Some (well-deserved) Back-Patting for Jennifer Gardner

By Mark McBride

In light of all the kind words Jennifer has posted on this website about me, I would be remiss in not returning the favor.  This, however, is not an attempt simply to pat each other on the back for nothing, but is instead well-deserved back-patting, and my chance to introduce the criminal defense warrior side of Jen, and provide some input on who she is – both as a person and a lawyer as she gets in the trenches with me on very serious criminal cases.  Indeed, in reflecting on what I’d say about Jen, I’m reminded of a great quote by JFK, who told the French press during his first trip to Europe as the president:  “I’m the guy who came to Paris with Jackie Kennedy!”

I met Jen a little more than a year ago while when she and I were working on a case together.  Knowing that perhaps 95 percent of my practice is devoted to defending serious felonies, she told me that she had long wanted to make the transition to criminal law, and that she was looking for the right partner with whom to do it.  It wasn’t long before she and I started talking about a very unique niche in criminal law:  the concept of a man-woman defense team and a firm which does not operate on a volume basis.  Personally speaking, this business model is something that I have wanted to do for years, since the criminal defense community, as we all know, is crowded with solo practitioner males, and since, even worse, the web is saturated with volume-based criminal defense firms which are “big hat and no cattle.”

That first case developed into us working on a couple more cases together, and shortly thereafter we started our criminal law partnership. And, boy oh boy, am I glad I did.  Jen is one of the best lawyers I have ever met.  She is honest, hard working, tenacious, and excellent both in and out of the courtroom.  She can go from making a great record in the courtroom in a high stakes felony case to dealing with anxious clients, to delegating responsibilities with investigators and clerks, to . . . Her ability as an advocate is virtually unlimited.  She brings a significant amount of litigation experience to our partnership (and I throw in a bit of wisdom here and there (at least I try!), and she’s a heck of a person, too.  We spend, of course, a significant amount of time talking and working together, and we have our wonderful spouses to thank for supporting us (even during late at night calls from clients in jail).

Since starting our boutique-style criminal practice, Jen and I have obtained amazing results in a myriad of high impact cases.  I couldn’t do what I do without her. I am honored to be working with Jen, and we strive each day to develop a professional relationship which is built to last, and we work on expanding ourselves regardless of each case we take on, whether it’s big or small.  Jen’s internal strength and courage is uplifting and inspiring, and she makes me a better lawyer each and every day.  Thanks, Jen, for going into business with me.  I hope never to let you down.

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