About that cook county prosecutor who was arrested at the lingerie shop

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Cook County prosecutor who was arrested in the last week.  In case you have not, her name is Sarah Naughton.  According to news reports, she was escorted out of a Lingerie Shop called “Taboo Tabou” for acting a little too rowdy with a male companion.  At some point, a melee ensued and she’s accused of biting a cigar shop owner in the ankle.  Much to her horror, the aftermath was captured on video:

Like I’ve said before, the day people get arrested is usually the worst day of their lives.  If Naughton didn’t believe it then, she surely believes it now.  You should too.

I’m not posting this to embarrass her or make fun of her, though.  It’s not even a post aimed at showing you what she should have done after getting arrested- I think I’ve done that enough. Sadly, this isn’t even going to be a post making fun of prosecutors.  It’s a post making fun of other criminal defense attorneys.  Or, as I like to call them, my friends.

I’ve always been a little bit amused at how quickly criminal defense attorneys in private practice brag about being former prosecutors.  Like it’s some sort of badge of honor.  Somehow, working at an office where you never have to talk to a person accused of a crime (and where many of your decisions are controlled by “policy” dictated from an elected bureaucrat) makes you awesome at relating to the common man, right?  Gives you a lot of experience at being able to explain complex legal concepts in normal, everyday English, right?  Apparently telling people you used to be a prosecutor works, though.  Just check Google.  Any lawyer who ever worked at any prosecutor’s office anywhere is bragging all over the internet about that stuff.

Hooray for them.  I’m super-impressed.  It’s so terribly difficult to find a lawyer who used to be a prosecutor.  We’re probably down to our last 20,000 of them in this state.  Retain one now.  They must be a dying breed, or something.

Maybe the problem isn’t them.  Maybe the problem is you.  You are the market.  Your dollars determine what sells.

Does this sell?  Are there really a lot of people on the internet thinking:

“Hey, I see you were stuck pushing paper in traffic court for 6 years, mind helping me with this murder case?”

The sad thing is that there must be. There have to be, right?  If there weren’t, the ex-prosecutors wouldn’t be bragging.  The former “Assistant State’s Attorneys” wouldn’t be listing this stuff in their web profiles 10, 20 or 30 years after they turned in the prosecutor’s badge.  Isn’t this simple market economics?  If it didn’t sell, lawyers would stop, right?

I’m not saying that cutting your teeth as a prosecutor is a bad way for a criminal defense attorney to start off- there are a ton of excellent criminal defense lawyers who started as prosecutors.  Some of the absolute best lawyers on the planet (and some of my best friends) started this way.   I’m not saying it’s a great way either, though- there are plenty of former prosecutors who can’t quite “connect” with our clientele.  It’s just a “way”.  No different than any other.

I don’t totally blame you, though. It does sound impressive.  “Former Felony prosecutor for 25 years with experience in murder and narcotics cases!” does have that infomercial-like appeal.  And, if infomercials didn’t work, well, then the Sham-Wow wouldn’t be awesome.

With so many lawyers beating the drums of their prosecutorial experience I was a little worried when I decided to finally have a web page.   I was never a prosecutor.  When I put this little “Kane County Lawyer” page together, I had a lot of excellent experience, but nothing that sounded awesome enough to have that “infomercial” effect.  So, I did what I do best… I passively cracked on my friends:

Many criminal defense attorneys started as prosecutors and later made the switch.  While they were busy putting people in jail, Haiduk was sharpening his skill for keeping them out.  Matthew has never prosecuted a person like you.  He has dedicated his career to helping people like you.  If you need an attorney, or just need advice, it is worth your time to contact Matthew J. Haiduk, Attorney at law.  He offers free consultations… so, what do you have to lose?

What does this have to do with Sarah Naughton and her Taboo Tabou folly?

All I know is that this lady has worked as a prosecutor long enough to have an idea of what she would want to do when she’s arrested. I have an idea.  And, if you’ve read though here enough, so have you.

Would you want to do what she’s doing on that video?  Do you think she helped her self after she was arrested?  What would she advise you, as a client, to do?  Follow her lead?

She very well may lose her job for this. I really hope she doesn’t, but she very well might. If she does, she’s going to end up in private practice.  Like lots of former prosecutors before her, she’s going to tell people she’s a former prosecutor. She’s going to tell people she has trial experience.  She’s going to end up on a law firm web page making all this experience sound very, very impressive.  People will be impressed.  People will order the Sham-Wow and then retain her.  Would you?

Author: matthaiduk

Matt Haiduk is a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois. He loves his dog. And pizza.

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