Mickey Haller is a criminal defense lawyer, who knows how to play all the angles to lessen the charges or to help get his clients off. He runs his business out a 4 Lincoln town cars, (pg. 16). Earl Briggs is Mickey’s driver, who is paying off his debt, for a reduced sentence, (pg. 16). Mickey clients are usually gang members, drug dealers, prostitutes and people who lead corruptive lives. Mickey does his best for his clients, by making sure they know their rights.
He is their advocate and advisor. He will find loop holes and technicalities, in which to prove his client’s innocence.
He also at times retains information, prematurely, to discover the angles of the prosecutors or those testifying on behalf of the victims. Most of today’s societies hate or strongly resent lawyers who protect the guilty or presumed guilty. They looked at Mickey as the devil, whereas he looked at himself as a greasy angel, (pg. 25). Mickey believes that the law is not about truth as much as it is about negotiation, amelioration and manipulation, (pg.
25). He does believe in the judicial system, but the law allows both parties representation.
He believed that every case he took on was a house built on a foundation, poured by overworked and underpaid labors, which cut corners and made mistakes and then covered them up with lies. Mickey felt that it was his job to remove the paint and find the cracks, (technicalities and loopholes), that reduced his client’s sentence, (pg.
25). In the beginning I had mixed feelings about Mickey, because he did whatever he had to, to help his clients appear innocent or to create a reasonable doubt in the mind of others.
As well as the fact that he received information deceitfully about the approaches, angles and strategies of the other side. After reading this novel more in depth, I discovered that once Mickey became more humanlike exposing himself through his feelings of disgust and guilt for sending an innocent man to prison, I grew to like his character. I also saw a man who had beliefs and values, which he wouldn’t compromise when he provided his services, even if it meant he was forced to face the consequences of these actions.
The guilty need to be represented, it is their right. Mickey is an exceptional defense lawyer and knows the law incredibly well and knows how to create enough doubt when necessary, because of this ability, it worked well for those in need of his services, as well as providing financial means for himself. The more I read this book, the more I realized that Mickey is good at his job as a defense lawyer and it is up to the prosecutor, to make his/her case and protect their victims. Mickey refers to “There is no client as scary as an innocent man,” (pg. 402).
In my opinion Mickey feels that he is so good at finding loop holes and technicalities, that he wonders if he can actually recognize someone who may be innocent. He believes that as a defense lawyer, he has no room for making any mistakes. He is afraid he will not recognize the innocence versus the evil, (pg. 231). Therefore representing someone who is innocent such as Jesus Menendez was, would be scarier than representing someone who is not, because he must recognize the innocent, when his world consists of manipulation, reorganization and negotiation.
Mickey believes that the justice system is more about power, control and money, through the manipulation and negotiation process that goes on in court, through the representation of each side. In the beginning Louis Roulet appears to trust and depend on Mickey’s expertise of the law and finding technicalities and loopholes that have in the past reduced sentences for his clients. However, Louis grows concerned and paranoid, that Mickey knows of his past murders and will use his knowledge to put him behind bars. So Louis confesses to Mickey, while reminding him of client/lawyer confidentiality, (pg. 46). Louis thinks that he has fallen into the “safety net” part of the law that protects him from being exposed, by divulging information to his lawyer, whom cannot expose him nor provide the police with evidence or knowledge of these crimes. Mickey is very angry with Louis for being set up (as his gun was used and pictures were planted at the crime scene, all to make it look as though Mickey murdered Raul and without the weapon Louis had complete control over Mickey). Mickey was finally able to substantiate the Louis killed Raul Levin and Martha Reteria.
He quickly realizes that Jesus Menendez a former client convicted of a similar crime and serving time in prison, was innocent and his worst fears of not recognizing the innocent became a reality, (pgs. 173 & 288). Jesus Menendez was an innocent man serving time for a crime in which he did not commit, due to the injustice of our judicial system in part and Mickey holds himself accountable for his inability to recognize his innocence, as he states, “I could only think of Jesus Menendez’s dead eyes, because I knew I was the one who had killed the light in them,” (pg. 173).
However in the end Menendez is finally freed and found innocent, because of Mickey (pg. 402). Societies today face the same troublesome issues, which we have read about in The Lincoln Lawyer. I have to say that this book has opened my eyes to what can happen in the legal system. We have rapists, murders, thefts, gangs and abuse of all kinds. All of which are issues that enter into our judicial system. Each side has the right to representation, which leaves many citizens feeling frustrated as defense lawyers; work hard to lessen the charges for those presumed guilty, through loopholes and technicalities.
As we watch and listen to each side battle out their investigations and evidence, we see the same manipulation, reorganization and negotiations as discussed in this novel. Many people today, wonder if power, control and money can buy one’s freedom. It is also wondered if crimes could be gotten away with, if manipulation was better on one side versus the other. We all believe in the laws and ethics we should uphold and honor, but can these same laws and ethics be compromised by defense lawyers and prosecutors?
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