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Q:     When does a Public Defender meet with the Defendant to discuss his plea & evidence for a court case?  My Brother has a Public Defender as we are still struggling to try and… Scroll down to read more!

Q:     When does a Public Defender meet with the Defendant to discuss his plea & evidence for a court case?  My Brother has a Public Defender as we are still struggling to try and raise funds to hire a private attorney.  He has been in jail for 2 months now awaiting his disposition hearing but has not once met his Public Defender.  The docket says that the following has happened in his case:  Arraignment where he pled not guilty, notice of discovery, notice of reciprocal discovery and notice of amended discovery and all of this has been handled without my brother once speaking to his attorney.  My mother and myself have called her but she refuses to speak with us, How can he fight his case if he cant even tell her what his case is? Surely there should be some rights he can have about these court hearings?
A:     Chosen as “Best Answer” by Asker on
Answered A PD gets out to see his client when s/he can. They generally have many cases and many clients and cannot offer up the personalized attention that a private lawyer brings to the table.

A plea and “the evidence” may not be tendered for a while, but when it is rest assured that the PD will get around to tendering and discussing the same.

There is no disposition hearing in adult criminal cases. A disposition hearing is a juvenile law term and refers to juvenile sentencing, so the functional equivalent of for adults would be sentencing and that can’t happen until after either a guilty plea or verdict has been received by the Court. You probably mean “depositions”, which are not hearings and which occur after the discovery has been received, reviewed and considered in light of both the Defendant’s version of events and the physical evidence. 

As for the docket entries, only one of them was a hearing (the Arraignment, which signifies the commencement of the criminal process) and the rest are simple clerk’s entries indicating pleadings that have been filed by the parties without the “involvement” of the Court.  In simple terms this means that discovery (the parties’ exchange of information in the case) has begun, and that process can, and usually does, take time (even for private lawyers).

Unless you are a witness to the case then, absent a waiver or privilege your brothers lawyer is ethically unable to speak to you about the case.  Either way it is a sad reality that things move slowly in the criminal process UNLESS (caps intentional) you have a private lawyer lighting figurative fires all over the place. 

Your brother has rights and the PD will not allow them to be trampled by the system, but it will occur on their, not your brothers (and certainly not your) time schedule. If you want speed and personalized attention then you will have to hire a private lawyer.

That said, the main difference between PD’s and private defense counsel is not intelligence, skill or experience; rather it is the fact that PD’s tend to be overworked (and underpaid) and carry such large caseloads that they are oftentimes not able to provide the time and attention that a given client needs or wants. Private lawyers, on the other hand, tend to charge enough to be able to make themselves more accessible to a smaller client base. That said, and although they generally cannot afford to offer up the time and personalized attention that a private lawyer brings to the table (albeit at a price), PD’s are almost all excellent attorneys, generally being extremely well-versed in both the law and their courtrooms.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not easy to either get hired as, or to remain employed as, a PD. It takes brains, ethics, effort and commitment. It is an often times thankless job and attorney’s who are not committed to it simply do not last. For those who do, however, their client’s benefit not only from the day-to-day knowledge of their individual courtrooms (including but not limited to knowing the tendencies of their Judge, their prosecutors and the other instrumental court personnel) but also from the vast resources that the PD brings to the table (investigators, experts, etcetera) without further expense to the client.

I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.

First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.) less

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Posted 39 minutes ago.
that was very helpful thank you. you have set my mind at ease.
Michael Adam Haber
Michael Adam Haber, Criminal Defense Attorney – Miami, FL
Posted 30 minutes ago.
My pleasure. Happy to help. Find a way to get private counsel. Times are tough and many skilled lawyers will work out a payment plan with you. You will see faster results BUT (caps intentiaonal) be careful of the snake oil salesmen… sadly there are a lot of lawyers out there who’ll promise th world and delivery squat. Before you pay anyone use the internet to research their reputation and disciplinary status. Fortunately there are many more “good” than “bad” lawyers but it only takes one “bad” one to make you wish that you had saved your hard earned money and stayed with the PD.
When it comes to the subject of “Cops, Courts and Constitutions” you should always have a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who is focused on serving your interests.  While we can’t stop the cops from arresting you, as your legal counsel Michael A. Haber, PA will ensure that your rights are respected from the moment that representation begins and that any abuses which may have occurred beforehand are remedied.

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. “Its all about reasonable doubt”!

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

Cell: 305-798-2220; Office: 305-381-8686; Toll Free: 1-888-SHARK-8-1


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Michael A. Haber

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "it's all about reasonable doubt"! Whether in State or Federal Courts, Michael A. Haber, P.A. strives to ensure that his client's rights are respected and that his clients receive top-tier legal representation and counsel. For more than a quarter of a century I have striven to make Michael A. Haber, P.A. a business that custom tailors its services to meet the needs of the client. This incorporates such things as (but is not limited to) doing my best to meet clients at their convenience (as opposed to mine), in locations and at times which are mutually convenient (sometimes at their homes, places of business, independent ground - having free wifi and excellent coffee any Dunkin Donuts always works for me - and occasionally even at odd hours), structuring fees to reasonably accommodate the parties, making myself personally available to the client as close to 24/7 as is possible and, perhaps most importantly, giving careful and comprehensive consideration to both micro and macro issues in a given case so as to be able to agree upon and effort toward a viable litigation objective. This is why I refer to Michael A. Haber, P.A. proudly providing "boutique criminal defense litigation" (being "a small company that offers highly specialized services"), and this is a large part of Michael A. Haber, P.A.'s mission statement Accordingly, Michael A. Haber, P.A. has provided personalized and boutique legal services to both individuals and entities, primarily in the South Florida area, since 1991. With no history of professional discipline whatsoever, Michael A. Haber, Esq. zealously advocates his client's interests and custom tailors his services to meet each client's particular situation, needs and desires. Toward that end Michael A. Haber, Esq. makes himself directly available to his clients whether in person, over the phone (305-381-8686 or Toll Free 1-888-SHARK-8-1), by cell, verbally or text (305-798-2220), by e-mail ([email protected]) on Facebook ( ), on Twittter, (@Sharkjy910) on AOL/IM (Sharky910), and also why I consistently add information to the public on both the Michael A. Haber, P.A. Criminal Michael A Haber PA Criminal DUI Defense Litigation Miami Blog ( and with my "Webisode" series on YouTube (, whcih currently features 222 briegf VideoFAQ's on a variety of Criminal Defense, DUI and BUI related topics. When you hire Michael A. Haber, P.A. you get Michael A. Haber, Esq.! And remember, at HaberPA, it's all about reasonable doubt!
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  • positive review  Top notch, very skilled, and highly attentive. Mr. Haber is a fantastic criminal defense attorney.

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    July 26, 2017
  • positive review  Thanks again. You are second to none when it comes to defending your clients. For that, I thank you

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    April 10, 2017
  • Excellence in criminal defense. Very informative And upfront of wiyh your crimanal defense

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    April 11, 2016
  • positive review  Michael is the person to call when you need help or advice! He understands.

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    January 11, 2014
  • positive review  Outstanding legal scholar!

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    December 21, 2013
  • positive review  Michael has helped my family and I on a few occasions and the results were excellent, he represents his clients with the utmost respect and professionalism.

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    August 12, 2013
  • positive review  ABSOLUTELY Michael. Your my second favorite Lawyer behind my cousins Law firm in Brooklyn. The Berkman Law Firm.

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    August 11, 2013
  • positive review  Interesting and Informative

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    July 20, 2013



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