty of an attorney?  Jokes aside, he advises his client in a legal matter, be it criminal or civil.  Counsel cannot make his client take his advice, and the attorney knows he is being paid to preform a service.  It’s not for Cruz to decide the policy of the Bush administration; it’s for him to execute it.

So back to my example of “sympathy for the devil.”  I have no question that as I watched the defense attorney conduct closing arguments for his “client,” he had in his mind something like, “God, whatever I did to offend you that I’m stuck with defending him, please, know I’ll go on a crusade to the Holy Lands to make up for it...”  But that is what a defense attorney must do: defend his client, no matter how ugly that client is.

So Cruz preformed a duty for his client, George W. Bush, on a matter (according to the article and the senator’s stated position) he didn’t agree with.  Sounds as though Cruz was professional in that he didn’t let his personal views interfere with the obligations to his client.  Everyone in his chosen career has responsibilities he may not agree with (most H.R. administrators like their jobs, but they don’t’ relish telling people they’ve been laid off), but a professional will put those disagreements aside and accomplish the task to the best of their abilities.  Perhaps the author of this article should remember that before he starts a hatchet job like this.

Michael A. Thiac is a police patrol sergeant and a retired Army intelligence officer.