One thing that hasn't changed over the years is that my clients come from all walks of life - the well-off and the not-so-well-off, professionals with graduate degrees and everyday working people. There's no exclusion to who can suddenly face serious criminal charges - all people can make mistakes.
I relate well to all of my clients, too. My dad was an engineer but it wasn't as though we were super well-off. We didn't grow up with a lot of money. In fact, what he gave us was an exceptional work ethic - our family showed us the importance and value of hard work.
And that's what I've always brought to my practice. We're a team of eight lawyers now, and all of us are street-smart, practical thinkers. We work hard, every day. We're not theorizing on arcane points of the law that aren't relevant to our clients and what our clients need now. We're aggressive courtoom lawyers - and we're proud of that.
I think where we've really built a reputation is for not being known as "pleaders." We don't encourage our clients to cut plea deals to charges they may face - at least right away, or at the first review. Sets of facts can change, new information can change the direction of a case.
In all the jurisdictions we practice in - and we practice in much of New Jersey today - we know the prosecutors, the judges and the courts. So anticipating outcomes is part of our role as lawyers. We do that pretty well.
I'm the managing partner of our firm today, but I am still very much in the trenches, hands-on, representing clients in a range of cases. I defend drug offenses, assault charges, theft offenses, domestic violence, and other charges throughout the state. I've been doing it now for over 20 years. I'm proud of that record, and our firm's record. I know we've really made a difference for our clients.