Public Defender 101: Rule 27 – Don’t believe in the no-win scenario

In the Star Trek universe, all cadets are required to submit to the Kobayashi Maru test. It is a test to gauge the cadet’s reaction to a no-win scenario. As a public defender, you will encounter at least one case that will appear be a no-win scenario. These are the times to think creatively, instead of complaining about the futility of the situation. I am not foolish to believe that it will be easy. Trust me, I have tried a lot of different creative tactics that have failed miserably. Yet, there have been times where I have made chicken salad out of chicken shit or I got a result that was far better than what anyone thought was possible. That’s the point. No matter what, think, fight, and do your best. Even if the case turns out to be a no-win scenario, at least, you will know that you did your best, and who knows, you may win the case that everyone thinks is a no-win.


2 Replies to “Public Defender 101: Rule 27 – Don’t believe in the no-win scenario”

  1. Good point. Most of my persecutors, er, I mean prosecutors wonder if I stay up all night trying to figure out a way to screw with them. As a defender, we get to be creative while prosecutors become like the cops and only think linearlly. “What happened, when you arrived on the scene officer? and what did the Defendant say to you” etc. are the extent of their reasoning powers. We get to ask about anything and everything. And while I have been accused of using a red herring to distract the jury by one former prosecutor who became a judge and thus a much better prosecutor, I was proud that the jury realized the State never proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

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