Monday, December 31, 2007
Jena 6: The right to competent representation
--Roland S. Martin, 360 Contributor

Here's the headline: Parent of Jena 6 defendant Mychal Bell to sue his attorneys.

Here's the story: Angered by his son's acceptance of a plea bargain, Marcus Jones, the father of Jena 6 defendant Mychal Bell, says he will sue the attorneys involved and will seek their disbarment.

Now here's the back story: I talked to Jones this morning on my radio show and he was angered by the plea bargain, but also by their refusals to put forward motions that he says would have gotten his son released.

Jones says Bell's attorneys, Louis Scott and Carol Powell-Lexing, could have filed appeals regarding the issue of double jeopardy and the failure of police to file a police report in the initial fight involving Justin Barker, but the attorneys never did.

We called both attorneys for comment but couldn't reach them. Jones said he's in favor of his son suing the attorneys. "Daddy, sue them, do whatever you can, get them disbarred, whatever," Jones quoted his son telling him.

Jones also said that Bell's attorneys have refused any outside legal assistance in the case, including Harvard University professor Charles Ogletree. "How in the world do you turn down all that help?" Jones said.

Jones didn't say whether Bell's mother, Melissa, would be a part of the suit. "I want to try to throw the kitchen sink at (Bell's lawyers); any legal action I can take, I want it done," he said.

http://www.rolandsmartin.com/
Posted By CNN: 12:00 PM ET
  2 Comments
When someone hires an attorney, it is with the expectation that they will do everything in their power to assist them in their client in their case--it's unfortunate that Bell's attorney's did not appear to do this. I'm not sure if they'll be successful in a lawsuit against them, however.
Posted By Anonymous Fay, Vacaville, CA : 2:27 PM ET
Lawyers are notorious bad communicators and working with them is one of the most frustrating activities of life I thought the one time I had to use a lawyer.

Its unfortunate that the family feels they have been so ill-represented. I hope that some sort of resolution can be arrived at to make everyone feel better in this case and to see that justice is done. Good representation is so crucial in any case but especially when you are young and you have your whole life in front of you.

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Blogger Annie Kate : 8:28 PM ET
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