Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Why Did You Help Start Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC?


Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

Several years ago, a colleague of mine and I were discussing the problem with what we call “big law criminal defense,” which is a very simple one: when someone is needed to fill a spot of the head lawyer in the courtroom, large law firms tend to find anyone with a law degree and a bar license and send them into the courtroom poorly prepared. My colleague and I thought this was an absolute disaster, and we continue to find scenarios in which inexperienced attorneys go to court not only as sole practitioners running their own law firm but also as part of medium and large-sized firms.

For example, during my first job as an attorney, I was defending poor, helpless insurance companies that owed large amounts of money but did not want to pay. I was an intern at the time, and another intern was admitted into the bar about a week before me. One of the partners asked him whether or not he had worked on a particular file. He said he had not, but the partner nevertheless asked him to do an oral argument at one of the district courts of appeal. As a lawyer, doing an appellate argument is a very exciting experience. The same is true in a major motion hearing in a trial court criminal case or a jury trial. However, my friend and colleague were not prepared. Nevertheless, he went to court and argued an appeal, which the insurance carrier ultimately lost.

This can happen in criminal cases as well. My colleague Sherry Ivey Jones and I began asking ourselves very empowering questions. For example, what is the best law firm structure for building the most effective legal teams? What if it were possible to build a legal team in order to defend someone properly without regard to which law firm the lawyer works for? As we began asking these questions, it slowly dawned on us that it would be a good idea to merge our practices, as well as make such a merger available to other criminal defense lawyers across the state.

At this juncture in time, it’s pretty clear that the team concept for criminal defense is the only real way to defend someone or present favorable mitigation evidence in sentencing. In the day of grandpa’s law firm, there may have been a sole lawyer handling every aspect of a case, but as time went on, it became very apparent to the Florida Bar and many law firms that such an approach was a very bad idea.

For example, the biggest criminal law firms within the state of Florida are actually the 20 different offices of the state attorney. They have been using the team concept for decades while the private criminal defense bar has been very slow to respond. Certainly, it does not help that companies with names like “Super Lawyer” have promoted the concept of lawyer as the superhero. This is not only disingenuous, but it also does not produce the best results for the client. For this reason as well as others I have mentioned, we decided to put together the best criminal defense practice group within the state of Florida and name it accordingly.

Just as the Florida Bar and the Florida Supreme Court recognized the need for more than one lawyer to handle any death penalty case within the state, we decided to use the modern team concept in the defense of all misdemeanor and felony cases. We believe that this will enable us to lower client legal fees while increasing the level of quality of representation. No one wakes up in the morning and hopes to get arrested, but if such a tragedy befalls someone, it only makes sense to hire the best legal team possible.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

For more information on Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (850) 423-0035 today.

Stephen G. Cobb, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (850) 423-0035

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