Los Angeles, CA criminal defense attorney Karen L. Goldstein talks about what makes her firm different, the types of cases she handles and what someone should look for in a criminal defense lawyer.
Karen is the recipient of Trial Attorney of the Year 2020, The Jerry Giesler Memorial Award, by the Criminal Courts Bar Association (CCBA).
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My firm is different, because, frankly, I’m relentless. And what I mean by that is I don’t give up. I think there are a lot of smart lawyers out there. I think there are a lot of experienced lawyers out there. But at the end of the day what gets you the acquittal or what gets you the dismissal is being relentless, and I have definitely developed a reputation with prosecutors for being exactly that. You wear them down until they capitulate. So that’s one thing that would be different about my firm.
The second is that I take those cases that other lawyers don’t want, the ones that are stressful and complicated and sensitive, like sex crimes. People hate to talk about these cases or the big RICO gang cases, and that’s part of the challenge for me, is taking those cases other lawyers just don’t wanna deal with.
And then I’d say the third thing that’s unique or that differentiates my firm is I practice equally in state and federal court, and they are not the same animal at all, and so I can take the skills from one court into the other, but it’s all criminal defense. And then I’d say just the last thing that distinguishes me is I’m a woman. I am in a male-dominated profession, and I have a private practice that is female-owned – me, myself, and I. So those four things really distinguish me from other criminal defense firms.
So I only do criminal defense, 100 percent. I do federal, which would be all felonies and misdemeanors, pre-trial investigations, grand jury investigations, and state criminal defense – felonies and misdemeanors. Sometimes I do what is called the pre-file, which means no charges have been filed, but people are being investigated by law enforcement, but 100 percent only criminal defense cases.
So I think the most important thing when you’re hiring a criminal defense lawyer is know that person is gonna fight like hell for you. Everything else you can find is a dime a dozen in terms of good pedigree in law school, being articulate, being charismatic, but the client has to believe that that person in front of you is gonna go in front of a jury and win the case and tell their story better than the other side. There’s so many good lawyers out there, but there is an element of personality, and you have to believe that your lawyer is a fighter.