Do you have a lawyer on retainer for CCW?


January 5, 2006, 03:51 PM
I've been thinking about the "what if" I ever had to use my gun to defend myself or my family. When I was taking a training class last year, the instructor told us the first thing we should do when the police arrive at the scene of a shooting is tell them, "Officers, I'd be very happy to discuss this incident -- just as soon as I talk to my attorney." That sounds like pretty good matter who was "justified", a shooting is going to turn into an ugly legal battle.

So, here's the question: how many folks actually have spoken with an attorney concerning the consequences of concealed carry. Are they on retainer to represent you? If so, how much does that cost.

Thanks in advance for your replies.


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January 5, 2006, 04:04 PM
I have spoken with my attorney regarding self defense. I paid him for the hour or 2 we spent together.

I do NOT have him 'on retainer'.

January 5, 2006, 04:32 PM
Criminal defense lawyers are not put on retainer, at least in this state by solid citizens. :) I'd be a bit concerned if someone came in to my office and said to me, "Here's a bunch of money for your trust account; I'll be needing your services soon!" :what:

As a criminal defense lawyer, my cell phone is loaded with the names of competent defense lawyer friends. And I tell all my gun owning friends to put my cell and home numbers in theirs.

For free. :)

January 5, 2006, 05:45 PM
Maybe I misunderstand and mischaracterize the "retainer" part. Basically, I'm looking at having a lawyer with whom I've spoken about self-defense issues and I know will be willing to accept me as a client if it ever came down to it. I don't want to be pulling out the Yellow Pages after an incident and looking for a name that sounds good. I guess more along the lines of what WT described...a consulation and showing your face?

January 5, 2006, 05:59 PM
Could doing so imply premeditation?

Byron Quick
January 5, 2006, 06:14 PM
Could doing so imply premeditation?

Talking with a criminal defense lawyer about self defense issues and his willingness to defend a client in such a case could certainly be taken to imply premeditation to defend one's self. Any competent attorney would make any prosecutor so imprudent to pursue such a tactic to imply premeditated murder so foolish that he'd probably resign soon after. The snickers would get to him-sooner or later. That line of reasoning could claim that buying homeowner's insurance was premeditation for arson, in and of itself. Or that buying a concealable holster was premeditation. Or purchasing a firearm or even ammunition.

The major newspaper in my region polls the region's attorneys for their pick of attorneys in various legal specialties annually. The criminal defense attorney that has made the cut for the past decade was my attorney when I was charged with carrying without permission. I keep his card in my wallet continuously.

January 5, 2006, 06:37 PM
I think the idea of finding a competent attorney, possibly meeting them if you can, and keeping their number is probably a good idea. The idea of a retainer is not necessary since they will be happy to charge for their services when needed. Keep the money you'd spend on a retainer in your savings instead if you prefer.

January 5, 2006, 07:00 PM
Byron Quick -- Not sure if this will change your response, but to elaborate; my question was more towards premeditation in the sense of the CCW holder was "hoping to" shoot someone (i.e., prosecutions attempt to cast the defendant in a bad light, or vilify). I did not intend to isolate premeditated murder per se.

January 5, 2006, 07:03 PM
What does it mean to have a lawyer on retainer? do you pay in advance and how does that change what happens when you call him for help?

Snake Eyes
January 5, 2006, 07:10 PM
When BATF came to visit, I hired an attorney to represent me. He asked for 4 hours worth of money up front. Suprisingly, it only took him THREE hours to explain the US Constitution to the agents.

He wanted to give the fourth hour ($500) back, and I told him to keep it on account....that way if I ever had to call him at three in the AM, he would be more likely to take my call. He agreed.

El Tejon
January 5, 2006, 07:23 PM
ERICH! If there was one guy here who I thought I could rely on to say something like: it is customary to puchase one month of private lessons at Thunder Ranch (and pay his overhead for the month while the attorney is training) for a criminal defense attorney to give you his card, or something like that. But, noooo, you have to say that.:banghead:

Navy, here's what I tell guys who ask me, call me and let's get a time on a like a Saturday or court holiday. Give me a list of the questions you want answered or topics addressed. We'll meet and I will answer them, orally or in writing. I get some real lulus in hypotheticals, "Mr. Tejon, what if I see a grizzly bear and a zombie in a fight? Can I shoot them both or only the undead?"

I usually give out copies of statutes or admin codes, but nowadays the guys wanting to talk to me like this usually have 'puter research themselves (sometimes they bring it in and ask me about it).

You pay me (I work for guns) and then let's go to lunch or go shooting, you pay for ammo.:)

January 5, 2006, 07:28 PM
I have given this some thought too. I recently obtained my CHL, and have been training and plan on starting to carry it when I obtain a level of proficiency I trust. I have pondered how to go about finding a lawyer, but have not looked into it in depth yet. How does some one find a good lawyer in their area, and further how do you tell that they are a good lawyer, what questions do you ask, etc?


El Tejon
January 5, 2006, 07:33 PM
bill2, "retainer" just means you have hired an attorney.

General retainer: hiring an attorney (or law firm) for a period of time, e.g. insurance companies hiring law firms to handle slip and falls.

Special retainer: Jimmy Lee went off his meds and done violated his probation, allegedly. LawDog swoops down to make the arrest. Big Mama hires El Tejon to represent Jimmy Lee on his alleged probation violation and get her baby boy out of the county jug. Note, Big Mama does not give El Tejon a bunch of money to just hang around (and to fitter away on guns, ammo, sushi and red heads). She only hires him by the job (typical in criminal setting).

Retaining is usually thought of in a corporate setting. E.g., Badger Corp. pays White Shoe, White Shoe and White Shoe, P.C. an outrageous amount of money a year so that the firm will be Johnny-on-the-spot when they are sued or the SEC comes a knocking.

El Tejon
January 5, 2006, 07:38 PM
Cub, usually way you find a dentist or dry cleaner, ask around.

Ask a lawyer, "if you got arrested, who would you call", or even better, ask a prosecutor.:D

January 5, 2006, 08:33 PM
Around here, most of the good defense lawyers start practice as prosecutors until they are recruited by a firm. I have lawyer phone numbers handy from when I investigated the traffic ticket business.

Hopefully I get into law school soon so I will know first hand who is good and who isnt.

January 5, 2006, 10:48 PM
I'm taking a very loose interpretation of "on retainer."

I have two lawyers that I have decided will be my first calls if I need any kind of representation in a criminal defense matter. I have no prior arrangement with them but I know their track record and they are the guys I will be calling.

Chris Rhines
January 5, 2006, 11:16 PM
My attorney is a shooting enthusiast and a gunsmithing client of mine. We have an agreement - I agree to field his, "What gun should I buy?" and, "Hey, can you fix this damn thing?" calls and he agrees to field my, "I'm in jail - can you help?" calls. :D

- Chris

Byron Quick
January 6, 2006, 12:22 AM

Even with that line of 'premeditation' by a prosecutor; a competent defense attorney could make him look more foolish than he wants to look. For example, if the prosecutor smokes..."Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, by the prosecutor's same logic, he himself bought that lighter because he wants to commit arson. He bought condoms for he intends to commit rape and wants to keep the forensic team from obtaining his DNA. He bought food at the grocery store to encourage his wife's morbid obesity and early death so he won't have to divorce her and then pay alimony."

It's a house of cards. Not only is it easily shown to be a logical fallacy but it's easy to make the originator look about as intelligent as a manhole cover while doing so. Some can't help it, but most prosecutors really, really hate being shown to be that stupid.

January 6, 2006, 09:04 AM
Don't have one "on retainer". However, hubby and I had a law firm with a very, very good defense attorney draft our wills. We have their phone # programmed into our cell phones.

January 6, 2006, 09:25 AM
I'm legal so I don't need a lawyer until I need a lawyer.

January 6, 2006, 10:45 AM
Some can't help it, but most prosecutors really, really hate being shown to be that stupid.

Byron, are you saying all of us prosecutors are stupid? ;) Crazy for working these hours for this pay, yes, but stupid? Nah.

On the whole "talking to a lawyer=premeditation," unless the prosecutor has proof that you consulted with the lawyer about details of a criminal act that you intended to commit, I don't know of any judge who is going to allow you to overcome attorney-client privilege? El T and Erich, wouldn't you agree that any conversation you had with a client about legal issues would be privileged? And, even if I as a prosecutor knew you met with an attorney, even if the attorney is 100% criminal defense, how am I going to know what you discussed? And if I asked El T to tell me, I'd get an answer that might have to do with me performing a proctological act on myself, which I can guarantee won't be friendly advice seeking to help maintain my health.

I agree that the best advice on seeking a crimnal defense attorney comes from either asking a prosecutor or a good police officer. And don't count on the guy you see in the press all of the time. Just because you read his name in the paper doesn't mean he's worth a damn. He may just be a publicity hound.

Personally, I know a few attorneys who gave me their home number, and expressed a willingness to take my call. No money to make that happen. More professional courtesy. :D

January 6, 2006, 11:21 AM
Byron Quick - that definitely makes sense to you and I. I suppose I wonder about a jury's ability to identify the logical fallacy as easily.

Last question: How would the prosecution find out you have an attorney on retainer for this specific purpose? The more I think about it, the more I see this as a non-issue during trial.

January 6, 2006, 11:39 AM
CAS, I absolutely agree that it would be privileged (unless the lawyer thought that something criminal was going to happen as a result of the consultation - in which (unlikely in this scenario) case he would have a duty to report it). :)

And basically, I agree that it's silly to worry that learning what's legal could be held against one. Furthermore, I think I could make a big Fifth Amendment stink that might carry the day . . . seems like it could be mistrial country.

January 6, 2006, 11:48 AM
One of the many unheralded benefits of formal training is that it gives you access to a solid network of people who will be on your side if something ever happens.

If I were looking for an attorney, I would call my local gun school and ask the instructors there for recommendations. Better yet, I would take an LFI-1 class from Mas Ayoob, and ask around among the people in that class -- the odds are pretty good that there would be at least one attorney in the class with you, and if not, there will very likely be someone involved in your local criminal justice system.


Byron Quick
January 7, 2006, 12:24 AM
Byron, are you saying all of us prosecutors are stupid? Crazy for working these hours for this pay, yes, but stupid? Nah.


Not all. Just some. And not picking on prosecutors. Some of the members of any profession are stupid. And prosecutors, as most humans, tend to avoid humiliating themselves.

A prosecutor almost made me choke myself at a luncheon one day. She was a former nurse. One of our group, knowing how liberal many nurses are, asked her,"June, are you for the electric chair?" She answered without hesitation,"No, I certainly am not!" Pause..."I'm for electric bleachers." That swallow of iced tea went down the wrong way.

January 7, 2006, 12:36 AM
My wife and I both carry the cellphone number of the attorney who does the "Self-defense and the law" portion of my CCW classes.

I've paid him enough for his services over the last couple of years that he might as well be "on retainer."


January 7, 2006, 12:45 AM
I had to vote no. However after reading about this kind of thing in another topic, I've begun checking for one. I would call the ads for advice but it's 11:42PM where I live so I'll have to wait till tommorrow. Anybody got any suggestions for the Winston-Salem,NC area?

January 7, 2006, 01:24 AM
I love polls. Here in anti-gun Illinois CCW is still against the law!!:banghead: :fire: :cuss: So I cannot vote on this one.

January 7, 2006, 01:52 AM
I carry the laminated card, shown below, in my wallet along with my CCW's and my attorney's card. During my permit training my instructor gave me a copy and suggested I contact an attorney, not to keep on retainer but just to have someone to call. It is not necessay for him or her to be knowledgable in that field but they will have a better chance of finding a proper defense attorney for you than you will.

It's important to be as cordial as possible, you can talk with the police about other things but not about the incident.

January 7, 2006, 10:13 AM
Most amusing. :) I believe I also would have done a spit-take.

January 7, 2006, 04:53 PM
I have Erich's card in my wallet! And his numbers pre programmed on my cell.
I'm perfectly comfortable with that.


January 7, 2006, 05:50 PM
There are many ads in Sporting/ Shooting publications, such as in the GOAL newsletter in Mass, for lawyers who have experience in gun law issues, especially carry permits.

I used the best one I could find when I needed one, and was so impressed with the professionalism of his team that I would call them again in a heartbeat if I ever needed them again.

I do not have them on retainer, but I do have them on speed dial. If you need someone in the Boston or Eastern Massachusetts area, calll Ed George Associates, and work with Ed or Karen McNutt, former candidate for attorney general who is part of Ed's associates...they are the best, IMHO.

January 9, 2006, 11:57 AM
A prosecutor almost made me choke myself at a luncheon one day. She was a former nurse. One of our group, knowing how liberal many nurses are, asked her,"June, are you for the electric chair?" She answered without hesitation,"No, I certainly am not!" Pause..."I'm for electric bleachers." That swallow of iced tea went down the wrong way.

Great, now I have Pepsi spots on my pretty white dress shirt. Thanks a lot. ;)

Old Dog
January 9, 2006, 12:29 PM
I have come to believe that, if one does not include any competent attorneys in one's circle of friends or acquaintances, that it is a very good idea to have at least identified a lawyer or legal firm (after thorough research)to contact immediately should one ever find one's self in any circumstances such as being actively questioned by law enforcement or becoming a possible target of a civil suit ...

I once had a guy who worked for me who took it upon himself to use a handgun under questionable circumstances. No shots were fired, but the incident occured in a public setting and garnered attention from the local media. Being quite young with a low income (although military, the incident happened in the civilian community, hence military legal representation was not an option) he opted for a public defender. A bad choice on his part; I could have done a far better job than his inexperienced PD, who had no clue about anything involving firearms or self-defense issues. The PD simply wanted to plea down; my guy didn't want to, case went to trial, and although he should have gotten off entirely had common sense been applied at any point in the trial, he ended up getting hammered and his promising military career ended abruptly with an admin discharge due to the civil conviction.

After the trial, the young man admitted to me that he should have taken my advice and hired an experienced lawyer in private practice even if he had to pay him one or two hundred bucks a month for the rest of his life ...

a Byron Quick post included: One of our group, knowing how liberal many nurses are,Boy, not up here ... my wife (a long-time RN) and most of her nurse buddies are all pretty much conservative or libertarian and pragmatic gun-toters ...

January 9, 2006, 02:04 PM
I've been thinking about it enough to want to get one. That, "shutup and call your lawyer" part right after "call 911" seems like good advice.

January 9, 2006, 08:41 PM
I haven't paid a retainer, but I have introduced myself, and keep his number with my LTCF

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