Manu Ginobili’s monster slam in game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals this week reminded me of practicing criminal defense work. Ginobli is old in professional basketball terms – 36 years. He’s on the downhill side of his 19 year professional career and must work harder than younger, more talented players. In recent years he’s been prone to injury and, in the 2013 NBA Finals, Manu was tired and was outplayed by the Miami Heat. In short, Manu Ginobili had been working with some bad facts lately. However, this year was different. Ginobili‘s slam dunk shot over Ray Allen and Chris Bosh showed his hardwork and determination was still a formula for success in professional sports . . . the same formula for success in criminal defense work.
When experienced criminal defense attorneys try cases they usually have bad facts. In other words, the prosecutor chooses which cases they want to try because they think they should win. If the defense lawyer had good facts for their client the prosecutor would dismiss or reduce the case. So, in each case that goes to trial the prosecutor believes the facts are overwhelmingly in their favor. They’re confident they can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Consequently, the defense attorney must resort to the proven formula for zealous representation . . . hardwork and determination. In the same way Ginobili battled to the rim over superior athletes, defense lawyers can help their clients by going over the top and against the odds.
The moral is work hard despite the circumstances, never give up, and be courageous enough to face superior strength. You might be surprised.
Stephen Gustitis is a criminal lawyer in Bryan-College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.