VO: How do you deal with prosecutors on the cases you take?
Bob: A lot of the time I get clients and they say, “We hired you because we want a bulldog on this. We want someone who is going to go in there and attack this and be extremely aggressive and fight with everything they’ve got”. And a lot of the time that’s not the best strategy for defending a case, for a lot of different reasons. If you’re really offending everybody, rubbing everybody the wrong way, you’re rubbing the prosecution the wrong way, you’re fighting over every little detail you’re making that prosecutors job harder. You’re making judges job harder. You’re making the whole courtroom staffs’ job harder. So, a lot of times the best strategy is kind of balancing diplomacy with an aggressive defense strategy. And that doesn’t mean that you’re going to plead someone guilty, that you’re going to be diplomatic or you’re going to bend over backwards to everything they say and then you’re going to plead the guy guilty and get a plea bargain. It also helps when you have to go to trial. I’ve had cases that I’ve felt have hinged on being polite to the prosecution. They have a ton of discretion, and I feel like people’s lives have hung in the balance before. Where they’ve said, “You know what, I’m going to give you a little break on this one. I’m going to do the right thing. I like you, you’re a good guy. You owe me a favor, this is Cook County buddy. But we’re going to let you have a pass on this one”. And people’s lives have been changed just for something that simple.
VO: And with twenty years experience, would you say you know most of the prosecutors in Cook County and Chicago?
Bob: Yeah, I mean I don’t know every single prosecutor but I’d have to say I know the overwhelming majority of them. I mean, there are thirty three felony judges practicing in the Cook County Criminal Courthouse alone. So I know, and it’s kind of hard to do this, but I know the idiosyncrasies and preferences of all those different judges. I, as a Criminal Defense Attorney practicing here, I’ve got to be a little bit politically active. All of those judges are elected officials. When I’m asked, I go and I participate in campaign fundraisers or if they need help passing out pamphlets or anything like that. I’ve done that since I’ve been in law school. And you know, It’s not saying anything inappropriate is going on or unseemly. It’s just it’s good for me to get to know those judges, and there’s prosecutors out there doing the same thing. You make friends with people over the course of time and it just makes everything go more fluidly.