I was interviewed today on the Ross Kaminsky show, KOA radio, a 50,000 watt radio station heard all over Colorado and adjoining states, to discuss the madness of the Office of the State Public Defender, Colorado.
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Ross Kaminsky, Host, Ross Kaminsky Show, KOA Radio
Attorney Andrew F. Branca, Law of Self Defense
I saw a story the other day that I would like to say was unbelievable, but actually, it was perfectly believable in the world we live in today. Joining us to tell us his story of utter nonsense coming from a particular part of the Colorado government. Andrew Branca is an attorney and proprietor of law of self-defense dot com does a lot of second amendment law law of self-defense dot com. Andrew, thanks so much for joining us on Ko A and just tell us just uh this is so ridiculous.
I’m very, very pleased to be on Ross because I think we have a real tragedy here for the, the taxpayers of Colorado and, and more directly for the for the indigent criminal suspects, criminal defendants who are being charged by the state with crimes that could send them to prison for decades. They’re being denied free expert legal representation because apparently I’m told, I hurt some feelings at the Colorado Public Defenders Annual meeting where I was invited to be a speaker.
What did you say that was so offensive? Andrew?
Well, of course, I should state first that the reason they invited me was because I had provided pro bono expert legal consultation to them in a case where they had a murder client, indigent, public defender client charged with murder. And my consult was key to getting an acquittal in that case, uh qualified as an expert by the Colorado trial judge. So I, I don’t really think there’s any question about my claimed expertise. That’s why they invited me to be a speaker. But what a apparently what I did was one I interrupted when I went to the speaking room early to get my laptop and microphone set up. I interrupted a yoga session in the other side of this 300 seat speaking room. I, I didn’t even know they were there. Um I interrupted them and that was very offensive. And then when I illustrated my legal talk with real world use of for self defense cases, some of those cases involved black suspects. And apparently that makes me a racist.
So you’re just telling true stories about cases that you were involved with or that you know about or that were representative of the point you were trying to make. And some of them were stories where the suspects or defendants were black. So that means you don’t like black people?
It was, they, they were at least one public defender I’m told was so offended they literally walked out of the room, um which makes me wonder what kind of public defenders are we, are we delivering to their clients if they’re so sensitive that they can’t even engage? Let’s imagine that I was inadvertently being offensive. Why, why wouldn’t you bring it to my attention during the 10 minute Q and A session I had at the end of my talk. Um, so I, and this letter that was sent to me was sent by the head of the training department of the entire state Public Defender’s office. She says on behalf of the entire Colorado Public Defender system, including senior management, I don’t know if that’s true or not. Nobody is cc’d on this letter. It’s a, it’s a mailed physical letter by the way. Uh And, but what she’s effectively saying is that no indigent client of the public defender’s office in the State of Colorado will ever again have access to my free legal expertise because she feels I, I hurt somebody’s feelings.
I saw in a tweet that you posted, you, you wrote, they apparently looked at my social media and realized that I quote, don’t share their values on equity and inclusion.
They were quite explicit about that in their letter.
Interesting. So II, I don’t want to take this point too far, but I mean, let’s say there were an attorney who I disagreed with profoundly about all kinds of matters of philosophy and ethics and who should be president and whatever else. But this attorney was the dude who always wins the kind of case that I need an attorney for, I’m going to him. Right?
You have a, you have an ethical obligation as an attorney to fight zealously and effectively for your client. Indeed, that’s in the mission statement for the public defender’s office that they will effectively represent their clients. I would suggest that you’re not being as effective as you could be when you exclude the nation’s legal expert on self-defense law from your client’s self-defense cases, especially when it’s being offered for free. And by the way, Jennifer Ahnstedt, who wrote this letter herself, she just completely misstates Colorado’s self defense law herself and she’s who’s teaching people the public defenders how to argue these cases.
Unbelievable. And are, are you, are you based here in Colorado? Where are you?
I’m in Castle Rock. Yeah, just south ofDenver.
By the way, folks, we’re talking with Andrew Branca, his website Law of self defense dot com. So I just wanna just summarize briefly. We’ve got about a minute here and you can wrap up but you did for free, some uh uh a legal consultation and, and provided expert testimony for free that helped the public defender’s office win a difficult murder case for a, an indigent client who had no money for an attorney. You helped them for free and they won because of your help. And now they are saying they will not use your services again because you don’t share their values on equity and inclusion, which might not even be true. I don’t know. But that’s just their assumption. Is that, what is that the story?
I mean, that’s, that’s exactly the story. If I had charged a private client for that consultation, it would have been close to $50,000 in legal services.
So, are you doing anything as far as like contacting other parts of the state government or the governor or, or anybody to, uh, I mean, do you care enough about doing this work that you’re willing to try to fight back or are you just like, you know…
I don’t need the work. I don’t need the work. I mean, you know, I’m not getting paid by the public defender’s office. So I, I it doesn’t matter to me financially if I never work for them again. The, the only reason I feel strongly about this is I, I feel bad for the clients, for these indigent clients who by definition have no option. They don’t have the money to hire a private attorney. They’re stuck with the public defender’s office. And by the way, I used to work for a public defender’s office. I, I think the world of many public defenders. But if they’re being trained by this Jennifer Ahnstedt head of training, who sent me this letter, if they’re being trained to prioritize ideology over genuine expertise in effectively representing their clients, those indigent clients. If you’re one of those clients, if your family of one of those clients, know that they are being poorly served by that public defender’s office.
Wow, folks, you can follow Andrew Branca on Twitter at lawofselfdefense.com,@lawselfdefense, well, X formerly Twitter, check out his website if you need help with Second Amendment Law lawofselfdefense.com. Andrew, thanks for sharing your story. Um Please do keep in touch and let me know if anything more comes of it. Like, like if anyone slaps down that moron who sent you that letter and says, no, you’re gonna keep using this guy, if he’s willing to at this point. Let, let me know.
Sure thing, Ross. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. This is an important issue for the State of Colorado.