Tag Archives: Lawyer

THE FALLOUT BEGINS

Please Note: Posts in the ‘My Story’ page always have the newest post on the top. If you would like to read the story from the beginning – start with “An Introduction”. Thanks for reading! ~IWFA


This is the first post to my story in about two years.  Time seems to get away from you, and even with the best of intentions to post regularly, it just didn’t happen.  I was inspired to continue my story now after the unfortunate passing of my attorney, who truly became my friend.  Protecting the public from DA’s who knowingly proceed with the prosecution of innocent people was a passion of his.  I am so proud to have known him, and of the strength he gave to me throughout my ordeal.  

And to the followers of my story – as always there are no words to express my gratitude for the overwhelming support you have shown to my blog over the years.  I want to ensure that you get to hear the full story as well.  So…here is the next ‘chapter’ in my life’s story!


After an arrest for a “crime” such as this, you have no idea how fast your life falls apart.  In my first meeting with my attorney, he cautioned me to be prepared for the fallout.  But, there is really no way to fathom what is actually ahead.  I thought I would use this brief post to share a bit of how drastically my life changed, and began to unravel after word of my arrest got out.

Career – As soon as I notified my boss of the arrest, I was immediately suspend from my position.  For over a decade I had dedicated my life to my career.  It was really all I knew – and now that was stripped from me.  My routine consisted of going to work, giving my all, and making a difference in my community every day.  What was I going to do now without a job to go to every day?  Who was going to pick up my work and make sure it was done to my standard?  How quickly could I appeal and get the suspension overturned?

Professional Reputation – Prior to my arrest I was well known in my profession.  I regularly presented professional development classes in my area.  I was asked to speak from time-to-time on particular topics that I was especially known for.  I had won “prestigious” awards for excellence in my field.  The suspension from my position was expected, but the real, crippling blow came just a week later when I received a certified letter in the mail advising that my professional certifications were being suspended as well.  Any chances of winning my job back were now gone.  Any opportunities to teach on the side had just vanished as well, and along with it the reputation I had worked so hard to built.

Finances – This is by far the biggest unexpected impact.  In the blink of an eye, 100% of your income is gone.  The bills – mortgages, car payments, insurance, utilities -, however, don’t stop!  In fact, your financial obligations now grow wildly beyond all expectations.  Legal retainers, professional fees and more eat through your savings in no time at all.  How are you supposed to live with no income, and new out of control debt?  Is it ever possible to overcome this?

Community Involvement – Another area that was very important to me was involvement in my community.  It was something I was committed to since, literally, my high school days.  I was physically made sick when just days after my arrest I received a letter from the civic organization that received the majority of volunteer hours stating that I did not “meet their high moral standards of membership”.  This is an organization I had sacrificed significantly to support over the years – an organization who’s leaders I was friends with, whom had been to my home countless times.  An organization who’s members I had personally supported when they had fallen on hard times.  And now, for the first time in my life, I was the one who needed support and the leaders I had unconditionally supported for YEARS didn’t even pick up a phone to ask me what was going on, to send their support, to ask questions.  MY organization sent me a letter…

News Coverage – About a week following the arrest my family found a short story buried in our local paper about me, and of course the article clearly insuanted guilt without providing any actual evidence.  The real scare came the following day when my office called and told me there was a news crew there looking for information on me.  They set up a remote feed truck in the parking lot of my office.  Shortly after that a neighbor called to tell me there were news vans in front of my house!  My co-workers already knew what was going on, but my neighbors were about to find out in the worst possible way. What was I going to do now?

If you enjoy following my story please subscribe to this site by entering your email address at the very bottom of the page – then you will be notified immediately of new posts!  You can always unsubscribe at anytime! ~ IWFA Blog

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Choosing the RIGHT Lawyer!

Please Note: Posts in the ‘My Story’ page always have the newest post on the top. If you would like to read the story from the beginning – start with “An Introduction”. Thanks for reading! ~IWFA

The day I got arrested was, to this point, the darkest day of my life!  I never thought this accusation would actually go anywhere…I knew I didn’t do anything wrong.  It had been what seemed like a long time since I was interrogated by the Prosecutor.  Yet – I had just been arrested, been bailed out of jail, and met with a criminal defense attorney.  These are all things I never would have predicted.  As I mentioned before – I wasn’t even sure if this attorney was actually going to be any help.  I seemed like more of a bother to him, than an important case he was going to focus on.  But I had never been in this situation.  In fact, I don’t think I have ever even known anyone else who has been in this situation – so I thought there was nowhere to turn for advice!

After leaving the lawyer’s office I didn’t know what to do next.  I knew the “news” of my arrest was going to get out quickly – so I thought I should make sure I tell those closest to me personally.  I drove to work first, and told my co-workers and friends what had happened.  I knew they knew my character, and would be behind me in this.  Their support was more than I could have even hoped for.  Hugs – crying – disbelief.  And I felt a little better, if that is even possible, just knowing that this wasn’t a secret and that maybe I would have supporters to help me get through this.  After I left work…it hit me.  My father…  He did not know any of this.  When I was first told of the allegations, I was sure the truth would be evident to the investigators and noting would come of it, so I didn’t want to worry my father.  But, now that I had been arrested – he had to know.  But, how do you tell your father this kind of thing?  I couldn’t do it!  There is no way you can call your father and say “Dad, I was just arrested – for child molestation”.  I couldn’t make that call.  That night, when my mom returned home, she made the call for me.  This turned out to be the best call – and literally changed the path of my story for the better.

My Dad is an extremely smart, successful and intelligent man.  He has many contacts through his work.  One of them happens to be friends with a nationally renowned legal expert.  When my father told his friend what was happening, he put him in touch with this expert immediately.  The information he gave to my father was literally invaluable.  Here is a synopsis of his advice:

  •  A local lawyer is not what you needed for this kind of charge.  He said this charge is literally a life or death situation, and the best chance is with a nationally known expert in this kind of case.
  • He said to personally meet with, and interview several of the top attorneys, and choose who you feel most comfortable with.  He provided a list of four experts in the immediate area, as well as one national expert on these cases.
  • In the meeting with the attorneys, he advised the following questions were critically important to consider:
    • Is the attorney a member f the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)?
    • What is their track record in cases like this?
    • Who will be the actual attorney leading the case?
    • Who will prepare the case for trial and argue in court?
    • How many others will work on the case, who are they, and what is their expertise?
    • How will you help with non-legal matters like preventing damaging publicity?  He said this can be one of the most important points because history proves that people change what they know and believe when they read and hear things in the news, and are even less likely to continue to be supportive if the case becomes controversial.  He said that often once strong supporters will change their minds once a story appears in the media, and even once the truth comes out they never return as friends.
  • Finally – he advised that Mr. Murphy’s plan to seek a bail reduction hearing was completely inappropriate given the nature of the charges.  He said that a bail reduction hearing would bring the case publicly into a court room, and in front of the media…and the goal of any attorney right now should be to keep the publicity around the case to a minimum until they can do their own investigation.  This advice alone convinced me that Mr. Murphy was the not the lawyer for me.
January 24, 2007
After speaking to this expert, we set up a meeting with the first attorney he recommended locally – Mr. William Buckman (Mr. Buckman’s actual name and information are being used with his permission).  On the day of our first meeting with Mr. Buckman the differences between him and Mr. Murphy were evident immediately upon entering his office.  In contrast to the chaos and mess that we encounter in Mr. Murphy’s office, Mr. Buckman’s office was incredibly clean, orderly, decorated and welcoming.  We were greeted by his staff, and offered a beverage while we waited.  In the waiting area there we countless awards on his walls signifying his accomplishments, and respect.  Mr. Buckman was ranked as one of the top 100 attorneys in the state, was on the Board of Trustees of the ACLU, was the President of the states Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and was on the Board of Directors of the NACDL…  Previously he was a Public Defender, and he tried one of the first capital murder cases in our State’s history.  One of the most impressive things to me, though, were scrap books of cases he had tried, along with very personal letters from previous clients about how Bill had impacted their lives.
Shortly after arriving Mr. Buckman came out of his office and greeted us.  I will never forget his warm smile.  Him and I went into his conference room where he asked me to fill him in on the particulars of the case.  He reviewed the complaints and accusations.  Then he was incredibly honest with me.  He told me that this is the worst kind of criminal charge.  He told me that sexual abuse charges against children have one of the highest conviction rates.  He told me that this is one of the only criminal charges where the police need NO physical evidence to convict, only the word of another.  He also said that it is one of the charges where, regardless of the facts, there is a presumption of guilt.  While the law says “innocent until proven guilty” – in this case most people assume you are guilty until you prove you are innocent.  He reviewed the worst case scenarios with me – a conviction could mean more than 35 years in prison.
After our talk, he brought my family in, and discussed some of what we had talked about, and shared a bit about his plan if we choose him to take the case.  He agreed that we should not proceed with the bail reduction hearing.  He asked me to develop a list of references his investigators could interview.  He asked if I would be comfortable submitting to a polygraph examination with an independent examiner – which I, of course, agreed to.  He closed by letting us know that we should talk as a family, and let him know how we felt, and invited me to contact him with any questions.
Upon leaving his office I knew that Mr. Buckman was the attorney for me.  I didn’t have to talk to anyone else.  I felt completely comfortable with Mr. Buckman from the first moment I met him.  And, more importantly, I was confident that he knew, without a doubt, that I was innocent!  I felt good.  I believed if there was a chance for this to turn out ok, Mr. Buckman was that chance for me.  I decided to retain him, and he went to work on my case immediately!

If you enjoy following my story please subscribe to this site by entering your email address at the very bottom of the page – then you will be notified immediately of new posts!  You can always unsubscribe at anytime! ~ IWFA Blog

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First Experience With A Lawyer

Please Note: Posts in the ‘My Story’ page always have the newest post on the top. If you would like to read the story from the beginning – start with “An Introduction”. Thanks for reading! ~IWFA

Upon leaving the processing area after my mom had posted my $25,000 bail, we were instructed by Mr. Murphy, the attorney I had talked with earlier, to proceed directly to his office.  It turns out he was only 1 block away, so we arrived quickly.  If you remember, Mr. Murphy had been recommended to me by an attorney friend – so I had a lot of confidence in him as we headed to the office, and was optimistic that he would provide some reassurances about what would happen next.  I later learned, and will cover in a subsequent post, that attorney selection is extraordinarily vital to the outcome of the case…and having the wrong attorney can impact your life forever!

As we walk into Mr. Murphy’s office,  which is in a very large, old, historic looking home,  I am first struck by how cluttered and unorganized it is.  There are piles of papers and folders on every surface in the place – the floor, tables, desks – they are all covered with papers.  We head down the main hallway, where we are greeted by Mr. Murphy’s assistant.  She seems very nice, and asks us to sit down.  She tells us Mr. Murphy will be with us shortly, and has us fill out some paperwork.  She points us towards some chairs, and doesn’t interact with us again.

After some time, a man, who turns out to be Mr. Murphy, comes down the hall and ushers us into a conference room.  He pushes some piles of papers out-of-the-way, and we sit at opposite sides of the table.  He asks to see a copy of the charges.  He took what felt like forever looking over the charges.  He then pulls a law-book out from under a pile of papers, and looks through it for even longer.  Finally he says “Wow, they are throwing the book at you”.  He proceeds to explain that the charges filed against me are ‘first degree’ felony charges, that carry up to 37 years in prison.  He goes on to say that “this will be tough to beat”.

He tells us that the first thing he wants to do is file for a bail reduction hearing to get some of the bail money back to use towards the defense.  He introduces me to his detective and says that we will be working together a lot in the coming weeks.  He ends the meeting fairly abruptly and says that his office will be in touch once he speaks to the prosecutor and the bail reduction motion is filed, and he will let us know what the next steps are.  He really had nothing else to say…

I entered Mr. Murphy’s office with confidence that he would be the man who could help me – but left feeling like even he thought I was guilty.  He provided no reassurances, he didn’t even seem to care what my side of the story was.  But, I thought, what other choice is there?

If you enjoy following my story please subscribe to this site by entering your email address at the very bottom of the page – then you will be notified immediately of new posts!  You can always unsubscribe at anytime! ~ IWFA Blog

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