Trial Room Hearings
The Trial Room is serious. The judge can recommend to the PC whether or not the officer should keep his/her job. There is however some good news about the trial room. Sure no one wants to lose their job and maybe their pension (this has changed by a new law in recent years, being fired for a misdemeanor does not mean an automatic loss of pension as it once did).
Look however at the Trial Room as it is. The prosecutor is paid by the Department. Except he/she is not called a prosecutor (which is what he/she is) the prosecutor is called a “Department Advocate.” What is he advocating? Not justice, he gets his orders from the higher ups like the rest of the PD. There are more skilled and less skilled Advocates (as with every profession). If the Job really wants you fired, who is the CO going to pick to prosecute your case? The Advocate with the most experience and best winning record.
Who represents you? If you are at the Trial Room all plea deals have run out. The Job has determined at your PG hearing that there is enough to bring you to trial, where the Advocate and Sitting Judge (Administrative Law Judge) are both paid by the Department. So who represents you? Most times it is the union lawyer. The union lawyer has many cases and you are just one of the items he has to deal with.
It is difficult to think about paying a private lawyer thousands of dollars for representation when you can get one for free. Your own lawyer, an ex-cop, Sergeant, and Lieutenant, who had been drafted and worked IAB as a Sergeant and Lieutenant, ran major investigations in both IAB and OCID, who will give you his personal attention. Always answer your calls and give you as much attention and support, is what you need. Risking your multi-million dollar pension on an attorney dedicated to YOU as an individual verses a union attorney (who is also indirectly paid by the Department through your dues) it is not a difficult choice.
What if by some chance you lose in the trial room. What is you next step? Legally, the next step is an Article 78 procedure. That is in Supreme Court. You must be sure that your attorney is experienced in those proceedings. What if you lose there? The next step is an appeal to the First Department Appellate Division. Ehrenzweig has experience with the Article 78 procedure. Moreover he as perfected (means completed all the steps required for an appeal) appeals in the First and Second Departments. He has argued in front of the First Department and made application to the Court of Appeals (the highest court in the State of New York). He is driven, intense and will give your case 100%, take (or promptly return) all your calls and be with you every step of the way. Ehrenzweig will never say “Shut up, I’m the lawyer so I know what to do.” Experience has taught me that as it is the client’s career on the line, it does not pay to be arrogant, and sometimes the client may come up with “his/her” way of looking at the issue, which may lead to a formative strategy.
Contact Hugh Ehrenzweig today.