With an Open Mind and a Closed Mouth

We asked the newest addition to our Team, Natalia Tasic, to tell us a little about how she approaches Criminal Law:

I was lucky enough to get a taste of what it would be like to be a criminal defence lawyer when I was only 15yrs old. Through a high school elective, I was chosen to be defence counsel in the class mock trial. I naively thought my primary role was to be theatrical and yell ‘objection’ any time the prosecution stated anything unfavourable to our defence case. Instead, I swiftly learnt the value of listening, both with an open mind and a closed mouth.

After now working as a criminal defence lawyer, it’s hard to avoid the invaluable sense of empathy you develop after meeting so many different people, each with a unique story to tell. People often seek your advice at a time in their lives when they are most vulnerable and when they are searching for solace through all the surrounding uncertainty. Whether someone has committed an offence and intends to accept culpability for a mistake they have made, or is completely innocent and is frustrated with the predicament they now find themselves, each and every person comes to you for the same reason: they want guidance, advice and reassurance in dealing with the legal practicalities that are to follow.

I find that my role is not to judge – but to listen. Everyone has a story, a path they have chosen and experiences that have shaped them into the person they are today. Over the years I have found that the most exciting part in this journey is when my knowledge of the law and my understanding of the client’s circumstances come together in Court. Whether it be for a bail application for a parent to be reunited with their children, the sentencing of a young adult on the cusp of imprisonment, or a trial of an innocent person who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, the stakes at a personal level are always high. This is when a sound understanding of your client’s position is imperative to getting a just result.

I think that for all criminal lawyers, it is truly rewarding to be entrusted to tell someone’s story in Court, which in most cases will impact their lives and the lives of loved ones, forever.