Would a certified law clerk be considered experienced legal representation for a defendant in a serious criminal case?A certified law clerk represented a defendant in a criminal matter, and he was...

Would a certified law clerk be considered experienced legal representation for a defendant in a serious criminal case?

A certified law clerk represented a defendant in a criminal matter, and he was sentenced to 7 years in prison, had a prior strike but the current charge was possession of stolen property, that being a vehicle parked in a driveway next door to where the defendant was arrested.

Asked on by villasusan

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Well, I'm confused by the question/situation you state, in that the defendant was represented by someone who was not, I assume, an attorney.  To represent a person in criminal court one needs to have passed the bar exam in the state where the case is being heard, and then must maintain good standing within the Bar Association in order to continue practicing law.

Law clerks are most often students who have graduated from law school, and are not yet practicing law.  Most have not yet taken, or are in the process of taking the bar exam itself, and they build their credentials by working for judges as clerks first.  Often times law firms will recruit promising new attorneys based on law clerk positions and recommendations from the judges they work for.

That being said, it is rare to have a law clerk also litigating.  I don't have enough information to determine whether or not such a clerk was qualified or even bar certified, and therefore can't say whether there is grounds for an appeal or dismissal.

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