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Why I'm a WACDL Member - Robert Perez

"Joining the most active criminal defense organization in the state seemed like a no-brainer in terms of networking, meeting potential sources of referrals, learning the local ropes, and so on."

Why did you join WACDL?

I was new to the WA Bar and busy trying to set up and extend the reach of my practice in an efficient way.  Joining the most active criminal defense organization in the state seemed like a no-brainer in terms of networking, meeting potential sources of referrals, learning the local ropes, and so on.

Please list the three things you like most about your WACDL membership why you like them.

First, the listserv is by far the most valuable resource I have used in my practice, more so than any book, any online source, any CLE.  Through the listserv, I have access to all the community wisdom and tribal knowledge of many generations of criminal defense lawyers.  I’ve been practicing almost 40 years now (CA since 1977) and there isn’t a day that goes by where I fail to learn something new on the listserv.  It is hands down the greatest resource in my practice.

Second, the camaraderie of my colleagues is something I can experience daily through WACDL, instead of just at the occasional event or court appearance.  I’ve gained many good friends and professional colleagues as a result of my WACDL membership.

Third and finally, I feel like someone always has my back.  The Strike Force, the Ethics Committee, the Amicus Committee, all of these great resources that are there to help us achieve goals or deal with emergencies, gives me a sense of confidence that I am part of a movement.  It is not just the State of Washington vs.  Me, I have friends and colleagues who stand up with me to Fight the Power.

Please tell us about any specific success that your involvement with WACDL helped you achieve, and how.

Even though I have been in practice for nearly 40 years, I cannot always see every good legal argument or issue presented to me.  Recently, I had a hopeless case based on a search warrant issue that I simply did not see after many readings of the affidavit.  I posted the facts on the listserv and immediately got several suggestions, many of which I had already thought of, but one brilliant insight that turned out to be outcome-determinative.  In retrospect, I don’t know why I (or all the other responders) missed this issue, but it’s the nature of human frailty that we do.  My client and I remain indebted to the one person who passed along that insight.

Robert Perez is in private practice in Bellevue, along with his daughter, Sarah J.  Perez.  The two focus exclusively on complex criminal cases in the state and federal courts and represent plaintiffs in personal injury actions.

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