Professional ethics

Why would a public defender tell the DA bad details about a case they're working on?

I am a co defendant on a case with my friend. He's still incarcerated & I'm out on bail. We had court yesterday and his public defender was chit chatting with the DA about the case & the DA asked what her argument against him is... His public defender told the DA that he had made incriminating statements and has a drug history. This was done when the judge was not present or even the defendant. I just happened to be sitting close enough to hear it... Why would she do this? I'm confused & irritated.

Nathan’s Answer

Attorneys sometimes concede on points that they know are obvious, to gain leverage in other areas. They may pretend to concede to test the reactions of the opposition. I would give the presumption to the public defender that they are acting in your friend's best interest because of their time committed to schooling, passing the bar and working in the trenches. Also, keep in mind that if you are a co-defendant, and your friend has a separate attorney, that your best interests may not the same. Instead of worrying about your friend and allowing this to disturb you mentally and/or physically, keep a sharp mind to focus on best outcomes for your own case, unless you have clear evidence that the public defender is purposely derailing your friend's defense with a specific motive in mind.

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