Wow not a day goes by that I am not surprised by something. I state for the record that I focus my practice on the specific areas of DWI defense and personal injury within the Finger Lakes Region of NYS. I am licensed in PA, NJ, and FL as well but the main focus of my practice lies here and now.
I will answer questions, guide, and represent people in those areas of law of which I am familiar.
To me it is more than legality it is ethical and professional to focus yourself. Too many lawyers spread themselves and their practices on thin ice by practicing based upon volume and a gazillion areas. They do everything just not particularly well or thoroughly.
I practiced as a Chiropractor in Florida for ten years. When I sold that practice to enter legal practice I was done. The door closed, and I have only focused on law.
I will NOT answer questions or represent people for any of the following:
Bankruptcy, family law, corporate law, real estate, divorce or separation, contracts, landlord tenant, domestic violence, mediation. There are other areas but I think you get my point.
For me it is Depth over breadth
If it relates to cars and/or drugs (areas I enjoy) then I love to help people legally.
Why don't I do everything?
Why don't I answer questions outside of my areas?
After all any licensed lawyer is legally allowed to do (to represent) just about anyone for anything.
Because it is 2012, and if you do not practice in that legal area regularly you may be outside of your box. This is dangerous territory to be in if an issue (legal or practical) may arise. I have spoke of the collateral consequences of DWI and traffic offenses, I would imagine that there are also many collateral consequences that you must be aware of when litigating or mediating a divorce or fighting for custody of a child. I could not even begin to understand all the complexity of those areas.
Even in a so called, Simple Divorce, there may be tax issues, Federal and State issues, debt issues, parenting issues, and these issues do not resolve, they go on forever, and may be ongoing for the life of a child or children of that union.
What I am trying to say in no uncertain terms is always consult with people on issues that they are at least familiar with.
I belong to the National College of DUI Defense. I am an active member, and attend numerous seminars in many states. Many of the same legal and practical issues present themselves across state lines and borders. The types of DUI/DWI/OWI have many similarities, and the defenses that may work in one place may in fact be applicable in another. The same breath machines (breathalyzer) are used from state to state. I live and breathe the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments.
Search and seizure is Federal and State
Right to remain silent
Due Process/ criminal hearings and trials
Cross examining police is an art form. If you have not examined cops at DWI hearings you are way outside your comfort zone when you give it the first time college try.
Our DUI listserve is active 24/7 in an exchange of ideas, philosophy, and legal arguments. I have learned DWI law in Texas, GA, LA, IL, and a host of other places that I am NOT licensed.
All of that said if it came time for representation of a client I recommend using a local attorney who is versed in that area of the law. But if I had to choose between a DUI lawyer from Hawaii and a divorce lawyer from California to help with my DWI case I think it would be better to choose the lawyer who understood the legal issues I would be facing. It would be better to choose a lawyer not merely licensed to practice in a particular state but a lawyer experienced in that area of law.
Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., J.D.
Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law
504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850