I’m Eric Lanigan, of Lanigan and Lanigan in Winter Park Florida and the best white collar lawyer has experience so if you’re charged with a white collar crime, look for an attorney with white collar criminal law skill.
The first time I even became involved in what we would call a white collar criminal case was with somebody who was in the securities business. And they were selling a particular investment opportunity to their clientele, their financial planning clientele, mostly senior citizens.
Well there was no doubt about what they were selling and the product was right there literally in black and white. I was retained by the criminal lawyer, who was an excellent criminal lawyer, in fact I would say in our area at the time was probably one of the top 3 or 4 criminal lawyers in all of central Florida in my opinion.
And they brought me in because they said quite frankly that they didn’t know anything about the securities industry and there was a lot of the securities techno-babble that the prosecutors were talking about. He quite frankly had no idea what it was they were even talking about, so he brought me in as the sort of co-counsel to understand what it was this guy was actually being charged with doing.
They asked me if there was an understanding of the nature of his business and what business activity he was actually involved in, did his activity fall within the purview of what was prohibited under the Florida Securities Act?
And why either a.) what he was doing is not illegal or b.) what he was doing is not even what’s covered under the statute.
White Collar Criminal Skill is Important
So at that point you should come to realize that in white collar crime, when securities, financial and economic crimes within business occur, that it’s not just understanding criminal procedure and criminal law and the ability to put on a criminal trial that matter.
White collar crime is complex and requires skill and knowledge in securities, finance, and business.
Because all of the courtroom experience defending criminals, that’s great, but it will do you no good if your lawyer, who may be a good criminal lawyer, really doesn’t even understand what it is your charged with doing in a white collar crime.
Just be sure that when you interview an attorney for a white collar criminal defense that there is experience with white collar crime specifically.
How Long Can a White Collar Trial Go On?
Well if you want to go to the extreme, there are cases of white collar crime that have literally gone on for months, if not even years. Now that doesn’t mean that it’s every day, 8 hours a day for a year. But in many of these cases you might have where it’s in trial for 2 or 3 weeks and then everybody comes back maybe a month or 2 later including the jury and you pick up where you left off.
And you go through that process for months and months and months. I’ve been lucky enough not to be in that situation, but I know another lawyer who was handling a type of white collar crime and the trial lasted 6 months and that is an excruciating process. Choose your white collar lawyer based on courtroom experience yes, but on the case experience specifically with white collar crime.