How To Hire A Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer –

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You discover there is a federal criminal investigation against you, or you have been indicted and are facing federal criminal charges. During such critical times, a federal criminal defense lawyer is your only savior. The caliber of your attorney can decide whether you get a prison sentence or a fair outcome based on the case’s facts. So how do you hire the best federal criminal defense lawyer to represent you? 

Do you go ahead with the lawyer who prepared your will or the one that helped you purchase your first home? Will you tilt towards the attorney who claims to know the judge and prosecutor, or will you choose the one with the lowest fees? How much will you rely on word of mouth from a family member or a friend? Will you go ahead with seasoned and reputed attorneys like Nick Oberheiden of Oberheiden P.C, or will you trust a rookie as they show promise? These questions are sure to haunt you and increase your stress. But worry no more as we provide a systematic guide to hiring a federal criminal defense lawyer. 

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  • Choose the right kind of lawyer:

When facing health problems related to the heart, you are sure to consult a heart-specialist rather than visiting a general physician. The reason being, a heart-specialist is an expert in a particular domain and has in-depth knowledge. Similarly, when facing a criminal investigation, you should hire an attorney specializing in federal criminal law. Check how many trials the lawyer had in a federal court and when was the last time they appeared in the federal court. 

If you receive a federal grand jury subpoena, you need an attorney who has handled grand jury subpoenas in the past as former federal prosecutors or as criminal defense counsel. Choosing an experienced attorney is of immense importance as they can mitigate the subpoena’s intrusiveness with their efficient defense work. 

Criminal defense lawyer
Federal criminal cases will generally cost more than state criminal cases. Pixabay
  • Check their costing:

Generally speaking, a federal criminal defense lawyer’s fees depend on how complex the case is. You will come across lawyers who charge a flat fee while some lawyers charge by the hour. A few lawyers charge fees for specific parts of a criminal case. Ideally, you should know all these details right off the bat when comparing potential lawyers, so it becomes easier to determine which attorney you can afford. 

Remember, federal criminal cases will generally cost more than state criminal cases. So, be willing to spend more to get quality representation.

  • Go for a criminal defense lawyer with a proven track record:

In federal criminal cases, ‘successful result’ means many things. The case’s facts and circumstances decide what is a ‘successful result’ in that case. For example, if you are under investigation and there are no charges against you, the successful result is when you are not charged at all.  Similarly, when you have violated the law, and the prosecution has the evidence to convict you, the successful result may be to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.

ALSO READ: 10 Facts About The Most Famous Defense Lawyer of India

Check the attorney’s record with prior cases. The previous case’s outcome does not predict or guarantee a similar result in your case. But, it certainly helps you to understand the lawyer’s capability of giving you the desired help. 

  • Decide after a consultation: 

It is advisable to schedule a face-to-face consultation with the lawyer before making up your mind. The face-to-face consultation will help determine whether you feel comfortable with the lawyer and have confidence in his expertise. Ideally, you should consult with several lawyers to find the best lawyer that meets your legal needs. Several law firms provide a free consultation, and you can consult with a lawyer and then decide to go with someone else if you aren’t comfortable with the former. 

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A data breach is exposing Big Law firms who were using a 20-year-old system for handling sensitive documents. Here's what we know so far.

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Leading law firm data vendor Accellion fell victim to a data breach now tied to hacks at least two big customers, the latest in a string of data-security failures that has affected the legal industry in recent years.

Accellion said this month that its aging File Transfer Appliance (FTA) product was compromised. For years, Accellion, which provides file transfer services, has been a top choice among Big Law to share sensitive files that are too big to be emailed, and is used by 35% of the largest law firms. 

Accellion FTA is meant to help large companies like law firms securely transfer large and sensitive files through a private cloud system. The 20-year-old platform is being phased out, Accellion said this month, and will not allow renewals after April 30.

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that Jones Day, which has represented major corporate clients like Alphabet and Goldman Sachs, along with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, was among the firms impacted. The anonymous hacker who posted documents purported to be from Jones Day on the dark web told the Journal that it had accessed Jones Day servers and didn’t obtain the information through Accellion, something Jones Day disputed.

“Jones Day’s network has not been breached,” the firm said in a statement, adding that the incident was still under investigation. “Jones Day has been informed that Accellion’s FTA file transfer platform, which is a platform that Jones Day — like many law firms, companies and organization — used was recently compromised and information taken.”

Goodwin Procter, another large firm that has used Accellion, experienced a data breach on Jan. 20, Bloomberg Law first reported. When reached by Insider on Wednesday, the firm declined to comment.

In addition to using Accellion, Goodwin Procter also represented an investor in the company in a $120 million financing round last year.

Many law firms have been mentioned in the Accellion’s marketing material over the years, but several — including Cozen O’Connor, Seyfarth Shaw, Arent Fox, and Barnes & Thornburg — weren’t impacted by the breach, according to statements by the firms or people familiar with the matter.

Rob Dougherty, an Accellion spokesman, told Insider that “the vast majority” of its law-firm clients no longer use FTA and have upgraded to its newer Kiteworks product, but didn’t respond to a request for specific numbers.

Kiteworks was launched in 2014. FTA, meanwhile, is nearing the end of its product life, Accellion said in its Feb. 1 statement disclosing what it called a “sophisticated cyberattack.” 

Accellion has also touted Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Lowey; Cahill Gordon & Reindell; Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Squire Patton Boggs; Ropes & Gray; Dentons; Latham & Watkins; Foley & Lardner; and Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft as clients. 

Representatives for Cahill, Squire, Ropes, Latham and Cadwalader said they weren’t impacted by the breach. A Dentons representative said the firm does not use the DTA system. People at the other firms didn’t respond to comment requests. 

Law firms and the companies that manage their data have been targeted in privacy attacks in recent years: DLA Piper was hit in a major cybersecurity attack in 2017, in which hackers demanded a mere $300 in bitcoin for the firm to regain access to its computer systems. A 2019 report estimated that more than 100 Big Law firms have reported data breaches. 

Frank Gillman, a law firm information technology consultant with Vertex Advisors, told Insider that he couldn’t speak about Accellion specifically, but said software vendors are generally not looking to break the bank when they ask a firm to upgrade.

“Typically, software companies looking to get clients from an older iteration to a newer product line keep the overall price increase to a 10% to 15% range increase, with large incentives for longer subscription periods,” he said in an email. “Otherwise, it’s difficult to meet budgetary restrictions of the customer.”

The responses from law firms and their third-party data storage partners to data breaches have varied. In some cases, hackers have threatened to erase or release files unless they are paid. In a late 2020 breach notification, Cadwalader reportedly told a regulator that one of its vendors was impacted by a ransomware attack and paid to have its systems unencrypted.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the hacker who claimed to have breached Jones Day said the firm hadn’t responded to its outreach.

SEE ALSO: Former employees at Jones Day claim there is a ‘boys’ club’ culture and sexual discrimination at the powerhouse law firm representing Trump’s campaign

SEE ALSO: Private-equity firms’ cybersecurity defense has lagged. Here’s what makes them attractive targets — and what they can do to protect themselves, according to experts.

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