When challenging a Red Notice, a lawyer has to be cognizant of many issues, not the least of which is the client’s personal timetable.  But the lawyer must ensure that the client’s need for speed does not overcome the more critical element of a complete and persuasive first submission for relief to INTERPOL.

In my experience, by the time the client decides to confront the Red Notice against him, he has already been through an investigation, charges being filed against him, efforts at defense, and flight from (or avoidance of) the country where the accusation lies.  He may have also already spent considerable funds on defense work and investigative efforts of his own.  Unfortunately, he also may have made pro se, and unsuccessful, efforts at resolving his Red Notice.

The client in this situation is exhausted, frustrated, and angry, and wants the Red Notice removed- now.  It can be difficult to explain to the client that his challenge will take time to prepare, perhaps more time than he would like.  But once the attorney explains the reasons for that timetable, the client will likely not only not mind it, but will fully support it.

Why does the first submission for relief to INTERPOL need to be the best possible?  Here’s why:

1.  First impressions matter.  Assuming that the same commission members are still sitting from the time of the first application for relief, they very well may recall your case and the fact that they already decided against you.  This unnecessarily steepens the slope in an already uphill battle against your client.

2.  Incomplete and unprofessional work requires “clean-up” work.  No one wants to be in the position of submitting an ill-prepared package, only to have it denied, and then later seek relief again on similar grounds once the nvestigation of the client’s case is complete.

3.  INTERPOL may deny successive applications for relief based simply on the existence of previous submissions.  INTERPOL’s rules allow for the refusal to review claims for relief if they are substantially similar to previous claims, or if they are so numerous as to be considered abusive of INTERPOL’s processes.  This consideration is particularly relevant if the attorney is representing a previously pro se client.

If these valid reasons for taking a measured and considered approach to preparing a client’s case are presented to the client, then it is much more likely that the client will be a temporal ally instead of demanding quick, but ineffective, action.

As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.