How beneficial is it for a defense attorney to be familiar with the judges and prosecutors in Oklahoma courtrooms?
Answer: As far as how beneficial is it for a defense attorney to be familiar with the particular judges, it is invaluable. If you walk into a court system, whether it’s to talk to a prosecutor, whether it’s to talk to a judge, and you don’t know the standards, if you will, or the normal practice in that particular court house or prosecutor’s office, you run the risk of immediately alienating the people that you need to deal with the most, and who’s ear you need to have and mind you need to have open to hearing what you have to say. I always try to approach every new courtroom, every new prosecutor’s office as if I were running for a political office; going to want to introduce myself, want to thank them for their time, and make sure they understand that I’m not there to rock the boat necessarily, but I am there to represent my client to the best of my ability. And, once they understand that I’m not there necessarily to say, hey, this is a big city attorney walking into a rural municipal or rural district court to show them how we do it in the big city, but I’m there to try to play by their rules while doing my job the way it’s supposed to be done. Goes a long way in keeping a good harmonious relationship, a professional relationship with the prosecutors and the judges and it usually results in a better outcome for my clients.