Join Everyday Law as we discuss criminal defense work with Kevin Malia and Eric Rinehart of Malia and Rinehart. We cover some fascinating questions, like how to justify defending a client who may be guilty; the challenges facing a criminal defense attorney; the imperfections of the system; and more!

How Could You?

While Attorneys Kevin Malia and Eric Rinehart covered many aspects of criminal defense in this episode, the most interesting question was the question that almost everyone asks the new law student:

“How could you defend someone that you know is guilty?”

The idea, I think, behind that question, is the age-old question of whether you can use persuasive powers to make the worse appear to be the better cause, to make the guilty appear innocent, and that the Truth – as in “Truth” with a capital “T” – suffers in the process.

Attorneys Malia and Rinehart address that issue with the position that all persons have constitutional rights. The criminal defense attorney is the “foot-soldier of the Constitution,” and the job of a criminal defense attorney is to defend their client’s constitutional rights.

Challenges Facing the Criminal Defense Attorney

And the job has its serious challenges too.

Prosecutors have an advantage over criminal defense firms, simply because the government has vast resources of staff and public money. Moreover, the State has enormous lead time in developing their case, while the defense attorney often must scramble to meet the case of the prosecution. Additionally, criminal defense attorneys are often dealing with clients under terrible stress because their clients may be incarcerated while they await trial.

Imperfections in the System

Attorneys Malia and Rinehart succeed in their profession by viewing everyone involved in the criminal process; defendants, police officers, attorneys and judges, as humans who are imperfect. Despite these imperfections, defense attorneys must seek justice and truth as the criminal justice system has the potential for serious consequences for their clients.

Who Are Attorneys Kevin Malia and Eric Rinehart?

Kevin Malia and Eric Rinehart own their own law firm, Malia & Rinehart P.C., specializing in criminal defense work. Their firm is located at 33 West County Street in Waukegan, Illinois and they can be reached at (847) 249-2425 and

Malia and Rinehart worked together at the Lake County Public Defender’s Office in the early 2000s. Working together led to a friendship between the two, and they teamed up to open their own criminal defense firm which has been in operation for 10 years.