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Thread: Contact info for Gun Friendly Lawyers in VA?

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    Contact info for Gun Friendly Lawyers in VA?

    I'm wondering if anyone could provide info for a Lawyer who is experienced with gun issues, should the need arise while I am visiting the Williamsburg/ Tidewater area. I don't expect any problems but it would be reassuring to have a number I could call if I would come across a, should we say, over zealous public servant.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SP101 View Post
    I'm wondering if anyone could provide info for a Lawyer who is experienced with gun issues, should the need arise while I am visiting the Williamsburg/ Tidewater area. I don't expect any problems but it would be reassuring to have a number I could call if I would come across a, should we say, over zealous public servant.
    The card in my wallet reads:

    Daniel L. Hawes, Attorney At Law
    Defense Litigation - Civil and Criminal
    (540) 347-2430
    www.virginialegaldefense.com

    Dan is an honest, dedicated protector of the RKBA and he will not simply plead you out. Many here on OCDO know him as User. Don't think there is any body better.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    The card in my wallet reads:

    Daniel L. Hawes, Attorney At Law
    Defense Litigation - Civil and Criminal
    (540) 347-2430
    www.virginialegaldefense.com

    Dan is an honest, dedicated protector of the RKBA and he will not simply plead you out. Many here on OCDO know him as User. Don't think there is any body better.
    Same in my wallet. Check out skidmark's saga for the type of work he does.

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...or-Skidmark-**
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Same here!

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Also....

    Mark Matthews
    www.thematthewslawgroup.com
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

  6. #6
    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    list of lawyers

    Good post so far ,here is a link to a link

    http://www.vcdl.org/

    IMHO, if you are not already a member, then it is a good time to join
    Luke 22:36 ; 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    "guns are like a Parachute, if you don't have one when you need it, you will not need one again"
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    i you call a CHP a CCW then you are really stupid. period.

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    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    I very much appreciate the vote of confidence. It's true that most of what I do involves firearms, I like it, and I seem to get good results.

    I do have one cautionary note, however, regarding the "gun friendly lawyers" list. Some of the attorneys on that list specialize in "WECTD", which I pronounce, "Weckitid". That's an acronym that stands for, "whatever comes in the door." They may be willing to take cases that involve firearms, but many of them are not what I would call, "good", not that I would take it upon myself to figure out who the less effective attorneys are.

    I do know some that I think are good, Mark Matthews certainly stands out, Bob Herron in Chesapeake, Richard Gardiner in Fairfax, to name a few. I don't know how he stands on firearms, but I know a very competent attorney in Abingdon, named Jack White. I'm sure there are others, I just don't know everybody. Jason Greenwood in Fredericksburg certainly has his head on straight about guns, but I think he's mostly doing bankruptcy, now.

    The best way, I think, to find an attorney is to ask people whom you feel know what they're talking about whether they know anyone whom they'd recommend. Sometimes, the best thing after compiling the list of names from referrals is to call some of them and ask those lawyers whom they would recommend, themselves. When the same two or three names keep popping up, then call those people and do a phone interview.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Regular Member nemo's Avatar
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    I do have one cautionary note, however, regarding the "gun friendly lawyers" list. Some of the attorneys on that list specialize in "WECTD", which I pronounce, "Weckitid". That's an acronym that stands for, "whatever comes in the door." They may be willing to take cases that involve firearms, but many of them are not what I would call, "good", not that I would take it upon myself to figure out who the less effective attorneys are.
    Many years ago, I used a WECTD, to my intense legal and financial dismay. I would share his name by PM, but you have so many good ones from which to choose, that no one should need to be warned away.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    If you know someone who's a cop or firefighter, ask them who they would call. Not that their choice is going to be supportive of [u[your[/u] 2A/4A/5A case, but there is a slight chance they are going to be better than the giy whose name you pick out of the phone book while sitting handcuffed on the Group W bench.

    And let's not forget that just because your arrest involved the fact that you were carrying a handgun does not make it a 2A case. It's criminal defense you are looking for, not a debate over how far the Second Amentment or your civil rights extend. First things first.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    If you know someone who's a cop or firefighter, ask them who they would call. Not that their choice is going to be supportive of [u[your[/u] 2A/4A/5A case, but there is a slight chance they are going to be better than the giy whose name you pick out of the phone book while sitting handcuffed on the Group W bench.

    And let's not forget that just because your arrest involved the fact that you were carrying a handgun does not make it a 2A case. It's criminal defense you are looking for, not a debate over how far the Second Amentment or your civil rights extend. First things first.

    stay safe.
    Also check on the lawyer that the friendly cop or even VCDL recommends. Some very competent lawyers have a conflict of interest. I would suspect they will defend you but they will be more likely to push a deal and to steer you around setting the stage for a civil case.
    Nuff said on that subject except do your homework IN ADVANCE.
    Last edited by peter nap; 08-04-2011 at 12:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    If you know someone who's a cop or firefighter, ask them who they would call. Not that their choice is going to be supportive of [u[your[/u] 2A/4A/5A case, but there is a slight chance they are going to be better than the giy whose name you pick out of the phone book while sitting handcuffed on the Group W bench.

    And let's not forget that just because your arrest involved the fact that you were carrying a handgun does not make it a 2A case. It's criminal defense you are looking for, not a debate over how far the Second Amentment or your civil rights extend. First things first.

    stay safe.
    Good points! Reminds me, the very best source of who the best lawyers are in a given court is generally the sheriff's deputies who serve as bailiffs in that court. One does have to be on guard, though, in relying on recommendations from law-enforcement types, unless you know them well or have some reason to think they're being honest with you - there are some who will throw a prospective criminal defendant a bogus recommendation because of their solidarity with "the community". Still, bailiffs are the guys who have almost nothing to do but watch the trials and think about what's going on, who's doing well, and who is botching it. Most of 'em I've known have been pretty good at figuring out what's going on, and some have done it long enough that they'd actually make the best criminal trial attorneys available.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Thanks for the wealth of information you have posted! I have put a number in my phone and feel better about making the trip tomorrow.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SP101 View Post
    Thanks for the wealth of information you have posted! I have put a number in my phone and feel better about making the trip tomorrow.
    Indeed better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

    Enjoy your visit to the Old Dominion.

    BTW - VCDL is having a picnic on Sat. Aug 6th - we'd love to include you.
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...t-Aug-6th-2011
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    Good points! Reminds me, the very best source of who the best lawyers are in a given court is generally the sheriff's deputies who serve as bailiffs in that court. One does have to be on guard, though, in relying on recommendations from law-enforcement types, unless you know them well or have some reason to think they're being honest with you - there are some who will throw a prospective criminal defendant a bogus recommendation because of their solidarity with "the community". Still, bailiffs are the guys who have almost nothing to do but watch the trials and think about what's going on, who's doing well, and who is botching it. Most of 'em I've known have been pretty good at figuring out what's going on, and some have done it long enough that they'd actually make the best criminal trial attorneys available.
    Very, very funny and accurate observation!

    When I worked in court, I could tell when an attorney was botching a case and most of the time, I knew what to say to fix it. This was learned by just watching very good, experienced attorneys in action. I'd find myself saying in my head, "Objection, those facts are not in evidence!"

    Sadly, sometimes I could predict the outcome of a case just by seeing which attorney walked in the door.

    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
    Sabre Red Pepper Spray Instructor
    Glock Certified Armorer
    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

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    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    lawyer and gun story

    just got this from the VCDL alert and thought it would be relevant. though, i do dis agree with the outcome. i guess it is better than what would have been the original verdict

    http://www2.newsadvance.com/lifestyl...de-ar-1195860/
    Luke 22:36 ; 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    "guns are like a Parachute, if you don't have one when you need it, you will not need one again"
    - unknown

    i you call a CHP a CCW then you are really stupid. period.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP101 View Post
    I'm wondering if anyone could provide info for a Lawyer who is experienced with gun issues, should the need arise while I am visiting the Williamsburg/ Tidewater area. I don't expect any problems but it would be reassuring to have a number I could call if I would come across a, should we say, over zealous public servant.
    A very good gun rights attorney is Mark Matthews: 888-405-3153. mark@mlglawyers.com

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    I liked what I said so much, I repeated it here:

    From: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/showthread.php?93973

    =====(at the risk of some redundancy)

    Quote Originally Posted by AGust82 View Post
    I'm not knocking anyone who has an attorney on retainer, you are certainly entitled to, but I would advise against it. In my opinion, it fights your defense of reasonable deny-ability. If you are involved in a sketchy defensive shooting and you end up in the defendant's chair, it may/will look bad to a jury that you were "waiting for this to happen" by having a retainer-payed lawyer.
    By all means, do your homework and have a lawyer's number in your cell phone, but having a gun on your hip and a lawyer at the ready makes someone appear "trigger happy."
    (Caveat: my opinions are expressed on the basis of Virginia law, and I am not licensed in any state other than Virginia.)

    Carrying a gun at all makes someone look as if he were ready to shoot and kill another human being. And if, as, and when one be charged with a crime because he did, in fact, shoot and possibly kill another human being, that fact is going to be the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room. Everybody's going to know what happened, and there isn't going to be any getting around it. The same thing applies to the Ayoob theory about modified firearms, hollow-point bullets, and such. If you go to trial because you killed someone, the big, significant fact is going to be that you killed someone. That fact is going to be what you've got to deal with; it's a horrible event and the trial will recount how horrible it is. Almost no one likes the idea of the death or wounding of another human being, because we (including all potential jurors) are by nature empathetic.

    When I go to trial in a criminal case, I want my client to be able to say, "You bet I shot him, you're dern-tootin' I meant to kill him; I was right to do so, and if I had it to do over again, I'd do exactly the same thing, only a little faster. I had a reasonably held, good faith belief, that I, or another innocent person, was faced with the imminent threat of a serious bodily injury, and/or I was stopping a serious felony (rape, robbery, murder, arson, burglary) in progress. What I did was necessary, right and proper, and I thank God I had the presence of mind to be prepared for the eventuality."

    The whole reason I carry a gun is because I am ready, willing, and able to take human life if necessary to avoid the kind of harm that results from criminal attacks. And here's a little known fact: fully one hundred percent of all home invasions actually take place in someone's house! If that person is not ready, willing, and able to kill, he is merely a crime-statistic in waiting.

    It isn't always being fast, or even accurate that counts; it's being willing. I found out early that most men, regardless of cause or need, aren't willing; they blink an eye or draw a breath before they pull the trigger...I won't.
    - John Bernard Books played by John Wayne in "The Shootist".

    If you're afraid of "looking bad" in a trial because you were not only "willing", but prepared, you're setting yourself up to leave the courtroom by the side door. You have to be prepared to show why you had cause to do what you did, and how being prepared saved your life, or some other necessary reason that amounts to excusable homicide. (One tangential note: don't say anything about having been in fear for your life. That's hogwash, and I don't know where it comes from, but your subjective emotional state has absolutely nothing to do with whether a shooting was legally appropriate.)

    So this gets me back to the original question: should you have a pre-existing relationship with an attorney? Absolutely. If nothing else, you need to know who the good attorney is in your area who can handle a gunshot case without getting squeamish. You do need to have that person's card with you and his number in your cell phone. If possible, carry two cards, so you can give one to the cops in connection with the phrase, "I want my lawyer."

    A "retainer" is a periodic payment of money to secure the lawyer's availability to you and unavailability to persons with claims adverse to yours. It does not pay for services, or require the attorney to perform services. I don't charge a retainer because I think it's nonsense. Though there was a guy I heard of in Lynchburg, VA, who had gone around to all the divorce lawyers in the region and paid them money as a "retainer" - when he filed suit against his wife for divorce, she couldn't get a lawyer because he'd "conflicted them all out".

    Here's my take on the subject: if you're injured in a car accident at two o'clock in the morning, and you're rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, you're going to get the surgeon who happens to be there at that time. And surgeons, like lawyers, plumbers, cops, and car mechanics, are like people, generally: some are really good, some are really bad, and most are average. If you had the chance, wouldn't you find the best surgeon you could to work on your innards when something bad happens? Well, now's your chance to find the best lawyer available. Pay him money for an hour's consultation if necessary, but find him and make sure he can represent you if you get charged or sued.
    Last edited by user; 08-20-2011 at 11:18 AM.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post

    (Caveat: my opinions are expressed on the basis of Virginia law, and I am not licensed in any state other than Virginia.)
    First, I would like to emphasize the same caveat as Dan (quoted above).

    Second, just to be clear, I agree with everything Dan said.

    Third, I have another caveat: my thoughts are limited to the situation presented. If the facts are changed, the analysis might change, too. The analysis might stay the same. Different rules may apply, or the same rules may have applicable exceptions. Just like Dan, I am willing to discuss hypotheticals at hourly rate. For now, I am limiting my comments to the topic at hand.

    Finally...

    I would like to add an additional perspective to the original topic. Would having a attorney "on retainer" (or as Dan pointed out, more accurately: "pre-selected") prior to a defensive shooting make a defendant appear to be "trigger happy"? No. Absolutely, unequivocally, no! For one simple reason: it would never be admitted at trial.

    Generally speaking, in order for evidence to be admissible at trial, it must pass an initial threshold of relevance. I believe the old phrase is something like: having the slightest tendency to prove or disprove a fact at issue. It's a low threshold, for sure, but it is there, nonetheless. Assuming the evidence is at least somewhat relevant, the judge can/should/will exclude relevant evidence when its probative value is substantially outweighed by its prejudicial effect. So, where the evidence is only slightly probative of a fact at issue, but it is likely to confuse or mislead the jury, or if it is very likely to conjure up an unfounded, general "bad impression" of the defendant, then the judge should exclude the evidence from the trial.

    In addition to the rules of evidence, a defendant in this situation would also be protected by his constitutional right to counsel. To explain this, it may be better to give an example with a similar constitutional right, the right against self-incrimination:

    Prosecutor to jury: You all heard how he just sat there in the police station and would not explain his story to the officers. And he refused to take the witness stand and explain himself to you, today. What is he afraid of? If he were innocent, he would have nothing to hide. Therefore, he must be guilty.

    Defense Counsel to Judge: Your Honor, it is necessary to make my motion for mistrial on the record, or can we all go home now?

    Judge: No need counselor. Jurors, thank you for your service. Case dismissed.



    To imply a defendant's guilt from his lack of testimony is to completely vitiate his right against self-incrimination. (There is a standard jury instruction explaining that the jury cannot infer anything from a defendant's lack of testimony.) The same holds true for the right to counsel. And, it does not matter when the defendant retained (or pre-selected) the attorney.


    So, here goes: The prosecutor seeks to introduce testimony from someone that the defendant consulted with an attorney a few months prior to the defensive shooting.

    Defense: Objection for relevance.

    Commonwealth: Judge, the evidence will show that the defendant discussed the laws of self defense with his attorney in anticipation of jumping into the first fight he could find.

    Defense: Objection, Judge. That would call for attorney-client communication that is clearly privileged. Even if the privilege was destroyed, it is unfairly prejudicial to the defendant, and it infringes upon his right to counsel. To allow the Commonwealth's implication, the defendant would be punished for simply consulting with an attorney.

    Judge: Sustained.

    [Note: Depending on the circumstances, if some of this took place in front of a jury, it would open the door to a possible mistrial.]


    Any prosecutor worth their salt would never attempt something like this. Unfortunately, there are an isolated few that would try it. However, I seriously doubt that any judge in Virginia would allow it.

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