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Committed to your best result
Mark Blair grew up in a legal family and inherited an abiding respect and passion for the rule of law. After graduating with honors from Seattle University School of Law, Mark worked as a prosecutor in King, Yakima, and Thurston Counties. He argued hundreds of criminal cases and earned a reputation as an articulate and tenacious prosecutor who was also realistic and fair-minded.
In 1997, Mark decided to cross the aisle to work as a defense attorney on behalf of individuals accused of DUI, domestic violence, property crimes, and other criminal offenses. He made the switch in order to focus more on individual clients. Says Mark, “As a prosecutor, you have hundreds of cases. As a defense attorney, you have one client—and that case gets your entire focus.”
Hard work, fact finding and legal insight can change a prosecutor’s mind
Mark knows that his experience as a prosecutor works to his clients’ advantage. “It’s all about understanding your opponents’ mind set,” he explains. Prosecutors base their cases on evidence collected by the police. Their mindset is to convict. Mark believes that the best way for a defense attorney to change the prosecutors mind is by presenting new facts. This can be new evidence, an alternative explanation of how the crime was committed, or a different reading of the law. “You have to respectfully educate the prosecutor. If you present a compelling scenario that’s different than the prosecution originally envisioned, then you can negotiate a more appropriate charge—either a reduction or outright dismissal.”
Of course, obtaining new evidence or developing an alternative legal theory comes from hard work. As a defense attorney, Mark is able to focus on each individual client—not a boatload of cases—and thus outwork the prosecution. If the case goes to trial, the focus shifts to persuading a judge or jury. Here, Mark is articulate and thinks on his feet. But the results come from superior preparation. Says Mark, “I will always argue my client’s defense to the utmost. I find a way to do it with respect—for the judge, the jury and our legal system."