Practicing in Different Jurisdictions
Many attorneys tend to practice criminal law in the same courthouses, but have little experience in other jurisdictions. We find that there can be variances from judge to judge, prosecutor to prosecutor and county to county. The same case may have very different results depending on where the criminal charge is brought, who is prosecuting the charge and who is deciding the charge. The attorneys at Elizer & Meyerson, LLC, practice in Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, Kane, McHenry, DeKalb, Winnebago and even Ogle county. Although it involves a great deal of travel, we find that practicing in more than one or two locations has made us better legal advocates. In other words, our faces are familiar to more than just local officials and we know the different approaches to take and strategies to utilize depending on which jurisdiction we are practicing in. We also conduct administrative hearings, both formal and informal, before the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office as well as defend criminal and quasi-criminal ordinance violations before hearing officers and village or city officials.
We truly believe that the more areas and locations an attorney practices in, the better he or she develops. Unlike a pro athlete, whose career peak may be in their late 20’s or early 30’s, an attorney continues to develop well into their 60’s and even 70’s. Therefore, keeping abreast of the law and changes in the law as well as continuing to challenge oneself to develop into a stronger legal advocate is necessary to avoid stagnation. We have seen many burnt out attorneys going through the motions when representing clients. We believe practicing in multiple jurisdictions and being confronted with new prosecutors and judges nearly all of the time is actually very helpful for us to stay sharp and focused.
Illinois now mandates that lawyers participate in continuing legal education in order to keep their law licenses active. We believe that practicing in multiple jurisdictions is another form of continuing legal education that benefits our clients.