Title

Cooperating or Caving in: Are Defense Attorneys Shrewd or Exploited in Plea Bargaining Negotiations?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Publication Information

Andrea Kupfer Schneider, Cooperating or Caving in: Are Defense Attorneys Shrewd or Exploited in Plea Bargaining Negotiations?, 91 Marq. L. Rev. 145 (2007)

Source Publication

91 Marquette Law Review 145 (2007)

Abstract

Following a larger previous study on the negotiation styles of lawyers, this article examines more specifically the data relating to criminal lawyers and found that the percentage of lawyers engaged in problem-solving was higher than any other practice area. Furthermore, when I ran breakdowns of prosecutors and defense attorneys, it turned out that 86% of defense attorneys were perceived as problem-solving. This was almost 20% more than prosecutors and also any other practice area. What is going on? One could hypothesize that it is the long term relationship and small community of criminal lawyers that lead to problem-solving. It could also be the case load, the fact that the majority of defendants are already in jail when they plea bargain, the sentencing discount given in a plea versus a trial (for example, a plea might result in a 6 year sentence when a trial could result in 30 years), and also that most defendants do not have the education or financial wherewithal to push their attorneys to be more assertive on their behalf.