Interview with Attorney James N. Dicks
Want to know Attorney James N. Dicks a little better? Read his interview below!
What Made You Want to Become a Defense Attorney?
Before I became a defense attorney, I worked as an undercover narcotics investigator for the Los Angeles Police Department. I would be put on the witness stand to testify and I would question the way many defense attorneys would cross-examine me. I realized they were not asking me the right questions. It was during these moments that I realized that with my background experience as a police officer, I would have an advantage most other attorneys would not. I knew I would be able to represent a defendant to the best of my ability using my experience as a cop and my knowledge of the law. I believe every person is entitled to legal representation as a matter of justice and fair due process of the law.
In Your Opinion, What Sets Your Firm Apart?
We thoroughly investigate our cases. Our firm prides itself on going out to the scene and talking to witnesses. I take a very proactive approach for each case. Every case is unique and as such, the defense is tailored to each individual set of facts. I am board certified defense specialist and have over 25 years of legal experience under my belt. I have done over 100 jury trials and have had very successful results for my clients.
Why Hire Your Firm Over a Public Defender?
While I believe the public defenders office has some of the best attorneys in the field working for them, they are often overworked and underappreciated. While my firm has several cases open at once, I am able to handle the workload with the help of my effective staff.
What Is the First Thing You Do with a New Case?
The first thing I do when I take a case is contact the district attorney's office. I take a very aggressive approach in cases, especially ones that are being investigated where no charges have been filed for the time being. I try to stop charges from being formally filed, and if that is not possible, I plead my client not guilty and begin the case.
What Is Your Role in the Attorney-Client Relationship?
My role in the attorney-client relationship is to make sure my client knows every direction I am taking on their case. My team is briefed on each case and is able to give updates on my behalf. I make sure everything I receive my client has including any police reports, videos, audio, and any other piece of evidence relevant to their case.
What Advice Do You Most Often Give Your Clients?
I always tell my clients to not give a statement to law enforcement without me being present. I tell people who have are being investigated or charged with a crime to hire an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner legal representation is obtained in the criminal proceedings, the higher possibility of a favorable outcome.
I also remind them that the criminal proceedings can be lengthy and they will not always hear from my office, but I am constantly working toward a successful resolution for their case. If they have any questions, they may contact me directly on my cell phone or call my office where they will always reach a live person.
Tell Us About a Case That Makes You Particularly Proud:
I had a client accused of attempted murder and the circumstances surrounding the event were difficult. This man had been an airplane mechanic. A jet crashed near him and the fuel from the jet burnt his entire body resulting in third-degree burns.
In fact, it was so serious that he almost died.
He became depressed and would not go out. When he finally felt brave enough to venture out and have a drink, he wore a long sleeved shirt and hat. There was a patron in the bar who began harassing him and would not leave him alone. He began taunting my client making fun of his burns. My client tried to leave, but the patron got up as well and pushed him out the door. Things started to get physical, and my client ran to his car. In his car, he had a gun, and fired a warning shot at the patron. The perpetrator would not stop charging at him and my client was forced to shoot him in self-defense. It was a two-week jury trial, but in the end the jury acquitted him of two counts of attempted murder. This man had been through enough and I was proud I was able to advocate for him. It was a moment that reminded me why I do this type of work and it is a case that I will never forget.
It Is True that Time Is of the Essence After an Arrest?
This is 100% true. I cannot stress enough how important it is to contact an attorney immediately. As I have stated before, often times I am able to speak to investigators and resolve a case before they forward a case to either the district or city attorney's office for prosecution. Even when this is not the case, I am still able to speak to someone at the district attorney's office and often have cases reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor charge. It is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
How Long Have You Been Representing the Accused?
I have had the privilege and honor to represent the criminally accused for over 25 years. While many in society frown upon the work a criminal defense attorney does, I view it in a different light. To quote a former freedom lawyer and now a tenure professor at California Western School of Law, "I don't act from some perverted love of crime or evil people. I don't defend my clients' acts but their rights as Americans… In America the government must still support its charges publicly with constitutional evidence. If a defendant really did the crime, then it should be provable." This is the basis for which I stand for. I am here to help those who need a fair chance to tell their side. I become an advocate for justice.
Why Should a Prospective Client Choose Your Firm?
I am fully invested in each case I take on. We employ an integrated approach with both my paralegal and investigator. We interphase with any appropriate counseling. We contact experts when needed and work together to reach a favorable resolution for the client.