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Friday, February 28, 2014

Trial butterflies

I have a jury trial next week. It is not my first trial but it is my very first jury trial where my trial coach is the presiding judge. I am expecting a silent critique throughout the trial and will spend almost as much time worried about disappointing him with my 'performance' as I am worried about disappointing my client. It does not help that I believe, deep down to the bottom of my soul that my client should be found 'not guilty.' Not only do I believe he should be found 'not guilty', I believe the evidence is so blatantly clear that he is not guilty that a guilty verdict would be my cue to quit my day job. Literally.

(http://mygratitudelife.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/day-221-butterflies-in-your-stomach/)

Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, never confess and never consent.

~LT

*******3/05/2014*******UPDATE

Case dismissed!!!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My top priority

I must admit I do not know what it is like to close my eyes and open them the next morning, still inside of a county jail. I do not know what it is like to lay my head down and get back up the following day with my child still behind bars. I, thankfully, do not know what it is like to be housed in a treatment facility for mental health, drug abuse or alcohol abuse. I do not know what it is like to be my clients so I try to take that into consideration when they work the very last nerve I have left for the day. However, if I could be so small as to say, they don't know what it's like to be me either. They don't know what it's like to have hundreds of lives depending on you each day, they do not know what it is like to be awakened by the sickening feeling that they have forgotten something that may cause hell in the life of another. They do no know what it is like to have over 200 pairs of eyes looking at you for the answer, each one believing that they are last on my priority list.

I know there is a lot my clients wish they could tell me. Well, I wish I could tell them something also...

If you are in jail--you are a priority to me

If the judge told me to report back about you--you are a priority

If my boss asks about you--you are a priority

If you are facing prison time--you are a priority

If you are facing probation revocation--you are a priority

If you are pending youthful offender status--you are a priority

If you are pre-indictment--you are a priority

If your offer is about to expire--you are a priority

If you do not have an offer in your case yet--you are a priority

If you are a mother--you are a priority

If you have a mother--you are a priority

If your mother calls and calls and calls to bug me--you are a priority

If your mother could care less about you--you are a priority

If you are a first-time offender--you are a priority

If you are facing habitual offender status--you are a priority

If I have all of the discovery in your case--you are a priority

If I have yet to receive the discovery in your case--you are a priority

If you are a father--you are a priority

If you have a father--you are a priority

If your father calls and calls and calls to bug me--you are a priority

If your father could care less about you--you are a priority

If your parents are also felons--you are a priority

If your parents swear they didn't "raise you this way"--you are a priority

If your spouse is sick or disabled--you are a priority

If your parents are sick or disabled--you are a priority

If your child(ren) is (are) sick or disabled--you are a priority

If your kids are well--you are a priority

If you are the sole income in your home--you are a priority

If you stay at home to take care of the house--you are a priority

If you have mental health issues--you are a priority

If you have been set up--you are a priority

If you want a trial--you are a priority

If you just want to plea and get on with life--you are a priority

If you are innocent--you are a priority

If you are guilty--you are a priority

(http://www.csuchico.edu/~nwylde/250/digpaint/JakespsySelf.jpg)


The moral of the story is you are a priority to me, no matter your situation, I understand you have a situation. The problem is you are not my only priority.

Sigh...I need an assistant.

Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, never consent and never confess!

~LT

Friday, February 21, 2014

$66.00

In our jurisdiction is it not uncommon for prosecutors, city and state, to make conditional offers of dismissal. Usually it's something akin to "dismiss upon payment of court costs, dismiss upon completion of anger management, dismiss upon (fill in the blank), etc." Typically, clients are grateful for getting these offers because either (1) they have admitted to you they are guilty and they are grateful to have the opportunity to guarantee a dismissal, or (2) they are maintaining they are not guilty but they feel as if the evidence in possession of the prosecutor is enough to convict them and they do not want to risk being convicted at trial.

Typically clients are grateful.

This week I witnessed the funniest, the most shocking and the most heart-warming thing I have seen in a courtroom in a long time.

A co-worker walks over and has a seat, informing those of us sitting there that his client is going bezerk. He claims he never agreed to a conditional dismissal and he isn't paying any money. For the next 20 minutes, he paces. He keeps glancing over at us, mumbling to himself and moving his belongings from one seat to another.

His case is called and my co-worker warns the judge that this particular person may be a bit of a problem. He was not wrong. This guy starts talking about the shit storm that is coming, the money he isn't paying, the judge is just going to have to put him in jail, und so weiter. The judge dismisses him in order to avoid disruption in his courtroom and tells my co-worker that he will just give him another court date. Hopefully one that falls after the client has been regularly taking his medication.

My co-worker walks back over to where the defense attorney's, public defender and private bar, are sitting and someone asks how much the client owes in court costs.

$66.00

"How much has he already paid in court costs?"

Nothing.

"Wait, all he EVER owed was $66.00! Are you serious?!"

Yup.

The private attorney next to me pulls out his wallet and hands my co-worker $10.  The private attorney sitting behind him pulls out another $10.  The first donating attorney gets the attention of another attorney and says "hey, all this guy needs is $66 and this shit is over." Private attorney number three pulls out a $20. The judge looks over and sees people essentially throwing money in my co-workers lap when he calls over one of the private attorney's.


The private attorney comes back from the bench and takes his $10 back from my co-worker as he relays the message that the judge is dismissing the case and my co-worker can tell his client that he doesn't have to come back.

The moral of the story?

Tell your clients to stop taking their meds about 2 weeks before the next docket. Miracles will happen. lol...I joke, I joke, I kid, I kid.

Seriously, seeing how the private members of the bar stepped up in order to help out a fellow defense attorney (trust me, they did it for him, not his client) was very heart-warming.

I share a lot of gripes and bad news, I figured I would share a little ray of light.

Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, don't confess and don't consent.

~LT