When it comes to being a Jane-of-All-Law-Trades, Emily Campbell is the first one to raise her hand to volunteer to learn new areas of practice. Ms. Campbell began her career as a commercial litigator in 1992, and six years into her practice she transitioned into a corporate transactional practice. When she founded The Campbell Firm PLLC in 2002 as a general practice firm, she included intellectual property law as part of the Firm’s practice because she had experience in the field – both on the litigation side and on the transactional side. Now approximately 17 years into her practice, she is pleased to be adding another area of practice to her repertoire – criminal law.
“I am an inter-disciplinarian,” Ms. Campbell declares. With a J.D., as well as a Ph.D. in Social Psychology, that is certainly true.
In the last two years, Emily Campbell has been expanding her legal skills by second-seating several very experienced criminal lawyers primarily on a pro bono basis on both misdemeanor and felony cases, principally in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Ms. Campbell has been able to apply many of her civil litigation skills to criminal work, including interviewing and preparing witnesses, performing legal research for motion practice and assisting with jury selection. Her corporate practice skills and honed negotiation techniques have also proven helpful in criminal plea negotiations and in dealing with prosecutors on behalf of clients generally.
During the Summer of 2009, Ms. Campbell was second-seating a serious felony case in New York Supreme Court in Kings County, where the defendant was charged with assaulting three police officers. After a week-long trial, the jury, which deliberated for more than 8 hours, rendered a not-guilty verdict on two of the counts involving one of the officers, and on the charges involving the other two officers and all other remaining counts they were hung. “The ‘victory’ was a good result for a man who had witnesses, who had never met him until that day, come forward to testify on his behalf, including one person who had the presence of mind to photograph the incident using the camera on his cell phone,” Ms. Campbell said.
“I don’t yet know if I will want to ‘make a career out’ of these types of matters, but I really am enjoying the work I am doing so far. Unlike most civil litigation, I actually get to try cases,” Ms. Campbell excitedly said. “And the results are relatively immediate, as the cases don’t involve discovery that goes on for protracted periods.”
As of the end of 2009, Ms. Campbell has been serving as co-counsel on four active felony cases including a juvenile rape case, a robbery and two murder cases. These cases may go to trial in 2010, if they are not plead out or are otherwise dismissed.