The article below deals with a situation that can always put a lawyer representing a client at trial in a predicament. Who calls the shots? You are hired to do a job and there can be a conflict in how you do that job. Do you hire a contractor and tell them how to frame the house? What would the contractor do?
In this case, the Defendant faced the death penalty. The lawyer was trying to spare him death and felt that admitting to the jury that his client committed the client was a sound strategy to save him from the death penalty. The client wanted to maintain a defense that he was innocent. Obviously, the lawyer knew that defense wouldn’t work.
Trial strategy goes a long way in protecting a lawyer from challenges about the job that he/she does at trial. It is a situation you never want to be in, but is inevitable. The family hiring you puts you in any even greater predicament because ethically, just because a third party hires you, you are representing your client and the wishes of the third party matter not.
Would this lawyer’s strategy have worked if the client had testified at trial and acknowledged that he committed the crime? The prosecution assuredly had plenty to cross-examine him with.