As a prosecutor, I tried a murder case against David Baugh in 2005 (Letters, Jan. 24, re: "Cheap Justice," Cover Story, Jan. 10). Mr. Baugh's performance in that trial was the most embarrassing spectacle I have seen in 24 years of practicing law.
On several occasions, I have heard Mr. Baugh represent as facts statements that were clearly inconsistent with the truth. I was struck, therefore, upon reading his letter to the editor, by the hypocrisy of his commenting on what "good and honest lawyers" want.
I would agree that Carolyn Grady, Craig Cooley and Chris Collins are among the area's most knowledgeable criminal attorneys, and it is unfortunate that Mr. Baugh does not emulate them. To anyone who knows Mr. Baugh, it will come as no surprise to learn that his disparaging remarks about David Hicks and me are motivated by his own petty and personal grievances with us.
Let me set the record straight. The quote attributed to me in your January 10 cover story, "Cheap Justice," is not entirely accurate and was taken out of context from a 10-minute telephone interview. During that interview, I stated that I spend a lot of time on every case I handle and that, with the caps on court-appointed compensation, this means often working at an hourly rate that is less than the minimum wage. For that reason, I have refrained from placing my name on the court-appointed lists of the area's state courts. I told your reporter that I would never refuse appointment to a case if asked to accept it by a judge.
Anyone I have ever represented would affirm that I want to help my clients, regardless of fee. I have devoted thousands of hours of free legal services to hundreds of area residents, almost all of whom would state that they were very pleased with my work. Can Mr. Baugh say the same?Tony Spencer
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