“THE HERITAGE OF NLPA – THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE”
If you are reading this, you may be considering using National Legal Professional Associates to have our researchers provide research and consulting assistance to your counsel in your case. Or, you may be an attorney determining whether you would like to use NLPA’s team of researchers to assist you in a particular case.
As you ponder this important decision, we feel it important for you to know about the unique history of NLPA and the excellent “track record” that we have developed over the past two decades in assisting attorneys and their clients. If you are a defendant currently facing trial on criminal charges, or you are fighting for justice on appeal, or contemplating a post conviction motion, we at NLPA want you to understand that we have great compassion for the situation in which you find yourself. As you will learn when you read this, we have walked in the shoes of a defendant.
And, if you are an attorney representing a defendant at any stage of the criminal process, our research staff has decades of both practical and research experience to the table. But to understand NLPA and how we can help, we want you to understand our background and how our firm can be of assistance in these most critical times.
In 1986, NLPA was formed out of the ashes of the personal and professional tragedy of its original founder, H. Wesley Robinson. After practicing law and then working in the field of investment banking, Mr. Robinson was prosecuted by federal authorities. He and his family were shocked and amazed about the workings of the federal justice system and learned firsthand what it feels like to be up against the awesome power of the government.
He also learned first-hand what it was like to trust his defense attorneys, only to have them turn their back on him after the convictions were handed down despite the fact they had been paid large retainer fees. In the end, Mr. Robinson pleaded guilty to several charges related to his decade of involvement in the investment banking field and he served time in federal prison. While “down,” Mr. Robinson was able to research his case, discovering the countless mistakes that were made by his former attorneys. He worked for three years trying to correct these mistakes and ultimately gained an early release from prison in February of 1986.
It was upon Mr. Robinson’s release that NLPA was formed. His personal experience with the justice system taught him that a defense attorney alone is often no match for the unlimited resources and powers of the federal government. He also learned first-hand how important it is to maintain communication with the most busy of attorneys and keep informed about their case.
From this experience, NLPA was created with the goal of providing defense attorneys and their clients with a source of high quality and aggressive research assistance at all phases of the criminal justice process. Mr. Robinson believed that by providing the defense with a team of researchers and paralegals to assist defense counsel, the playing field would become more even, giving the defense a fighting chance against the vast resources of the government. It was from this philosophy that NLPA was born, and although there have been many changes since 1986, that philosophy continues to guide NLPA today. Contrary to many rumors floating around, NLPA continues to be staffed by researchers and paralegal assistants. And, over the years, our staff and experience have grown. As demonstrated by our research results, NLPA’s research results over the past two decades is unparalleled. But NLPA’s success has not made us forget our humble origin, and the compassion for defendants and their families that Mr. Robinson brought to NLPA in the beginning has been passed on to the entire staff, making NLPA a research firm different from all others. This is the reason for NLPA’s motto: “We listen, we care, we get results.”
Who Are Our Critics?
Over the years, despite (or probably because of) our excellent record of assisting in successfully fighting the government, NLPA has not been without its critics. Some prosecutors, lawyers and judges are offended by NLPA’s existence and the fact Mr. Robinson, who is a disbarred attorney, consults to the research firm. The critics say, “How dare a disbarred attorney and former felon consult with attorneys!”
The Seventh Circuit issued an opinion in the case of United States v. Johnson criticizing Mr. Robinson and NLPA. Incredibly, the opinion held that an old NLPA informational brochure which criticized the federal justice system and gave suggestions on how to select an attorney constituted the “unauthorized practice of law.” The court stated that for NLPA to provide critical information to a defendant or family member about the pitfalls of the criminal justice system and how to go about the business of finding a qualified, caring attorney to represent them somehow interfered with the attorney-client relationship. The court’s opinion also referred to Mr. Robinson as a disbarred attorney in an apparent attempt to discredit the licensed attorneys employed by NLPA. And, Judge Mordue, from the Northern District of New York recently held that NLPA’s practice of sending packages of materials including articles and general information written by law professors and attorneys from the Public Defender’s Office, constituted the unauthorized practice of law. At no time did either order prohibit NLPA from providing its services to attorneys who authorize and consent to NLPA’s assistance.
What is clear from these orders is that NLPA may only provide its assistance pursuant to a “bonafide” authorization from counsel. Only then can NLPA work at the direction of counsel. NLPA ceased sending out the promotional literature which were the materials that Judge Murphy found to constitute the unauthorized practice of law. And, when Judge Mordue issued his order, NLPA discontinued the particular service that Judge Mordue held to constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
Although NLPA disagrees with the positions taken by Judge Murphy in the Southern District of Illinois, and Judge Mordue in the Northern District of New York, we respect and comply with those orders. Each member of NLPA’s staff are aware of these orders and procedures have been put in place so that those orders are followed.
Now that you know a little bit about the history and principles of NLPA, we urge you to carefully review the enclosed information about how we can assist with the pending criminal case. We encourage you to contact us to ask any questions you may have about the services we can provide.