Illegal Procedure: Football and the Legal System

jury or bench trialThere are many similarities between the legal system and the game of football.

Strategy, both short and long term, is an obvious example. Another is following the rules, even the ‘abstract’ rules.

“Illegal Procedure” in the game of football is a kind of catch-all penalty. It might be anything from a formation, to the position of a particular player in said formation.

The infraction itself may have little or even no impact on the game– except for the fact that it’s a penalty. Suddenly, this small mistake, this matter of procedure, can affect the outcome of the game.

The same is true in the legal system. Everything must be done in the proper order, with corresponding, and documented, interactions between the various components of the judicial system.

If that last paragraph left you somewhat confused, welcome to the legal system.

It’s a system that sets the ground rules, and those rules always seem slightly tilted in favor of the State.  It’s a reality of the system.

Within that system are Judges, District Attorneys, Clerks, Police… there are a lot of people who will be involved in any criminal court case. Those people, (yes, they are people), may be compassionate or hard-boiled, generous or vindictive. They are people,with personal feelings, unique perspectives… and the system, in it’s wisdom, attempts to account for that, with legal procedure.

No matter how anyone feels, from Judge to defendant, there are established procedures that MUST be followed. Period.

Failure to do so can wreck a case– prosecution or defense– either directly or ultimately through the appeals process.

And all of this takes time. It is an involved process because if the wheels of justice turned too fast, it would run over the innocent, instead of protect them.

Those procedures, which admittedly can be frustrating in the extreme, are also the the bedrock of our legal system.

This is why people need to retain attorneys. We are trained to handle the maze of procedure that is our legal system, in ways an average citizen could never navigate.

There has been more than one instance of someone attempting to, “go it alone” in court, and defend themselves, only to end up being led out in handcuffs with a contempt of court charge added to their existing charges. Failure to follow proper procedure in court, especially when it disrespects the court, can have serious consequences. And Heaven help them if they offend the Judge.

Of course, all of this procedure takes time. It involves many people handling the various aspects of the process, and it all has to be respected, because any one of those people in the chain can make things difficult. By respecting the process, and following procedure, attorneys remove the uncertainty from the equation of procedure. Everything is handled properly, and the flow of information– Transcripts, Discovery, Motions– all are readily accessible and presented in the correct order.

Patience with the process is the only way to survive the process, and the best way to survive the process is to retain the best counsel available.

At PKN Law, we strive to maintain a standard of integrity and performance that meets and exceeds our clients needs. And we understand the emotional dynamic of facing criminal charges, and always extend a level of compassion that our clients need to get through the process.

Whether it’s a DUI,  drug possession or something more serious, we are here to fight for the people we represent, and ensure every procedure is fully followed to maximize the benefits to our clients.



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