Response from Michael Kennedy May 13, 2015
The attorney-client relationship requires confidentiality, which I will protect at all costs, more so than many attorneys who will tell the court certain things to make themselves look good to the oppressors. But the one area which allows breaching that inviolable relationship of silence is when the client attacks the attorney in public, utters a libel against the attorney and the practice of law, as occurred here. Then the attorney can divulge the context to defend himself. At least this attack, unlike the others on this page, is from a true client [although he had not yet hired me, but this is not from an envious competitor, unlike the others]. Of course, it is foolish to attack me, when I can protect myself, because judges and DAs who respect me [and most grudgingly do because of the quality of my work and my grit] read my postings, and pages about me, like this one.
Judgmental? Yep. This Kevin Steele was sent to me by one of the preeminent DUI specialists because he knew that I was one of the few who could back the court and DA down in Victorville on drunk driving matters, where I have had many noted successes, felony and misdemeanor.
I started looking into the matter before being retained so I would know the lay of the land and could decide if I wanted to take the case and what was involved. It turns out that Kevin has two drunk driving cases, 4 years old, one committed while Steele was pending appearance on the other, and both now have literally years of failures to appear. I asked Kevin what on earth was going on with two drunk driving cases and persistent non-appearances, and his answer was that he refused to go to court because he could not afford an attorney and he didn't trust the public defender! Yep, I was judgmental - to essentially thumb your nose at the judge [which is how a failure to appear is viewed by most judges] because you do not trust the attorney that the judge will appoint to assist you is idiotic, counter-productive, irresponsible, and it is setting up an uphill battle that can be won, but which is more problematic and involved than should be the case.
These are two separate and distinct DUIs with different facts and different issues, even though they are now set on the same date for a new arraignment, and I charge and receive $7,500 for a DUI locally [Indio], and much more at a distance, because of the quality of my work, the excessive time and effort I put into the matters, and the often astounding results I can pull off, so that would theoretically cost Kevin $15,000 if in Indio, and potentially much more at that distance, but I offered him a fee of $10,000 for both, chopping off $5,000. He went nuts and only then started criticizing my tone. [Many of the top-rung DUI specialists charge more than that through trial for one DUI case, let alone two!]
I am sure Kevin has found low-ballers who charge much less. There is a group of attorneys statewide who will charge $2,500, or less, and will make a couple of appearances, and then will, with earnestness leaking from all their pores, tell you that you have to plead guilty, but they will have gotten you a "good deal" of on;y 10 days in jail for a first time DUI. [The statutory minimum is zero days, and everyone appearing on their own can get the 10 day "deal"!] Unlike me, they don;t do extensive motions, back-room fights, trials, etc., to maximize their clients' position.
I told Kevin that before he hired one of those bottom-feeders, he would be better off with the public defender, who does fight for their clients, and generally effectively so. I wished him best of luck and I thought that was the end of Kevin Steele and me. Not everyone can afford me; but few transfer that into an attack on me!
But Kevin decided to deflect his own self-loathing by attacking me instead of following that sage advice. That is always a big mistake, for courts, prosecutors, whomever.