Christopher Dolan, the attorney for Jahi McMath’s attorney is receiving a lot of criticism for his extraordinary efforts on behalf of his clients. Some say, she has died (brain death), and hence, the legal efforts on her family’s behalf are misplaced.
While believing that Jahi has died, I hold the exact opposite view. Dolan acted with legal excellence in the best ethics of the profession, indeed in the tradition of John Adams representing the Red Coats accused of murder in the Boston Massacre.
Dolan’s job as lawyer is not to be popular. It is not to act out the societal consensus about the reality of brain dead as the death of the patient.
It is to represent his clients. Dolan did exactly that, and I believe, pro bono.
Dolan’s clients wanted the opportunity to maintain Jahi to see whether she could improve. Amazingly, in my mind, he achieved that goal via settlement, pushed by the excellent persuasive work of Judge Evilio Grillo.
Dolan should not be criticized for that. Indeed, would any one of us want a lawyer who did not give our case 100% devotion, no matter the cat calls, no matter how “lost” the cause may seem?