The Secret Sauce: What Do Attorneys Really Do?

A Quick Overview into the reasons why I’ll probably win your case.

Why do attorneys — or more specifically, me — win more cases than unrepresented motorists?

Let’s start with the difference between me and you.

When you (meaning any driver with a ticket) go to court, you want to tell the judge what happened.

When I go to court, I don’t do that. Why? Because those arguments rarely persuade the judge.

Remember, I wasn’t there during your car stop. I have no way to know what happened. I don’t argue the “he said, she said” stuff. Quite simply…

I know what arguments work and what arguments don’t.

Imagine being a traffic court judge.

You hear the same variety of defenses over and over again. “I wasn’t on my cell phone.” “The sign was blocked.” “There was a car parked in the turn lane.” And so on.

You might find yourself becoming cynical pretty fast.

Simply put, these arguments do not work. When motorists say these things, most of the time, the judge immediately tunes you out.

I don’t waste the judge’s time with things that annoy and confuse them — namely but not limited to irrelevant photos of the intersection and justifications that are not supported by objective fact.

So what arguments work? That brings me to my next point….

The law.

Yes, a lawyer knows the law. What a surprise, huh?

In all seriousness, this is how lawyers win most of their cases. The law. More specifically, we argue about what we call the “prima facie elements.” (Google it, if you want to go down a legal rabbit hole.) That’s the stuff that the officer has to establish at you to a level that rises to “clear and convincing” (another term to Google if you’d like to waste some time).

Officers testify fast. Some of them speak at warp speed, saying the same stuff they’ve said a million times. The judge has heard it all before. But the driver hasn’t. You might try your best to listen but still have no idea what the officer accused you of doing.

When I hear an officer testify, I hear every word. I know what to listen for. I know what doesn’t matter at all; at least half the stuff they say is gobbledygook. But some of the things these say matter quite a bit.

The elements.

I know them. I know how to parse them and argue them. I know how to use them as a secret weapon to win your case.

If the officer does not establish each element of the charge, you’ll win. Doesn’t matter if you were driving 90 with a cell phone in each hand, you’ll win.

As an attorney, I’ve studied case law, the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, and the New York City Traffic Code, and more. I didn’t do this for fun. I did it to achieve apex knowledge in the legal technicalities that get traffic tickets dismissed.

The judge.

But knowing the law isn’t enough. Not by a long shot.

You also have to know the judge.

There’s a TVB judge I know who will dismiss an electronic device ticket unless the officer uses a certain very specific magic word to describe the device’s location.

There’s a TVB judge I know that will dismiss any unsafe lane change ticket; this judge requires the officer to put in a tremendous amount of detail, and he usually thinks that the summons is issued incorrectly (meaning the cop should have written a different kind of ticket).

But it’s not just the judge that matters in traffic court. There’s a whole ecosystem of people, from clerks to cops, and if you know how to navigate them, you’ll win cases that you otherwise wouldn’t.

I know the lay of the land.

Recently I watched about a dozen motorists lose, one by one, to Officer McGuire (officer name changed).

Officer McGuire is famously tough to beat — I’ve done hundreds of cases with him, and while I’ve won my share, it’s never easy.

I had five cases with Officer McGuire that day as well. But I rescheduled all of them. Because I knew that Officer McGuire was leaving the NYPD the next day. A few days later, he started his new position with the White Plains Police Department, and my clients’ tickets were all dismissed.

That’s not all. For a couple of those cases, the judges would not have let me reschedule, due to the age of the summons. But Officer McGuire, knowing me and anticipating his imminent departure, offered to reschedule them for me. Needless to say, he didn’t make that offer for any of the dozen motorists he had that day.

This sort of thing happens all the time in traffic court — because I know what’s happening, my clients win cases. Hire me, and you enjoy the benefits of an insider’s knowledge.

I have relationships.

I’m in traffic court all day, every day. It’s my second home.

Clerks, judges, and officers are much more inclined to help me out, because they know and like me.

These same people have no reason to extend professional courtesies to motorists whom they’ve never met and will never see again.

Those little favors add up — to new dates, suspensions avoided, and dismissals.

By now, you get the idea.

You have a much better chance to win if you hire a lawyer. Specifically, ahem, me.

If you have a new ticket, call or email my office today to discuss how we can assist you.