Finding Money For Defense – Part 1

Portions of this post also appear in Aggravated.

Steve and Robin were making decent money at the time the charges were filed. Robin was working as an engineering tech at a manufacturing firm, and by 2004 had been with them for twenty-four years. Steve seriously pursued a career as a club DJ after high school, and did that for several years, working clubs between Deep Springs and Fort Worth. He and Robin got married in 1985, and he soon shifted into doing construction work because it allowed him to stay closer to home and help care for their disabled and ailing relatives (Robin’s parents, and later, our father). Construction provided a decent income for him, and he did that for over ten years.

In 1999, he got the opportunity to work for the City of Deep Springs in their water department. The income was steady, and there was a chance for advancement. He left the city’s employ in September 2003, though, for another chance at advancement, working for the state as a Park Ranger at Lake Ashwell State Park. During the first nineteen years of their marriage, between his salary and Robin’s, they brought home a solid middle class income, and felt secure. When the charges were filed, though, everything changed.

Once Steve and Robin found out that the cost of his defense could easily wipe them out financially, they didn’t know what to do. After he was arrested, Steve made arrangements with the bail bondsman to pay his $5,000 fee (ten-percent of $50,000) in installments. He gave his first attorney, Roland Mathis, a small retainer while he decided what to do, but he also looked at some other law firms, one local and one from California.

The local attorney, Claude Tisbury, of Tisbury and Associates, had an aggressive reputation, and wasn’t afraid to take on the county’s entrenched good-ole-boy system. Steve was worried about using him, though, because he thought Tisbury might antagonize the DA and the judge, and Steve still thought that the truth would come out, maybe even without going to trial. The California firm bragged extensively about their win record, but wanted a lot of money. After seeing huge fees quoted from several law firms, and watching their bills mount, Steve could tell that their current resources weren’t going to be enough. He decided he had to find more money somewhere else.

I’ll cover that in the next post.

 Michael Sirois

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