In his case vs the state, when a broke criminal lawyer realises he’s infact defending a criminal, he faces an ethical fight
>Since if he cannot afford to lose this case being broke
Why not? I thought defense lawyer were paid by fee, not by results. That’s standard operating procedure. So he will get paid no matter what the outcome. (The only exception might be if the client is rich enough to offer a bonus for getting him acquitted — and the lawyer desperately needs that bonus.)
The predicament presented in this logline is one that comes with the profession. And lawyers know that from their classes in criminal law. So the protagonist knows that it’s the ethical responsibility as a lawyer to give his client the best defense he can. If he can’t, he needs to find another line of work.
Finally, several movies have already been made about this predicament , most notably “,,,, and Justice for All” which has the plot hook that of a defense lawyer forced to defend a guilty judge. And that, I suggest, is what this concept needs, a fresh twist, an irresistible hook like that.
This concept is a good one to do.
It was done brilliantly in a little known (and barely remembered) movie called “From the Hip” Staring Judd Nelson (Of breakfast club fame)
In that movie, an up and coming lawyer who doesn’t quite play by the book discovers his client is guilty of the murder he is accused of.
this creates an obvious moral dilemma.
(SPOILER) The great conclusion of the story, the young lawyer, while pretending to prove his client is innocent gets him to act guilty on the stand. “He couldn’t have done it, he’s too weak to have killed anyone, he couldn’t even hurt a fly! My client just doesn’t have the guts to kill a human being.” At which point the client attempts to hit the lawyer with the very murder weapon he used to kill the victim.
Just remember, as in “From the Hip” the Lawyer will probably get disbarred for not giving his client the best defense possible.