Good lawyer is the one who wins the case, but it is better to get justice even without the acquittal of his client, since the mission of the lawyer is not, in essence, to achieve at all costs, in all cases, acquittals, and less if the accused is really guilty and deserves a penalty for his crime. Therefore, before thinking about the law, the lawyer must think about justice.
When the lawyer is convinced of the innocence of his client, it is fair to seek his acquittal with all the means that the law puts at his disposal, but it is also fair that if he is convinced otherwise he will seek, then, a just sentence for his client, which does not cause greater damage than it deserves, without prejudice to the anticipated solution of conflicts through alternative justice that contemplates the new system of delivery of justice.
That is an adequate defense, contrary to the idea that is generally held that the prestige of the lawyer is only measured by the number of cases he wins, regardless of the people he defends are really guilty.
It is not ethical or moral that the lawyer, when he loses because he is not right on his side, makes his client believe that he was the victim of an injustice and not a bad defense; or else, that by not accepting its counterpart any negotiation proposal, exercise the defense in a reckless and capricious manner despite knowing that the person it defends is not innocent. I refer obviously to the bad lawyers, who without moral conscience or right reason to defend their clients, manipulate the truth -even from the beginning of their assignment- with the desire to hide their mistakes, obstruct the process or justify their fees.
The defense exercised in a serious and professional manner, with talent and honesty, is a good defense and can respond favorably to the legitimate interests of the accused, who has the right to be presumed innocent until his guilt is legally established, that is, until the judge, beyond reasonable doubt, acquires the conviction that the punishable act was actually committed and that the accused committed it or participated guiltily in its commission, in accordance with the criminal due process, which has the purpose of clarifying the facts, protect the innocent, and that the damage caused to the victim or the victim is repaired.
It must be distinguished, then, between what is and what is not a good defense, between what is and what is not a good lawyer. It is not the same to be a defender as to be “a” defender. As a general rule, anyone with a law degree can be appointed to that position, but not everyone can perform it properly because, within the factors that intervene in the defense, intelligence, capacity and experience, they play a very important role, so much so that they can depend on the success or failure of litigation and, sometimes, the freedom of a person.
It is useless to know from memory what the law says in each specific case if it is not digested by reason and is asserted in a timely, clear and accurate, without having to resort to rhetorical or screen phrases in the audience. The debate is more productive for those who have the virtue of evidencing the truth and the sincerity of their words, than for those who only show off their oratory qualities. Therefore, reason is a good ally of words, and therefore, the lawyer who defends a just cause with dignity, lives up to his profession and is more socially appreciated.
Like the judge and the prosecutor, the lawyer has an inescapable duty to adjust his actions to the law and seek justice with the law, with loyalty to the truth and the ethical and moral principles of his profession; otherwise, you have nothing to do as a lawyer.