There is also a human element to a criminal defense. The accused is a person. Usually, the accused has family and friends that care about him/her regardless of what the allegations might be. A good criminal defense attorney recognizes this and tries to nurture a relationship with the client and his/her family in order to better serve the client. While it might not be in the book definition of criminal defense, it is my book regarding criminal defense that people need to be treated right and that starts with honesty and integrity in discussions about the case and treating people with dignity and respect they deserve for being human (regardless of what they are accused of or may or may not have done).
An appeal is not a “do-over, “re-do,” or some second chance looked at over a video monitor. It is not a chance to push the reset button and start over. An appeal is not a “reweighing” of the evidence or a special request for a new trial because the convicted person was not satisfied with the outcome of the trial. That is not how it works, unfortunately.
There can be no strategic reason for not making the proper objections and preserving the record if the goal is to provide “effective assistance” as intended under the Sixth Amendment. Thus, there can be no strategic reason for not filing a motion for new trial when the client was convicted at trial.
Making objections can be uncomfortable and awkward. Sometimes standing up to the prosecutor or the judge may downright suck in front of a jury. Calling witnesses or the prosecutor out is not all that it is cracked up to be. In fact, it might be scary, but it is the job of the criminal defense attorney to do it.
Many seasoned Florida practitioners are surprised to learn that the often standard, non-specific, “objection to the form of the question” or simply, “objection, form,” is legally insufficient to preserve an evidentiary objection for trial or review, and, therefore, useless.