Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ok, I saw this and it made me laugh....

I was perusing Slate and they had this article:

I laughed. Then, I laughed some more. Then I read this question, and I knew I could answer it for him:

• I met a 40-year-old stripper back in February of this year. We had a special connection. Yet, she was homeless, going through a divorce and bankruptcy. She has three kids who live in Alabama and she pays $500 a month in child support. Moreover, she used cocaine. At one point, she was arrested for forgery. She spent a month in jail but was released under the condition that she become a narc for the police department. She gave the names of her dealers and would wear wires when drug deals were going down. I let her stay at my place and kept food in the refrigerator. This past Monday she took all her clothes, my money, and left. The night before, she hung out with some friends. I called her, and she said I was too good for her. She said she had never been treated so well. She said she would drag me down and she couldn't bear to handle that. I told her my hopes and dreams the night before. I wonder if I scared her off. I don't know what to make of it. I don't know if she met someone else the night before and doesn't want to tell me. It's killing me inside. I cried for her. I really cared for her. Can you give me some advice?

I can answer that question: Run, you fool. Run. Oh, and call the police, because I'll bet she wasn't narcing for them, and taking your cash is called theft you poor idiot.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Merry Christmas to all....

Last Saturday I trudged out the the local building supply store for our Christmas tree. I selected a precious Scotch Pine because it had cute little undeveloped pine cones all over it. I thought they were precious and looked like little ornaments. The tree was nice and tall, fluffy and not too trimmed up. No dye on my tree.

I brought the tree home and wonderful husband and I set it up and decorated it.

On Wednesday evening he plugged in the tree before I got home. When I came in he said he thought there was something wrong with the tree because he kept hearing this "pop pop" sound like a short.

We both stuck our heads in the tree looking for the source of the pops. I tightened all of the lights, and checked the plugs. All looked ok.

Pop.Pop. Pop.

I said there was only one thing to do- strip the tree and start over. The risk of an undiscovered short was too great. He agreed. Maybe new kitty had chewed through a wire.


We sat there mulling over the possibilities, because that just seemed like sooooo much trouble.

Pop. pop. poppoppop.

I gazed at the precious little pine cones, nature's ornaments, on my precious tree....

pop. poppoppop.

And then I heard the Pop. Pop. Again.

And I knew what it was, so we cut off the bottom of the tree and now its fine. Do you know?

I love figuring stuff out.

Merry Christmas.

I'll be taking a sabbatical until the New Year, so until then.....

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

This week in my life....

So I sit and wait yesterday with my client for a Deposition that never happened. When the Court reporter still wasn't there 10 minutes after the scheduled beginning time I called- and it turned out that the other lawyer had to fire his scheduler (You know, I just can't imagine working in an office when you have someone who does nothing but schedule your trial stuff.) so he didn't even know that he didn't know there was a deposition.

I laughed about it, but damn, now dude has a "big trial" with Jere Beasley (a hotshot lawyer in Alabama) in January, so I'm shuffled off to end of January- when we could have gotten an offer before Christmas. Sigh. I guess I'll just have to be patient.

Last week, I received a snippy letter from an older, very respected member of the bar. It pissed me off so I wrote him back, using the word umbrage, and the sentence, "While my client did punch your client in the face, she did so because your client brought his girlfriend into the marital residence and proceeded to speak disrespectfully to her, his wife." It was a good letter, a good, don't mess with me I'm no pushover, but I respect you very much letter.

So I saw the lawyer today and followed up with my offer that if he would prepare the papers I would allow my client to sign them. He laughed, and said, "Well, I sent you a copy of the letter I sent to my client today. I'm tired of fooling with him so I sent his money back. He's entirely too much trouble."

Which is not at all what I wanted. I wanted him to just tell his stupid client to sign the no contest divorce papers I prepared and be done with it. I would even have lived with him preparing the "cruelty" divorce papers and allowing my client to sign. Ack. I guess I did too good a job.

Ewwww, and tomorrow I have the awful trial with the, "Why can't I sit in my car with the keys in the ignition so I could turn the music on, drinking a six pack? I wasn't going to drive anywhere. So I am totally innocent and my boyfriend says he's a better lawyer than you are because everyone knows you have to be driving to get a DUI. " girl.

At the crack ass of dawn, no less.

So let this be a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If you're drinking, you should not have the keys to the automobile under your control. If you're drunk and want to pass out in your car, throw the keys in a bush near your car and crawl in the back seat- you could get a DUI, but you'll probably win. If the keys are in the ignition, you are sunk. If the keys are in your pocket and you're in the back seat, the law is real clear- you can be given a DUI.

And to you, the client I had today, the one who started yelling at the cop and then put her 11 year old in the car with her and got behind the wheel "Just to see if the car would start for me tomorrow, I wasn't going to drive anywhere. I was going to have the officer give me a ride to my sister's house," Just because I tell you that there is a 90% chance we're going to loose, doesn't mean I'm against you. I'm being honest- based on the facts. Its like I said to you, "even if everything you have told me is true, and the Judge believes everything your say, he can still find you guilty because you got behind the wheel and turned the car on and you had been drinking and taking sleeping pills." (And you didn't take a test. And plus, calling the cop a dirty pig and telling him you hoped someone killed him, was just really, really stupid.)

Oh and let this be another PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The fact that you have children will have no bearing whatsoever on whether or not you are given jail time for a crime. Bringing your children to Court and holding them in your arms while arguing with the prosecutor and Judge will NOT decrease the chances of your going to jail. "I can't go to jail, I have children." is just not how it works. Repeating "I have children. I can't go to jail." until your attorney wants to call DHR and sic them on you, will not change that fact.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Brief post

I promise, as requested, my views on OJ, but first I saw this:

and thought, Great! Sue the wench. She is awful. If the law firm worked anywhere near me, I would volunteer to help them- whatever they needed.

I hope Nancy Grace feels like puking with guilt when she thinks about the things she says and how she treats people. Because I, unfortunately, saw part of that interview and felt so bad for the woman I had to change the channel- Nancy takes bare factless allegations and speculation and grills the woman with it. For crying out loud- every child who disappears is not a victim of his/her parents. Ok: suppose Nancy was right and the woman had something to do with the disappearance- did she really think that the woman was going to break down and tell her on live TV? Did she ever stop to think this is an exhausted, emotionally frazzled woman who came on my show to try to get some leads in her child's disappearance?

I'm all for good journalism where one asks the tough questions. Absolutely. But see, if she really wanted to aid the prosecution- she would ask similar questions to the one they have been asking all day long and see if she can get a slightly different answer to use to impeach her and/or further the investigation. She would make the person feel confident and comfortable and build upon their story- that's when liars really lie- they throw in a fact too many, or forget a fact.

I am really getting tired of people getting grilled because their reaction isn't what one expects it to be in the face of a tragic situation. We MUST realize that people behave differently under extreme situations. Prime example: Yesterday there was a terrible accident near me where a school bus careened over an overpass and landed (right side up) on the ground- some 15 feet below the ramp. One of the news channels interviewed a parent whose child had died and my husband was surprised at the mother's apparent good mood, smiles and laughter in the few seconds of video they show while doing the voice over. She was somber when on camera- but smiled when recalling how cheerful her daughter was. If she had been in any way possibly linked with the child's death- some might have found her behavior flippant or guilty- because she seemed happy in the hours after her child's death. Yet I understood where she was comming from: she had several other children at home, had to maintain for them and seemed to be a generally happy person- and possibly the true reality of the situation had not hit her.

Oy, OJ KOed, Ok?

OJ Simpson has to be one of the savvyest consumers of our legal system I have ever seen. Don't get me wrong, I think he is lower than the slime on the bottom of the river. However, sliminess and successful navigation of our Court system are in no way related; although there might be a correlation, I don't think its in any way causative. Whomever he has chosen to advise him- he should pay the person double what he's paying him/her- because s/he is worth every penny.

First, there was the trial. Big egos wonderfully manipulated by the best legal defense team money could buy. My Hubby and I were talking about this the other night- people like OJ have the money to run blind trials on differing types of potential jurors. You may not have known that. Then, the legal team takes the shrink's views and opinions and learns who would be a good juror- and what arguments work well on those people. YOU ONLY HAVE TO GET ONE. That's it folks- 1 out of 11 (or whatever the number in your state)-- less than 10% and you've got a mistrial.

But then- that's what is sooooo amazing about the OJ verdict- they didn't come back split- they gave him a not guilty verdict. ( At the time my opinion was that the Prosecuton screwed up more than the Defense team was successful- but a win is a win, even if you won because the other team forfited.)

Because that's the thing- a mistrial and it can be tried again- but not NOT GUILTY. He could literally stand up on the steps of the White House and proclaim he had, in fact, done what they said he did- and he could not be tried again for their murder.

And then I heard the Statute of Limitations on Perjury expired a few weeks ago- so I'm guessing all the other ancillary crimes have also expired. (Obstructing an investigation, maybe?) Smart- this man is pretty darn smart.

But I want to focus on this book. Now, from what I understand, he isn't saying, "I did it and ..." He's saying, "If I did it, I would have done it SOOOO much better than whomever did it, did it; And this is how I would have done it."

Because, you know, he's innocent and stuff, and clearly, if he had a done it, which he didn't, it would have been done right and he wouldn't have had to go through that trial, which he only had to go through because someone else did it and the police were so inept in their investigation that they couldn't even find the right killer. So there.

It is, in short, the kind of publication that your lawyers sit and beg you not to write, your financial advisors shudder to contemplate how they will manipulate the income so as not to be income, and makes your children's psychiatrist suggest perhaps two days a week really would be better and s/he has an opening on Thursday at 5, and oh, probably for the next few years thank-you-very-much. And then your lawyer bills you for reading the manuscript, your financial advisors for the trusts and off shore accounts, and the shrink for your children's peace of mind.

Honestly, I don't know what to think. On the one hand, if he made the profits from the book go to Ron and Nichole's family, or even his kids I would probably say, go for it, there is no accounting for the taste of the American Public. On the other hand, He's gotta know there is a special place in Hell for him. I know that if a child of mine ever dated a sports star I would want to throw up. I have never cannonized people who are successful at sports- and I don't really understand why Americans do.

But, you probably wanted to me to help you understand this legally- and that I can do.

Look, we have a system. Its NOT perfect, and we don't want it to be perfect. Its ok that sometimes a guilty person gets off and an innocent person is punished- because we are human beings and we cannot design and impliment a perfect system. (Garbage in- garbage out.) We design a good system that works as well as possible with the limitation we give it ("It is better that a thousand guilty men go free than one innocent man be punished.") and with that we, The People, rolls the dice and takes our chances.

Or rather, the design and implimentation of a perfect system is really not what we want because a perfect system would render us not free. (See: any one of a number of future-perfect-world- that-is-really-awful films, 1984, etc...)

So, that's my opinion. Such as it is. I will not be buying the book, nor reading it. I will vote against him with my wallet- really the only vote that matters in our world.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What do you want more of?

So, I'm sitting here struggling with topics...

Do you like hearing about the dumb things people do and say to me?

What I've learned in Court?

Or do you want to know my take on crazy news stories?

Like I think Nancy Grace is one of the most awful human beings in the world and if I met her on the street I would have to go to my happy place in an effort to avoid doing her bodily harm... and even then I would just really, really want to shake her until she "got it."

Do you like my weird mix of things?

Tell me what you want, what you really really want.... (Which reminds me: Was "If you want to be with me, you've got to get with my friends." One of the most bizarre lines you have ever heard in a pop song? I mean, my friends and I like to share, but that's just downright icky. )

Thanks, oh dear and loyal readers : )

Monday, November 06, 2006

Courtroom attire....

There was a lawyer in Court today and this is what she was wearing:

Cute black leather, knee high, high heeled boots. (If only she had stopped there and paired those with a nice normal suit.)

Black hose, but the ones you can see leg through, not the opaque ones.

A tight, as in I could see a panty line, black leather knee length skirt.

A gray and white shirt with ruffles.

A cropped black leather bolero jacket.

A Barbie Pink, mock crock attache case.

And finally, the piece de resistance: a gray felt hat with one side of the brim jauntilly pinned up and held in place by a Turkey feather pinned to it. I AM NOT KIDDING.

I think if that was my attorney, I would have had SERIOUS doubts about my choice. I also don't care that she was from Birmingham. Birmingham isn't New York, and I don't think people there are wearing each of the fashion trends for the season together in one seminal outfit.

I, for example, was wearing my new "menswear" suit (Charcoal gray with subtle deep red and blue pin stripes) with my "jewel toned" (wine red) shirt- very new, very in and Very Freaking Appropriate.

Truth, Justice and Unclean Hands

In law school, you learn about something called Equity. Equity is one of those doctrines where you go when you have nothing... Basically, its the "its not fair" argument. You know how often "but its not fair...." Works in real life? Yeah, not very often.... And its the same in Court; Equity is rarely invoked, and even more rarely applied. (Referring back to my "Pound the law, pound the facts, pound the table" entry from a few weeks ago- you're usually going into Equity country when you're pounding the table....)

So, I was reading my new case law today, and I came across a fun, albeit inequitable, use of Equity.

HealthSouth, Alabama's infamous, big "we don't have to follow the rules everyone else does" scandal ridden corporate greed exemplar tried to take it to the next level. Balls? Oh yeah, they have big brass ones.

It seems that during 2000- 2003 HealthSouth decided to make its bottom line assets appear more substantial than they were, so they created a list of personal property "owned" by the corporation. Only the list was a purely fictional work. HealthSouth didn't actually own any of the items listed. (Frankly, it amuses me to imagine the list. If I lived in Jefferson Co, I might go to the Courthouse and copy the list for you just for amusement purposes. Works of art? Non-existent chairs? Fully furnished conference rooms that never were? How does one populate such a list?)

But I digress.

Now, in addition to bolstering the company's bottom line, ownership of property by corporations also creates tax liability. Specifically, Ad Valorum tax liabilities.

Naturally, after the scandal broke, HealthSouth suddenly needed to cut expenses- so its inflated bottom line needed to be reconciled with reality. Now, the County allowed them to restate 2003 property, since at the time this began 2003 taxes had not been paid, but they refused the company's request to restate the 2000-2002 property lists.

After the County refused, HealthSouth began its legal quest to restate those lists. The Probate Court read the statute and looked up the meaning of "mistake" and "error," which are the two times when a list can be revised, and decided that the "plain meaning" of neither of these terms applied to a fact situation where a company "purposefully" and "intentionally" overstated its possessions. (I picture the Judge, calling to his chief clerk, "Judy, will you bring me my dictionary? I have to look up whether an intentional act can be a mistake." She rolls her eyes at him. Naturally, the Probate Judge says No. The paid taxes stay paid.

HealthSouth appealed. (Surprise!)

On appeal, one of the issues they argued was that because the tax office allowed them to restate 2003, they couldn't treat the earlier years any differently. It was only fair, they argued. The Supreme Court denied their appeal and stated succinctly: "A party seeking Equitable relief must have acted with equity and must come into Court with clean hands."

And folks, from what I've read in the papers, the only person at HealthSouth who definitely has clean hands is the janitor.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Catch up and procrastinate....

Today is the first day this week I'm not in Court and there is a big old pile of files on my desk which need attention and all I want to do is surf the web and eat yummy snacks my sweet husband made.

Plus, its rainy. And my secretary is sick at home. So I thought I'd blog a bit.

I almost never blog anything personal- I mean, during the life of this blog, I have dated one guy, broken up, been single, dated another guy and gotten married and only maybe two entries?

So, for those of you who do know me, you know I'm just like that- kind of like the imaginary line between Church and State is the line between my blog and my life.

I fictionalize things in my blog- combine stories and things I see- shoot, I'm in Court 15-20 hours a week so there's lots of fodder- and I don't like to fictionalize my life so I leave it out of this.

I guess I also like to pretend I'm anonymous. But today, I'll give you a glimpse into some things I love...

I love my sweet husband. He is the kind of guy who when you get home from a long day fighting people, and its raining, he meets you at the car door with an umbrella. He's the kind of guy who packed me little yummy snacks- cut up in tupperware, with toothpicks so I can share with the rest of the office no less. He's the kind of guy who takes cute pictures of the cats and dogs and shows me. Who makes me the screen saver on his phone- and thinks I beautiful in the picture which is of me sweating and waxing a canoe for the parentals with no makeup. He likes my hair best in a ponytail, but thought it was great when I cut it (again) for locks-of-love.

St. Yves' Keebler Scat Yummies:

1. A graham cracker crust (prebought or make your own- sometimes I use the oreo crust instead)
2. Layer semi sweet or special dark chips and peanut butter chips on bottom (or be creative).
3. Layer of coconut
4. Layer of chocolate and any kind of chip you like (White, butterscotch, heath, milk chocolate ect...)
5. Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk on top. (I use fat free because, really, its bad enough already)
6. Bake at 350-375 for half an hour or until it caramelizes.
7. Cool and cut into one inch squares.
- the coconut is the key- even if you don't like coconut- it lightens and gives that chewy goodness. I put in enough chips so that it is slightly rounded when I put it in the oven. I have added almond slivers which was good. Mini M and M's are also fun.

I Love my dogs. I love sitting on the sofa at night and having them piled around me... Especially when the kitties are brave enough to come sit on my lap so I'm totally surrounded by animals. Sometimes I wish my mommy dearest hadn't talked me out of going to vet school. Heh. Actually that's a funny story...

So, baby Philosophicalawyer wanted to be a vet. She sold turtles at school. She obsessed about horses. She loved animals. Mommy dearest decided maybe being a vet wasn't a good idea so she took Baby PL out to the farm on a cold March morning for the birth of a calf. At 5 Am. Did I mention it was cold? And 5 AM? So, the Vet puts the big glove on, lubes up, and slides his hand up the cow's hoo-ha. She turns to me and says, Do you really want to be doing this in the cold at 5 am?

My response?

At least his arm is warm. (That's pretty witty for a six year old.)

It wasn't actually the hand up the cow that turned me off of vetting, it was the whole 5 am thing. And I didn't like Auburn, where the vet school is. (Which is such a stupid reason, but I can be an adult and admit now that it did factor in.) But I still love animals.

I knew I was in love with my now husband when we were driving down the road and there was a dog in the road that we both thought moved. He stopped, turned around and pulled over. When we reached it, it was clearly dead. He got an extra shirt out of the car and picked the dog up anyway, so that if his family found him he wouldn't be disfigured by another car hit. He laid him on the side of the road in the grass and we held hands and stood there for a minute before we left.

So, there you are- a little glimpse into the personal life of a lawyer. Next week? More fun books and "Gardening- its not just good for the world, its good for your health" a method to make the world better and be happier.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More clients....

Yes Ma'am, child support is supposed to cover clothes. (DUH.)

Yes, I know it goes for other things too, but clothes are definitely covered in the calculations. (Yes, I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR FIVE YEARS.)

No, Ma'am, I'm sorry, but I can't force him to pay child support when he's in prison. (DUH) But, I will make sure he pays until he does go.

No Ma'am, he didn't stab our process server, I would know about that. He must have stabbed someone else. (OH GREAT, NOW I'M IN COURT WITH STABBY McSTABBERSON- AND I HAVE TO REPRESENT THE ANGRY BABY MOMMA.) Yes, Ma'am, I'm sure if wasn't our bounty hunter.

Huh, your 4 year old child was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder? Could you bring me the letter from the doctor where he sys that? (Silly me, I thought they wouldn't diagnose that until they were 18.) (YOU KNOW, I GET REAL IRRITATED WHEN YOU LIE TO ME.)

No, Ma'am, I can't put him in jail for not giving you an insurance card when he wasn't ordered to do that. (DUH)

No, Ma'am, I can't force him to get dental insurance if its not available at his job. I will get an order that he has to pay you back 1/2 of the bill when you go to the dentist. (BUT IF HE'S IN PRISON, IT WON'T BE WORTH THE PAPER ITS WRITTEN ON.)

No, Ma'am, he won't be required to pay you up front. (AND IF YOU BRUSHED YOUR CHILD'S TEETH HE WOULDN'T HAVE 8 CAVITIES.)

No, Ma'am, I'm sorry, but he will get credit for paying for the insurance.

Yes, Ma'am, I'm sorry, $600 per month seems a little steep for day care. (WHEN YOUR TAKE HOME PAY IS $1100 A MONTH.)

Yes, ma'am, I know your mom's services are invaluable, but the law says I can only collect $69 bucks a week for that. (AND NOW, I THINK YOU'RE LYING ABOUT THAT TOO- BECAUSE YOU DON'T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO GIVE HER THAT MUCH.)



Friday, October 13, 2006

Aphorisms for Friday

I have been in Court a total of 15 hours this week- which is tough when Court is only in session for about 6 hours per day, Monday was a holiday and I don't have court today. So out of 18 possible hours of Court I was there 15- plus, I was both myself and MadDog AND I was usually in two Courts at the same time.

But, aside from bending the laws of physics, it was a good week. I did well, I did good, and I nailed a couple of people's balls to the wall.

The old aphorism goes: If the facts are on your side, pound the facts, if the law is on your side pound the law and if neither is on your side, pound the table. I had a table pounding case yesterday. I was at a disadvantage to begin with because it was a motion to alter amend or vacate and MadDog argued the original case so I had no idea about the previously offered testimony, but the other lawyer had just been hired, so he didn't either. Just picture it: two lawyers arguing about the sufficiency of evidence offered that neither was present to hear the evidence initially.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My baby has Two daddies.... (Another in our ongoing Legal Conundrums file...)

So, two men are claiming to be Anna Nichole Smith's baby's daddy. (And that fact, in and of itself, is just simply mindbogglingly bizarre to me....)

A really fascinating legal situation which will, I predict, turn on a number of issues, not the least of which is: Where does she reside? Where does the baby reside? (Child was born in Bahamas- does it have dual citizenship?) Where will the case be heard?

In Alabama (The only state's laws about which I know very much....) we have a case called Ex Parte Presse which says: if you're married and give birth, only the husband has standing to challenge paternity- not the mom, not the Bio-Dad (as they refer to him in the tabloids.)

So, in Alabama, if Smith and her lawyer got married after the child's birth (and there are issues with the whole "impregnating your current client" thing, but that's for another blog....) , and the husband claimed the child as his own, meeting certain legal requirements, bio-dad would be thrown out of Court.

I was actually friends with one of the children involved in Ex Parte Presse- its a fascinating case in and of itself: Husband and wife have four children. Wife is having affair and both she, the husband, and the paramour know baby belongs to paramour- but husband is PISSED. So Pissed in fact, that he decides to claim the baby as his and GET CUSTODY.

Oh yes, CUSTODY. And because our law was written to legitimate children, only he, the husband, has standing to challenge paternity of his child- if he won't do it, no one can.

I think about that child sometimes and it reminds me of the aphorism that hard cases make bad law.

I'm also going to bet that California has some wacky child support/legitimation laws. Should be interesting if it goes down there. Of course, I always think of her as living in Texas, but then I really don't know very much about her....

Monday, September 18, 2006

Happy things/sad things/ things that have to be done

Just so you don't think I spend all my time rolling my eyes at morons- I spent Sunday helping a client clean her home. I learned a lesson which I hope you will remember:

Just because she was in the middle of divorcing the abusive ass and he killed himself, doesn't mean the whole thing is a cake ride. Sure she got to move back into the house- but everything reminds her of him. His stuff is everywhere. His car, his dog. Sometimes, she feels guilty that his killed himself, sometimes she feels guilty for being glad he's dead. Sometimes she feels guilty for feeling bad that he killed himself- because she's supposed to hate him for hurting her. And she's going through all this in her early 20's. Her family? They had written her off before this happened because she didn't leave him the first time he abused her, and now they have no sympathy for her. No one helped her plan the funeral, no one helped her clean out his stuff. She has to think about what their daughter will want when she grows up- she's 18 months. She has to work full time and take care of their child.

So, I went and helped organize and clean and made lunch, and we got a lot done. I just kept telling her that as long as she can go to work and take care of the baby the rest of it could wait. We put a lot of stuff into the junk room to be dealt with later- but at least her living room and bed room are clean so she doesn't lie on the couch and feel guilty for not doing more. I suggested she bring out a box a week to sort through and it would be done by Christmas.

Next week we'll finish repairing the bathroom (from where he pounded the wall in.) and paint. Nothing makes you feel more at home than new paint.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wherein people make unfortunate choices in clothes for Court....

Yesterday it was the young woman standing at the bench wearing tight blue jeans that made her not cute belly flow over the top even more. Her jeans were accented by a pink and white rhinestone Playboy Bunny belt buckle, with the bunny ears reaching several inches above the jeans and into the soft belly, and I say "into the belly" advisedly, as she was wearing a top that ended several inches above her jeans so the belt buckle really did push into her belly. Her shirt was yellow and said, "Divalicious" in sparkly blue and silver glitter. I've watched "The Girls Next Door," BTW, and not a singly one of them would dress that way for Court. Hef would fuss at them and they have waaaay more class than that.

Today my favorite was the man who was asked to remove his hat. It said, "That's my story and I'm sticking to it." Bwwaahhhhh.

Oh, and the large woman, definitely over 40, who ran from the Courtroom screaming and in tears wearing a, a, I can only describe it as one of those bubble dresses like little girls would wear with bloomers under it, only, it was navy and tan and actually would have been kind of cute on the tennis Court or as a beach cover up, but not for a restitution hearing. And not without bloomers. I can confidently report to you she was wearing red lace underwear under it, which is something I could have happily gone my whole life not knowing.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Funny thing in the South...

So, I'm sitting in court this morning reading up on my local happenings and there was an interesting report in Sunday's paper. Seems a man came to the police station last week saying he had been kidnapped.

Actually, that in and of itself, wouldn't be that interesting: happens more often than it should. Here's what was interesting: He tells the police he was kidnapped at gunpoint and held so the kidnappers could pray for him.

That's right, two women and one man held the victim at gun point for several hours so they could pray for him. ( Apparently, I don't just live in the belt buckle of the Bible belt, I live in the spurs of the cowboy boots of the bible belt. )

The man escaped later that night, but didn't go to the authorities until the kidnappers threatened to do it again. The police said point blank they had dealt with all the parties in this case before and they didn't believe him. However, when they went to investigate, not only did the physical evidence match up- the man told them one of the women had fired the gun into the ceiling- but the women confessed. In addition, a neighbor saw the police at the house and turned the guns the women asked her to hold for them over to them.

The police also stated that the man made other claims which were far more outlandish but the police would not repeat those claims. I heard one of those claims was that the women had blessed a necklace and told the man that if he did drugs again, God would make it grow warm on her neck and she would know he was doing drugs.

I think he mostly went to the police because he was afraid of her necklace. I guess nothin ruins a good high like worryin' your old lady already knows about it.

Reminds me of a story I heard where the police got a man to confess by putting a colander on his head with some wires going to a copy machine. They put a piece of paper that said "you're lying" on the glass of the copy machine and told the man he was hooked up to a lie detector. They then proceeded with questioning. Whenever they felt he wasn't being truthful, they would press the button and out would pop, "you're lying." They extracted a confession rather quickly.
I wonder, of course, at the validity of a confession extracted that way.... All the way around- legally, truth wise and morally.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wherein lots of people do dumb things

So, Paris, lets have a little chat. (And, Mel, you should listen in too....)

You are worth a lot of money, and have a lot of money---I mean, its not all tied up in land, or some trust you can't actually touch or anything--- you really should have a driver. Lets face it, you can afford someone to drive you around and the penalty for a DUI is more than mere money- you could kill someone, or ruin your career. (Ok, I guess if the sex tapes didn't ruin your "career" this isn't going to either but you know..... you could kill someone, or maim your pretty face.) I know, I know- you don't want to take money from Mom and Dad, but still- you sell your appearance at parties, sing, dance, writhe, act and wave to make your own money. And I Know you're really trying to save up and buy some dignity, but I promise you that the, oh heck 60 or 70 k ? A year you'd pay someone pretty loyal to sit and wait on your every whim would be money well spent. Shoot, for $200,000 (Which I understand, is the cost of you appearing at a single party) you could get someone very loyal to you to be your beck and call boy. Or girl.

Get some sense you foolish girl.

And that goes double for you Mel. Dear Lord, you have enough money to "buy" your own house of worship- Why don't you work on being more Christ like by giving away your money, say as salary for someone deserving to be your chauffeur? You could pick someone putting him/her self through school. Or a nice Opus Dei member who needs help.

I (sometimes) feel bad for my clients who work hard all week and just want to relax a little bit on the weekends and end up with a DUI after answering the call of Taco Hell at 2 AM, or going to pick up their even drunker friend, or just trying to make it home from their friend's house-- they can't afford minions to go for them and this little town has approximately 3 cabs so they're just not practical-- but you people are just spoiled rotten and need to think about someone besides yourselves.

And then there is this guy:

Hmmm, what in the world would persuade this man to drive around nekked? Or, better question, what in the world would cause someone to drive around nekkid that wouldn't be a crime in and of itself beyond the whole being nekkid in public? I'm assuming there was something else going on there... People don't just wake up and say, "Today's a nice day to drive around nekkid." Frankly, If I were that cop I would have not have let it slide because its practically evidence of corruption in and of itself to have not arrested the man for something further- you know?

Ok, that's all for today : )

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ode to Mr. Sketch....

I was at the office supply store yesterday and in the bin of sale items I found a treat.

A brand new set of 12 Mr. Sketch markers.

That's right- From Blueberry to mango to raspberry... To Licorice and melon- all of the colors and smells of your childhood in a box for a mere $4.99. Do you remember? The cover would slide off the Styrofoam cradle and you could pull each color out of its snug little bed and put them back in order.... You could even color each slot in its color if you wanted, or play around with the order. Well, the cradle is gone, and I think some of the smells have been re-vamped, but the allure and and promise of a box of Mr. Sketch markers remains unchanged.

I never had the full set- but I did once have a set with the brown missing, which was ok because I didn't really need brown- and I feel like a kid again. Like that first day of school when you have your perfect notebooks and pens and books all covered in brown paper bags your mom helped you cut and tape around the covers of your books, before the homework and the lunchroom cliques- when you're excited and can't wait to learn something new and see your friends... Before you remember how tedious and monotonous school really is.

These memories came before I even opened my new treat- as I pulled them out of the bin I knew I would buy them and take them to the office with me. I finally sat down at my desk this morning when I got back from Court and it was the blue I went to first. Heavenly. Long deep breath in- fake blueberry, then I was quickly on to the red- Ahhhh, cherry like a cherry icee cherry. Like no cherry in nature- a satisfyingly artificial smell like a mariseno (Sp? ) cherry in the bottle with the fake red dye. Yellow, lemon, makes your mouth water... And orange- smells like the taste of tang in the back of your nose when you open the container to scoop out the powder. Brown- Cinnamon. Smells like rules to me : ) Black, licorice, smells like my mother because that was always her favorite. Green like mint gum, you want to suck it out of the marker...

Then the wierd colors: Turquoise which I think smells different- I just don't remember it smelling like it does. The box says Mango. The Dk. Green apple smells revamped too, although I did like it, but the raspberry smells the same- absolutely nothing like raspberry, but the same none the less. Purple smells like grape Kool-Aid- sweet enough to satisfy your thirst from the smell alone.

Then we come to the final color of the set: Pink, which is melon.

I just didn't remember that there was a connection between my two least favorite things in the world- Pink and melon. The first whiff of smell makes me irritated. It also makes me wonder if I dislike pink because it smelled like melon when I was a child and melon makes me sick. I did have a pink bed spread mommie dearest always insisted I picked out- did my dislike emerge later on when I had a set of these? Fascinating. I will have to mull that over.
After I sit here and smell the other markers for a couple of hours. Blue and red at the same time... I think I'm on to something here.
Fortunately, they are water soluble and I can wash the marks I am sure to get under my nose from sniffing these puppies.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

False Confessions

First, let me say, I try not to watch too much news about legal matters. I also watch no legal shows- because... I live the life. I don't want to go home and "unwind" watching something I did for 8 hours today- I want to watch Antiques Roadshow, or old movies.... Plus, its kind of distracting when I start yelling at the TV because someone did something stupid or irritating.

But, I got sucked into... I think it was Hardball? With Chris Matthews.... And there is this jackass on there spouting his (in my opinion, idiotic) opinion the the DA in Colorado was incompetent because she had not illegally obtained DNA from Karr prior to having him extradited to check against the DNA they had. That just irritated me. The man essentially confessed in the emails, and he waived extradition, and she tested him appropriately- trying not to muddy the case with illegal/unethical/unconstitutional garbage- she, it seemed to me who has not in fact read any actual court transcripts, acted straightforwardly and appropriately in the way she dealt with the man.

But that's not the subject of the post. His false "confession" has amazed some people. I remember being very skeptical of our legal system's insistence that people don't confess to crimes they didn't commit when I was in law school. At the time, I didn't have much experience with such things, so I let it slide- but it just struck me as not very realistic to think that people don't confess to crimes they didn't commit.

But now, I've been practicing for 6 years plus- and I'm here to tell you: PEOPLE CONFESS TO THINGS AND PLEAD GUILTY TO THINGS THEY DID NOT DO ALL THE TIME. For all kinds of reasons.

I have had kids confess to crimes they didn't commit because they thought they'd look cool. I had one girl who tried to confess to crimes she didn't commit so she could live at the detention facility instead of with her parents. (That one had a happy ending: I got her the help and support she needed and her parents the counseling they needed to be decent parents.)

I have had men confess to being the father of a child because they thought it was the "right thing to do" even though they KNEW they couldn't be the father. I had one man confess because he knew he couldn't have children, and this was his one opportunity to be a father.

And I have had a number of clients who have confessed to crimes they didn't commit for lots of difficult reasons. Maybe they didn't do what they other person said they did, but they did something worse. Sometimes, they want to look cool. Sometimes, boyfriends or girlfriends pressure them. (Example: I had a client arrested for "filing a false report" with police. She reported her car stolen, It turned out her boy friend's cousin took with car with boyfriend's permission. She did not recognize the name when police asked her about it because she only knew his nick name, not his real name. Boyfriend was too afraid to tell her the truth at first. She plead "Best interest" over my objections because Boy friend and cousin "had to get to work" and "they'll pay the fine and costs anyway." Yeah, but its YOUR record.)

A lot of Hispanic people confess because in their home countries you don't get a fair trial and they're afraid of the consequences if they fight it. Or, they're illegal and its not their name being ruined.

I know we can't babysit everyone and make sure they aren't lying about confessing or pleading guilty, but prosecutors need to use the objective evidence they have. 25 years ago, Karr would be in prison and everyone would think the killer was put away when in reality s/he is still out there. I know forensic evidence can be expensive to test, and we can't protect idiots from themselves, but I propose that criminal laws be changed to state that all forensic evidence must be tested and presented to the Defendant and the Court whether inculpatory or exculpatory- because the job of the prosecutor is to pursue the truth, not get convictions. Naturally this wouldn't cover all cases, because in many cases there is no forensic evidence, but it would serve to make our system more objective which is always a good direction to go as far as I'm concerned.

Have a great labor day everyone,a nd I'll write again next week!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Thanks for the comments everyone, and I'm sorry it took me so long to post them. I was vacating... and yes, the rumors are true- getting married. I promise to write more often now.

Legal Conundrums...

I've decided to start a new section I will call "Legal Conundrums." These will be fact patterns I or other lawyers I know have had to deal with. I hope that you, gentle readers, will find them interesting. Listening to people's stories and pulling out the relevant legal material and applying it to the correct procedure, is the true essence of legal practice. I love the quote: "There is much here that is true and much that is relevant. Unfortunately, that which is relevant is not true and that which is true is not relevant.

So, fact pattern for the day:

Man and woman are married. Woman and woman's mother tell man that woman owns a piece of property, which is right next to momma's property. Man is a contractor, so he builds them a house on this piece of property. A nice big fancy home. He's a contractor so he doesn't have to borrow any money, and he's only got a 4th grade education, so he never even thinks about who owns the property. Besides, his wife told him she owned it, and they're married so its all good.

Only now, 5 years later, she wants to get a divorce.

And of course, she wants the house.

(Note: Alabama is an "Equitable division" state for marital property.)

It turns out that woman doesn't own the property. Her momma does.

Now, the question is, how do you bring Momma, a non-party, into this Divorce case?

Property (in this case the house) affixed to the land becomes part of the land, so he can't just go in and truck "his" house out of there. If he built it on momma's land, its Momma's house. (and that's a pretty settled bit of case law.)

So far I've come up with: Detrimental reliance, which would work fine to sue momma separately... but may fail because he did no review of the situation and doesn't help in the divorce case.

If woman did own the property but transferred back to momma after the house was built then that could be brought as a fraudulent transfer which would be a necessary ancillary proceeding...

You could do a request for admissions including something about the home and its necessary land being part of the marital estate subject to division by the court...A request for admissions is when one party sends a list of statements to the other party and unless you object to them within 30 days they are deemed admitted.. So surely her lawyer will nix that...

He could get her on tape saying she had done it just to defraud him, but that's criminal (Theft by deception) with a civil edge (suit to recover fraudulently acquired property?) I guess it would effect her culpability in the divorce, but still, the divorce Judge would have no ability (jurisdiction) to issue any order with regards to a non-party's property... And I don't think there is enough other property to make up for the house.

So, when the other lawyer told me that the couple was considering reconciliation, I said that was his best bet: get back together and get his name on the deed. : )

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Reality and You

I deal with a lot of people who just don't seem to get how the world works. These are some of the things I would like to say to them:

1. Life is not fair. Life is random, arbitrary and capricious. Just because someone else did what you did and did not get arrested is not a defense to your doing it.

2. TV does not reflect reality. I know on Law and Order a murderer got out on bail within 24 hours, and I know on the evening news you have heard about child molesters getting out on bail, and that your best friend's step daughter's Aunt's husband got out on bond after only 5 hours when he beat the shit out of her- but that does not mean that your beloved family member who is on probation for stealing steaks from the supermarket and a riding lawnmower from Wal-Mart and now he was arrested trying to break into a hotel room is going to get a BOND SET BECAUSE HE WAS ON PROBATION AND WHEN I SAID IF YOU GET ARRESTED AGAIN IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SERVE THIS SUSPENDED SENTENCE THAT'S WHAT I MEANT.

3. It is not entrapment when the police see you driving and follow you and arrest you for driving while suspended for the 18th time because they know your face and that you shouldn't be driving. That is called "good police work." Likewise, sitting across from the liquor store and checking to see if you put the booze into the trunk instead of the seat beside you and pulling you over as you leave the parking lot is NOT entrapment.

4. Likewise, it does not somehow get you off if the police followed you for 5 miles because they suspected you of drunk driving and didn't pull you over right away. I'm sorry this makes you paranoid and thus drive badly, but please, please don't make me present this as your defense to the Judge.

5. If you are sober blow in the stupid breathalizer. If one more person tells me they refused to blow in the breathalizer although they had consumed NO alcohol I am going to LAUGH IN THEIR FACE. The breathalizer is not a tool of the running dog lackeys of the white oppressive partiarchy. It is a machine. It has no political agenda. Sometimes, if you blew a .09 and they didn't calebrate the machine, I may can possibly cast enough doubt that a jury may let you off on appeal, but the Judge is going to convict you in the first go around.

6. People judge you based on your clothes. I know you know this because you had to have the FUBU pants draped around your ankles, the Nike kicks, some roman letters tattooed on your neck, and the Gucci sunglasses. You put those clothes on to look cool. Quit complaining that you are getting no respect when you dress like a freaking thug. You are a skinny white boy from the county- I triple dog dare you to go to LA and walk around dressed like that. Poser. And the same goes for you chickie- if you dress like a pole dancer, we're going to think you're a pole dancer. I know this is "wrong" ok, but I'm not talking about right and wrong, I'm talking about reality and if you want to be a one woman force for changing people's perceptions that people who deliberately display that much sexuality are probably whores, you're going to have some difficulties so don't get all snippy with me when I tell you that outfit in inappropriate for Court.

7. If the officer asks you if he can search your car and you say yes, then the search is legal.

8. Playground rules do not apply to real life. I am sorry s/he did that to you, but that in no way authorizes you to "get her back."

9. This is misdemeanor Court. The chances of you having had your constitutional rights violated are one in a million. The chances of me getting evidence suppressed based on constitutional arguments are another one in a million. If you want me to make that argument, you should probably hire a Court reporter, a private attorney and a shrink because you will have to appeal to the supreme court and it will take 5 years plus to get there.

*** For other attorneys: The current Child Support laws have been in place for 15 years now. I am sorry I do not understand your legal argument as to the unconstitutionality of the establishment of paternity and child support and why this violates your client's civil rights, but I do know this: you have to raise affirmative defenses in your answer so I can prepare to rebut them and don't get all huffy with me when you didn't even file an answer and as you begin to open your big mouth to show off for your client, I nip it in the bud because YOU ARE AN IDIOT. Do you really plan to appeal this all the way to the Supreme Court? Do you reaaaaaaly think you're gonna win? That the Judge is just going to say, "Hey, lawyer, you're right! The 10,000 paternity cases I have handled in the past 10 years are all moot because they were unconstitutional and I've just been waiting for someone to make this wonderful argument!"

Ok, here was his argument: 5th amendment says no taking of private property for public use without just compensation. If DHR collects child support and pays back the Aid for children paid on behalf of the State with it then they are "taking" private "property" for "public" use and not compensating the person whose money was taken. Dude, I hope you failed Con law because you understood NOTHING.

10. Not guilty by reason of insanity does not work the way it does on TV and it does not work for civil cases. "I'm not that child's father because I was insane when he was conceived" is not a defense. "I don't owe the money for the credit card because I was crazy when I took it out" is likewise not a defense." AND FINALLY, MY PARTICULAR FAVORITE, "I'm not guilty of lewd behavior in a public place because I must have been crazy to have been going down on that guy in a parking lot."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Times I'm glad I'm not a Judge....

The other day I filed a motion for Bond on behalf of my client. It took the police 3 months to realize she was already on probation when she was arrested again- so when they did they arrested her for probation violation even though she had already been to Court and had a trial date set and all of that. In the interrum, she had given birth to a baby. I submitted a good motion, pointed out that she had returned to work a mere 5 weeks after giving birth, that her previous plea agreement contained restitution which she had been paying and so forth... Judge Denied me.

That night, her mom, who was looking after her other children too, rolled over on the baby who was sleeping in bed with her.

It was a tragic accident. Judge had no way of knowing it would happen. But still.... what if.... it just made me glad I wasn't a Judge.

Of course, he had to be thinking about the bad things she might do if he let her out...

Friday, July 21, 2006

This week in the law....

Ok, its summer and everyone's posts have slowed down, so I'm just trying to make sure I do at least one each week. I am really busy, its hot and I have other things going on.

So, name of the week: Pie-trae. (With the hyphen)

Dumb client of the week: One who's in jail in County 1 for worthless checks and has worthless checks in counties 2 and 3-- except in trying to discover for her how much she owes each county I have only managed to learn she has even more in County 4. Her husband is calling me every two seconds and I'm sorry, but yeah, there's nothing I can do. If the person who's working that case in on vacation, they're on vacation.

There was a riot in the jail the other day a friend of mine "caused." Everyone has been giving her a hard time. : ) She's an appointed attorney like me and her client didn't like the bad news she gave him, so after she told him, he went back to his cell of 25 inmates and he got the whole cell rocking and rolling screaming her name-is-a-bitch. We even heard it in the Courtroom.

She was soooo funny. She went back there after they had her client in 4 point restraints and looked at him and said, "Dude, I am just the messenger. I do what I can but its not my decision. You should not be mad at me. But since you are, I will withdraw as your attorney. Good day."

I think I'm getting appointed. Oh Boy.

Its just a bad time to be in jail. Somehow, even with the ac working, people are just more whooped up in the summer.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Title Work can be fun....

A lot of lawyers I know don't like title work. Title work is what we call examining an abstract for a real estate closing, along with fixing said title when there are problems. In fact, people hate it so much, a lot of banks aren't even requiring it any more but self insuring- which protects them but not you, the consumer. I like title work, because its exacting and the rules are clear.

Whenever you buy a piece of property you get what is called an Abstract. An abstract is the history of a piece of property- from its first being released by the U.S. through each and every person who has owned the property down to you, the buyer.

When you examine an abstract, you end up reading people's wills (I leave the south 40 to Jane and john.) People's divorces (The South 40 is awarded to Jane because Joe is a jerk.) and other glimpses into people's lives.

In my town, there is a whole subdivision of 80 acres where every abstract contains a copy of a divorce from the 1800s. In that divorce, right before the woman was awarded the 80 acres, is a wonderful, wonderful line:

"Like a dog returning to his vomit, so he returned to the fair and delectable Vinnah."


Have a great day : )

Thursday, July 06, 2006

An Imaginary Conversation...

Sometimes, when I get something on my desk, I wonder just how it happened to arrive there... For example, yesterday I was working on two paternity establishments and realized that the children had the same father, were born 2 days apart, and are both already 6 years old.

Hmmm, I said to myself, there has to be a back story as to why these two women are establishing paternity all of the sudden six years after these kids were born.

So, this is the story I concoct in my head:

Lets say Jan and Peter start dating, but she doesn't know he's also dating Marsha. Jan gets pregnant and she and Peter decide to have the baby but "not get married right now." Marsha is sleeping with Peter but she's also dating Mike, and Mike has a much better job than Peter so when she gets pregnant, she tells Mike its his.

Years go by and Mike has broken up with Marsha as have Jan and Peter. Marsha and Jan take their kids to the same daycare and one day while they're picking up their kids, one of the staff comments how "those two are just like brothers, but they're the same age." This makes both moms look at the kids real hard- they really do look alike so Jan mentions that her baby looks just like his Daddy, that run around jerk named Peter. Marsha suddenly realizes that her child must be Peter's, and **** THEY ARE TWO DAYS APART**** So they start talking and decide they are going to "get" Peter- Screw around on us are you! (Even though we know that Marsha was already sleeping with someone else!) And "that low down irresponsible run-around." Even though for 6 years Marsha has lied to her child and ex about who his dad is and Jan won't let Peter see her child because she's mad at him.

Oh, and Peter already has another child and he works fixing cars for cash and lives with his Momma so, for the next 13 years I'm going to be trying to squeeze blood from a turnip when its really not about the kids-- its about these two women being pissed off, so everyone will be pissed at me all the time- the women will be pissed because I won't put him in jail often enough and the guy will be pissed because he will have to pay current plus back support for 24 months and I'm trying to lock him up if he doesn't pay.

It lands on my desk, however, as a Paternity Establishment, which doesn't even begin to touch all of the elements of the story....

Now, if you can figure out who is right, wrong- good and bad in that story- you shouldn't be a lawyer because you will drive yourself crazy, but if you can separate they players from The Law, you are well on your way to seeing the world through my eyes. Which is why I shrugged off the back story that I am sure I will learn when I get to Court and focused on the Facts and Law.

But the stories sure are interesting and shed light on the lives of people who are far, far more interesting than I.

BTW, my stories will continue to be slow for the next month or two.... its summer and I'm burned out : )

Monday, June 19, 2006

In the Courtroom....

So today a man came in and said he hadn't been served when the process server said he had been. So I called him up and he remembered the guy all right- said the guy first ran out the back door, then chased him around with a baseball bat and then threw the papers on the ground and jumped up and down on them.

The guy's lawyer is all holier-than-thou "you didn't serve my client! This writ must be recalled!" and the guy is sitting there claiming he never received nothin' and I get to fight back with "You Honor, my process server is on his way and his version is very different from this man's version and he will be testifying that he did serve the papers just as he swore in the affidavit."

And the guy looks up and says, "That crazy son-of-a-bitch is commin' here?" and I looked at his lawyer and back at him and said, "Yeah, the one who served papers on you." And guy says, "He was tresspassing! He didn't have permission to be on my property!" So of course, before process server can even get there dude changes his story to one of being harassed by the process server- and, this is where other lawyers frustrate me- instead of telling his client to deal with it- other lawyer is explaining to his client how to get a warrant for my process server's arrest for tresspassing! And I just want to smack the lawyer- he should be telling his client to sit down, shut up and do what he is supposed to do. When the lawyer asked me the process server's contact information I told him no way would I give it to him and I couldn't believe he wouldn't steer his client away from doing that. He just shrugged.

Oh well, he'll never get a conviction and guy's attention span is probably too short to maintain interest that long.

Second good thing for Monday? Got a call today from a man who I beat up pretty badly in a divorce two years ago- wants me to do his loan closing. So cool when they hire you after you did them in.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fun Court Stories....

Ok, so yesterday I defended 6 people in the morning and prosecuted 5 people in the afternoon. It can make you feel kind of bi-polar to do that, but it can also help you see the big picture.

My particular defendants were pretty routine, but then there was a fabulous case that wasn't even mine.

A woman and a man standing in front of the Judge. They are in their 50s or 60s and married. Country folk. The woman is pleading guilty to DV III. The Judge's asks her if she hit the man. She tells him she'd rather not say and he tells her she must tell him if she's going to plead guilty. So she says, "Yeah, he walked into my home with another woman and I sure as heck did punch him in the mouth."

Fair enough, I think, at least she directed her anger at the right person.

But then the judge asked if she loosened some of his teeth in the punch. I totally did not expect her reply, "That old fool. He got that gum disease think and his teeth is so loose he could flick them out with a tooth pick. Anyway, he done picked them up and put them back in. "


So then, I leave and go to afternoon Court where my "come to Jesus" talk with a guy I recently let out of jail made him cry. Hey, look, after rotting in jail for 6 months I've got this guy into a program that gives him free College training and by damn if he's not going to take it seriously, he can sit and rot in jail. I have a guy who is driving 45 minutes every day to pick him up and take him to and from the program- with gas prices being what they are! I pointed out that if he had availed himself of this program the last time I put him in jail three years ago (this writ was outstanding for over a year) then he would be done with the course, earing 20 bucks an hour and have a home, a car and a a sense of pride. I just hope he will step up to the plate.

So that brings me to 7 am Court this morning where I'm talking to one of the other defense attorneys and asking her if she ever made anyone cry when she was a prosecutor and she hadn't and I was kind of stunned- I mean she's way tougher than I am. So she says that one time she was standing in the hall and no one else was really around and she was negotiating with a Defendant and he got really really mad and took his false teeth out and threw them at her.

He took them out and THREW THEM AT HER.


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Phone Call

"Good Morning P. L. "

"Hey P.L. this is Joe!"

"Hi Joe, What's up?"

"Your secretary told me to call today about three."

"Joe, What time is it?"

"Ten. But I just wanted to call and say hi!"

"Ok, I don't know anything. Sorry, I'm busy gotta run."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Oh and a final thought...

Ok, I haven't cracked on people lately and I couldn't let this one pass by: Woman in Court today wearing a very much too small bra under her white, spaghetti strap tank top which gave her like 8 inches of front boob cleavage. Her much too small bra was still a three hook in the back (which is a bra built for a well endowed woman.) which I know for sure because her shirt covered no actual part of the bra. It might have looked sexy on stage just before mounting a pole. It did not look sexy in a Courtroom with side cleavage (Ask a woman) and a stomach that stuck out to about the same point the boobs did.

The prosecutor managed to look her in the eye.

After she left, I remarked to him: I guess she thought if she brought those bargaining chips with her you might go easier on her. His reply? Naw, she brought them to threaten to smother me if I didn't go her way.

Hehehe. We do try to have fun.

More fun reading....

If you aren't reading Anon. Lawyer you really should. He's the polar opposite of what I stand for- but very, very entertaining. Reminds me why I love my small town practice where I'm the big fish in the small pond- and makes me thankful I consider it a scheduling and discipline problem if I have to leave the office as late as 6: 30. Of course, he'd point out I'm not even on the food chain as far as he's concerned and his legal secretary probably makes more than I do.

Lets put it this way: No one ever thought as they were dying: I wish I'd spent more time at the office.

The latest in time wasting for Court...

This is my favorite new thing for wasting time in Court....

If you don't know how each row, column and 3x3 square contains the numbers 1-9 without repetition... There are finer points, but that's the gist. I think there are hints on the web site.

Have a great Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Phone

When I was a little girl, phones were still attached to the wall. They were usually black and had large dials and you would put your finger in the appropriate number hole, pull the dialer around to the end with your finger and then let go and it would roll back to the start position with a very satisfying tik, tik, tik and then you would dial another number... Until all of them were dialed...

....I still just didn't get into the phone. Sure, there was an occasional bout with a little boy I met at youth group or something where we would talk on the phone to the extent that Mommy Dearest would tell me that 3 hours really was long enough.... but for the most part, they would encourage me to talk on the phone, because I just didn't do it.

I have never liked phones. I was thrilled when cell phones got small and affordable, because I could cancel my home phone and move on to only having a cell. I liked that- convenient. I also felt kind of sick every time I came home and looked at the phone with its blinking light...Something to take care of.... Blink blink...Attention... Blink blink.

So now I have my cell phone. And I really don't talk on the phone much.

So yesterday MadDog and I drove to major city near us to get some records for a case and I was on the phone the entire freaking way talking to clients and solving problems and I turned to MadDog and said, "You know how I loose my cool when you call me on the weekends?" and naturally he did know when I lost my cool as its not really something one forgets, since it doesn't tend to happen so often, "This is why. These people suck all my energy and and I have none left when you call. I am sorry I get unhappy with you."

And then I remembered a few weeks ago when he called in the middle of a CLE and I texted him back to tell him I was in a meeting and asked if it was important and he-- oh yes, he CALLED BACK TO TELL ME IT WASN'T IMPORTANT which I learned after I SCRAMBLED OUT OF THE ROOM IN A PANICS BECAUSE DEAR LORD, WHY WOULD HE CALL BACK IF IT WASN'T IMPORTANT AND MADDOG REALLY KNOWS WHAT'S IMPORTANT AND WHAT'S NOT AND ****** yeah, it wasn't important. (Ok, so I did slam him about calling back when it wasn't important and then he made me feel bad because the texting just confused him and he didn't mean to upset me.) And then we had a conversation about texting and how nice it can be.

And then I remembered the "vacation" I had recently when he called six times a day.

and after telling them about this until I am blue in the face, and trying to teach them not to call me before noon, I realized I just have to dig deeper in the patience well and not loose my cool with him just because he called to tell me that they have so-and-so at Mike's House of Mostly Useless Merchandise at 9:30 AM on Saturday morning because its not him I'm pissed at, its the fifteen million other people who called last week to ask me when the Judge would grant their motion when I only submitted it two days ago, or call to tell me that got a new job when I GAVE them a sheet not even a week ago telling them they had to write and letter to the Court and tell them they got a job because I AM NOT A JUDGE.

Yeah, so that's my relationship with phones. I don't like phones and I'm not answering mine right now. So nanny nanny boo-booo.

Friday, May 19, 2006

And then, even the smart ones do something dumb.

You know, I don't really bitch except in my blogs. I think that's why writing has slowed down a bit lately- because how often is it interesting to hear what an idiot my client was today? (By the way, I said this to a friend of mine and she told me it was always interesting and each client's fresh idiocy made her laugh, so I will keep telling you about the idiots.... Just not today.)

So today I'm going to tell you some nice things about my clients.

My very favorite all time client, and the very amazing, very cool gift he sent me.

He worked at a fireworks factory and I helped him fix some stuff his mortgage company had screwed up. He was sooo happy about it he sent me 4 GIANT boxes of every firework imaginable. No, really, every firework imaginable. Like, you walked into a fireworks stand when you were a kid and said, "Daddy, Daddy Daddy I want I want I want..." And he actually got it for you- which I can assure you MadDog never did, which is perfectly Ok with me now as an adult, because I know and understand what it would take work wise to purchase a grand of fireworks and why things like, ohhhh, clothes are more important. But man oh man was that a fun three days shooting those things off. I had the ultra-super-mega version of everything new and hip and I felt like Coolie McCool.

And then there are those who send me thank you letters. And pictures of their children. And jam. And candles. I really appreciate those because most of the time, instead, I hear from the ones who hate me. I have, in fact, a folder of thank you letters and some days when I'm really down about whether or not I make a difference I pull them out and read them. And I know, I do , in fact, make the world a better place and that, that makes being at work Friday afternoon at 5:15 PM all ok.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Human Nature

First, Sorry-- I've been busy. Sometimes it just ends up that way.

Second, a bird has chosen my mailbox in which to build her home.

She worked very hard to make it a nice nest with soft moss and bits of fluffy stuff. I believe it is a Mocking Bird.

I thought she had abandoned it after several weeks of mail being placed in it occasionally. But no, she didn't. One morning I pulled the mail out and glanced down and there was an egg!

So, naturally I put a note on the box asking the mail person to place the mail under the box, and he has.

Here's the thing-- everyone who comes in now reads the note- which makes them want to see the egg--- so they stick their head over the edge of the box to peer in. 'cause we gotta see the bird nesting and her egg, don't we? We are human, I suppose.

Ok, lets think this through people- What is going to happen when your big old human eye comes over the horizon into her safe little nesting area? Hmmm?

Yep- that bird is going to fly straight at you. And scream at you. And then dance on your head and scream some more. And then fly to the tree and scream at you some more.

MadDog was laughing at himself this morning- he said, "I really want to see how its going, but I know she'll fly out and scream at me so I have to force myself not to look."

I did get a picture of the nest, and I'll try to post it. See, I have been thinking of you my wonderful readers, I just have been working working working. Good stuff thought, and I have some posts rolling around up in my brain- I just want to let them marinate for a while before I offer them.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Law and the common client.

Sometimes clients have funny notions about the law.

Like, your license can't be suspended if you don't have one. In fact, its your RIGHT to have one issued that is suspended and yes, that can happen whether or not you you actually went down to the DMV and passed the test.

And then, there is the defendant I overheard today: "Well, I'll plead to the harassment, but I know that accident wasn't my fault because SHE hit MY car." The prosecutor asks, "Well, how did she hit your car?" Defendant: "Well, I parked my car in front of hers and jumped outta the car and ran to her open window, then I grabbed her hair and smashed her face down on the steering wheel, and when I done that she let her foot off the break and hit my car."

I just about fell on the floor laughing. The prosecutor looked at her and said "You can't be serious thinking that's not your fault then."

But she was, so there's going to be a trial.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Lesson to young lawyers

Ok, so if you're a regular reader, you know how I feel about shunning. I think shunning should be used more.

So, there's this young lawyer who kind of annoys people. She constantly looks like she's unhappy. Or has a pole up her butt or something.

But that's no reason to shun her- the reason to shun her is that ummm, she sucks as a lawyer. Look, when you graduate from law school and pass the bar you are a legal idiot. You are dangerous to your profession. If you realize this, and ask people for suggestions, watch carefully and keep your mouth shut you will eventually learn what they didn't teach you in school. She did not do this. She constantly tries to address things without opposing council there- one time I saw her in front of the Judge and figured she must have something in addition to what she had with me- but no, when the Judge called me over I realized that she had just marched up there without even speaking to me. Her bad- if she had spoken with me I could have told her her issue belonged in probate court, that judge had no jurisdiction and that she couldn't move forward with it anyway since she hadn't served anyone with her stupid motion. I only knew about it because I happened to have a prior pleading set for hearing in the case and saw her name listed as the Defendant's attorney. (Which she hadn't answered by the way. And she didn't answer my interrogatories. Oh, and when she pulled that crap- the judge told her to go sit down and to let me know when she and her client had answered the interrogatories and then to try to work it out with me and when I said so we could come back up. )

And then there's the fact that she doesn't listen when other lawyers try to gently suggest to her how you do things. Yeah, you don't go ask the judge how he's going to rule on a particular matter. Okey- doke? Hey, a call to opposing council the day before can often resolve matters. Not every case should be fought to the death. You know, little practice pointers.

Well, I saw her today at the bar meeting and NO ONE spoke with her. My intern asked me what that girl's problem was and why no one would talk to her. Suddenly, I felt really bad for her. It must be soooo hard to walk into a Courtroom and know no one wants to speak to you. To stand there and know we all dislike you. That we sneer at your abilities.

So, lesson to young lawyers- walk softly and carry a big stick. Do your work, be over prepared and then be humble. Oh, and whenever anyone says, "The clear weight of the law is ____." they're lying. Ask for a cite.

Winning, loosing, and keeping up.

I've been super busy- so I'm sorry the posts have slowed down.

Last week I lost a case I should have won- Cop's own testimony was that my client was traveling at 50 MPH in a 50 and pulled over within 1/2 mile of his activating his blue lights, did not speed up nor turn from the main road and APPARENTLY this is still evading. So, remember, in Alabama you had better pull over damn quick or turn on your hazards until you can pull over.

I was pissed. My client will appeal. I figured he would loose the DUI because, well, you always loose that at the City level unless they screwed up big time and in that case, you can probably resolve it without a trial, but I really thought I had the evading.

Hmm, then I had Court, and more Court and covered for a friend who had a jury trial, and then did some more Court. Then, I had to do a bunch of orders and that training I did the little blog from, and hold people's hands and blah blah blah.

In other words, nothing particularly exciting. I leave you with a good quote:

"There is much here that is true and much that is relevant. Unfortunately, that which is relevant is not true and that which is true is not relevant." Winston Churchill

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

blogging in a CLE

Hehehehe. I'm sitting here getting trained in the new electronic filing procedure and since I have used the Federal e filing for a while now, I can goof off and add an entry.

But you know, I'm actually going to go pay attention.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Scatalogical Humor

My darling dear came home last night and reported the following conversation with one of the guys at work:

Dude: I have to take a dump but I don't want to go here.

Darling: Why not? Nothing ever stopped you before. (Its an all male work place the full of fart flinging, finger pulling, and all that fun stuff. )

Dude: Man, somebody bought that John Wayne toilet paper.

Darling: John Wayne toilet paper? What the hell is that?

Dude: You know, John Wayne toilet paper- the kind that won't take shit off anybody.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

MadDog Changed the World!!!!

Ok, in Alabama they have a law that says that when a person is arrested on a drug charge and they get a lot of cash, cars ect... the law enforcement agency that did the raid gets to keep the cash/cars/Etc....

Several times in the last few years, we've had a deadbeat father who was arrested on drugs with large amounts of cash in the home. Now, I always have the talk with the ones I think are dealing and tell them that I don't care where the money came from just PAY YOUR CHILD SUPPORT. But no, they seldom do.

So its doubly depressing to us because not only do we know we'll never see a dime from this guy again, or at least for a long time. We also know that there is money we could have seized at some point.

So, we're sitting in Court and MadDog realizes that one of our State Representatives in sitting right there because she wants to understand the Court system better. He goes over to her and says, "May I lobby you?"

She laughs and he explains the issue and asks how to get the law changed.

She does it! She's on the right committee and goes down and gets the change made, and gets it out of committee and into the house and and it passes 96 to 0 and its now its in the Senate.

Wow. Its like, how the political process is supposed to work. I'm just beside myself.

Oh, and what's really sad is that each time this has happened we've called the law enforcement agency and asked for the money and offered them letters to the newspaper and articles in the paper about how wonderful they are if they'll let us have enought to pay off the arrears- and answer is always: not no, but hell no. Ha! That's what you get for being intractible.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The only stupid question....

Remember growing up sometimes people would say, "The only stupid question is the unasked one?"

Well, it used to bother me then- I mean, I could usually sit and amuse myself for however long the person was blathering away thinking of examples of stupid questions, pondering the meaning of "stupid" (Does it include off topic though insightful questions? What about questions out of ignorance?) or just day dreaming about something else- but I just thought it was a pretty (yep) stupid thing to say.

Well, after six long years as an attorney I am here to tell you that, yes, there are a lot of stupid questions and that sometimes, you should refrain from asking.

Today at arraignment, a defendant and her family asked me if they had to be there since they had posted a cash bond. This is after a 15 minute speech by the Judge about what an arraignment is, what their bond means and so forth....

It was such a stupid question that I kept figuring I had missed something. I asked a follow up question or so to figure out if I was missing something. No, it was in fact that dumb of a question.

I'm afraid I probably conveyed how dumb a question this was when I told them that, Yes, they had to be here. My eyebrow was raised and I could hear the "dude I don't know what the fuck you think is going on here but your 18 year old daughter/girlfriend/ whatever she is to you was arrested for lewd behavior which is a charge I have never seen before and apparently you have someplace to be but she needs to stay here and talk to the prosecutor and quit playing with her tongue ring and clicking it at me or I am going to reach out and yank it from her mouth" in my voice.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Court Fashion Part IV

The "Victim" in my case wore a shirt to Court that said, "Ladies don't start fights, but they do finish them off right." The picture was of a young woman throwing a wicked right hook.

Let that marinate for a few minutes.

I am, naturally, going home to make one of these shirts for myself.

The thing is, as a lawyer, how do you weigh something intangible like that when determining whether or not to fight the case? I didn't give it much weight, but it got some.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Good Days....

One good thing about 7 Am Court is that some days, I can feel like I have done something good for the world by 7:30.

Today is one of those days.

Had a client accused of giving a false name to police. She gave her Aunt's address, where she was living, rather than her mother's address where she used to live. She explained to the officer when he questioned her why she was living at her aunt's. But nooooo, he had to write her a damn citation. This is a class A misdemeanor, the highest we have. We're talking 6 months in jail, 1,000 fine and a record that includes a crime that could be considered a crime of "moral turpitude" and thus limit her ability to get a lot of jobs....

But I got it thrown out after showing the prosecutor lots of mail and explaining the situation to him. Now, if the rest of the day will go like this I'll be a very happy camper : )

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Names of the week....

The names of the week are:

Venscredous- No, really, that's her name.

Phedesta... again, yes, really, that's her name.

Finally, in a move that makes me understand why Europeans generally have laws that limit a parent's right to name their child when said name is toooo wierd, we have:


I couldn't make it up if I tried.

To wrap it up, a reflection. As a defense lawyer, I work hard to get my clients out on bail. Sometimes, however, I wish I hadn't succeeded. I got a client out I KNEW had a drug problem and now he's caught his 4th Felony...which means his kids will grow up without him. Which kind of makes me feel like, man, what if I hadn't gotten him out... then he'd be fine. Sitting in jail, but fine- because all I had him for were some piddley little misdemeanors. Now, he's held up a paper delivery person at gun point. 'cause, you know, that's a good way to make a living.

Monday, March 20, 2006

New books, good food....

(Spell check isn't working , so please excuse....)

Ok, right now I'm reading Wittgenstein's Poker by Edmonds and Edinow. This is the story of Karl Popper meeting Ludwig Wittgenstein- for ten minutes before it fell appart, because, according to Popper, Wittgenstein threatened him with a fireplace poker.

I mean, to me, one need say nothing more. I am so interested even before you give me further reason to read it --- since I wrote my thesis on Wittgenstein and language-- I am all over this book.
But why should you read it? Ok, first of all, the authors do a really good job of defining the central philosophical tenants held by these two men, who were after all, two of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. They grew up mere miles from each other and both faced serious issues with the holocaust due to their Jewish heritage. Each person embodied a twist in Philosophy- the Postmodern bent of Wittgenstein who believed that there are merely philosophical puzzels to be solved through logic and language construction and the Modern road of Popper who believed that there are Philosophical Problems and that through applying ourselves we can solve them and arrive at The Truth.

But, this knowlege isn't the fun part of the book. The fun part of the book is that some of the most intelligent (Bertrand Russell, for example), and articulate students and faculty of Oxford and Cambridge are there- and not one of them can agree on what exactly happened-- Which I absolutely love.

I mean, here are learned scholars who cannot agree on even a simple fact like- Did Wittgenstein even pick up the poker which which he supposedly threatened Popper? And yet, I know I have gone to these men seeking insight into the world of philosophy, and comprehension of the Greater Questions. It just kind of puts life into perspective to me.

Its a lot of fun, really well written and easy to read.

Now, something to feed your brain after feeding your mind.

Cucumber-Tomato Salad: Dice a cucumber and two small or one big tomatos. Add fresh cilantro, rosemary, cracked pepper, a little salt and a handful of chopped parsley. Marinate in Balsamlsic Vinegar (an ounces or two.) with maybe a tablespoon of Olive Oil.

Outstanding when ingredients are fresh, but my fresh herbs will work great even with store bought tomatoes. I often serve this on a bed of fresh lettuce with some sliced chicken-- or on a wrap with chicken. Its easy and simple and says Spring to me.

This weekend the new additions to the Spring Herb garden went in (more lettuce, parsley- flat and curly, cilantro, sage, savory, thyme, two oreganos, and dill.) I also got new rosemary, checked on the texas tarragon, multiple mints, lavendar, asparagus, horseraddish and chives. Next week I'll do planting 3 of the lettuce and the week after, add the tomatoes, cucumbers and carrotts. I got my plants from my favorite garden place which specializes in antique varieties- I got yellow pear tomatoes, Mr. Stripey and another orange cherry tomato.

I love my tiny garden. I have only a space about 8 ' by 20' of full sun at my house- so I do intensive raised beds and small plantings-- I have 24 lettuce plants currently and room for twelve more. I have focused on a salad and cooking garden. I think my key is double turning the soil and the amazing mulch/compost I make and add each year (Leaves and kitchen scraps).

Happy Vernal Equinox to All, and I hope you're enjoying Spring.


There were lots of things I wanted to blog about last week, but I was soo busy actually being a lawyer, I didn't have time to stop and tell you about them.

I have to remember to be more patient with the people I am prosecuting. I was ooohhh so busy I actually bothered myself with my prosecutorial attitude. But heck, what do you expect when someone deals with 35 cases in just under 8 hours. This is less than 15 minutes per case. By 3 PM I am exhausted and not in the mood for your whining when I have previously continued a case 3 times and I have proven you a liar.

So please remember this Felon whom I ticked off: If the W2 has your name on it- its your income. But... No. I don't care that you shared the "job" with your momma and your sisters. Its your W2 and therefore its your income. Secondly, I am sorry you're tired of going out of town for your job. You shouldn't have worked so hard last year and made all that money and bought that big old new SUV because your baby momma sees you driving around in that shit and is all up in my face complaining that you're not paying enough and she's right because you actually made more money than I did last year and you're paying less than $5.00 per day to raise that child and that is soooooo not fair. And really, I didn't raise it that much and I was nice and actually took your last two years as an average which I totally didn't have to do. And I am really sorry you can't read, but that's why I found you a program and the program manager sat you down and read all this to you- but that has absolutely NOTHING to do with your child support.

But I give you props, because, dude, you're a felon who can't read and you made a killing last year in a legitimate manner and I am very, very impressed.

And then there was the guy whose story is to remind us all of the fun I can sometimes have....

He is lying there in his wheelchair all curled into the fetal position. His wife stands and tells the Judge how he can't walk and can't talk. She makes him sound so pitiful and me like an awful ogre for bringing this dying man back to Court....So, in the middle of her speech, he turns to me and sticks out his tongue and says, "That's right, woman, I ain't gotta talk to you. Haw." I thought the Judge was going to fall over laughing. The phrase "tad bit recalcitrant" featured in his committing the guy to jail speech.

Yeah, he can mull that over while he sits in jail since not only was that NOT HIS WHEELCHAIR. he sat in the one place in the Courthouse where I have full video access to him and proceeded to get up and do the "haha dance" in the hall when he first arrived. Oh, and telling the security guards to Fuck off, when you were on your way outside to remove the oxygen tube and have a cigarette, was a very, very bad idea. But I'm sure you've realized that after the past 4 days in jail.

You know, after the 150th time I write about these idiots, it is just...sad and I actually got upset at myself for letting this dude get me worked up. So. I'm going to move on and tell you some good new dishes and books I have : )

Oh, but then there's one more I would have liked to have said this to: You are not competent in the law, no matter how much you read when you were in prison- because if you were competent you would not tell me (BTW: that's Miss "Public Defender Lady" to you bub.) that you can't tell me about what happened with that Domestic Violence III charge because you're not making any admisibilities (wrong word) against your interests. Because I'm your lawyer dude- and I can't help you if you not only won't admit you know her, but won't tell me what happened from your point of view. (This is what he said, "I need to see the indictment (This is the wrong way to use this word BTW, but I 'm leaving it for illustrative purposes.) on this young lady and my alleged connection to her. You know, my defense is going to be that she's not my girlfriend, I mean, I don't even know this girl, and thus there could not have been domestic violence." ) He didn't like it when I pointed out that the alternative to DV III is Assault II which has a higher (worse) classification in the misdemeanor scale and that it could actually go up to Assault I which is a Felony, and that DVIII could be made upon the victim's allegation, that Indictment was the wrong word (Indictments only apply to felonies and don't have a lot of information. What he wanted was the complaint), and that there was no way I was using that as his defense.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Good Grammar..

Ok, so I am sure I have made grammar and spelling (Definitely!) mistakes in my posts. However, when I'm sending out pleadings in my practice I do my upmost to insure no major mistakes.

Recently, I filed a new worker's comp case. A big fancy law firm out of a major town near me filed a response on behalf of the employer.

Included in the response was a small piece of paper that said:


No period, horrid word combinations, and putting interrogatories and request for production in quotes? Phhh. However, as MadDog said, if I write the partner and tell him he'll probably take it as an affront to his manhood so I'll just make fun of him behind his back. : )

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Ok, another post inspired by Blonde Justice - she has one where she's tried to craft the right speech to give to her clients to keep them on the right track between arraignment and trial.

I know where she's coming from- and if she does come up with one that works- I am going to beg her for it so I can use it too.

I send out interrogatories (Questions) with every child support case I file. At the top of the interrogatories in 20 point, all caps, bold letters is typed:


I was giving my quarterly seminar on navigating child support to the community program for fathers and one of the coordinators asked me what percentage of cases the fathers actually filled out the questions and sent them to me.

I told him- I have had 15 responses in 4 years. Approximately 500 cases and 15 responses.

He just about fell out of his chair. "I figured you'd tell me 20-30%," he said, "but that's awful."

Yeah, I said, "I am constantly amazed at the number of people who are served Court papers and DO NOT EVEN READ THEM."

No kidding- don't even read them. And they'll tell you they didn't read them. Oddly, of the 15- 4 were from people who couldn't read and had other people do it for them- I guess when you can't read you're always worried you're missing something.

Bad dates with future lawyers....

First, I'd like to say that if you haven't read Blonde Justice yet, you really should... She's great : )

Some other bloggers (links appear on Blonde's blog) and she have started a couple of entries about bad dates. I found them really really amusing so, first, check out her Fetal Pig Date story: and her current bad date story.

Then, as part of my relaxation from a morning spent in Court (3 wins, 1 loss: which when I'm defending is freaking spectacular! I think that's my record.) I will tell you my single worst date ever story- which really isn't so bad all things considered. I guess I should say my single worst non-date story ever. Worse than the guy who ate a quarter of mushrooms and freaked out on our date. Worse than the guy who decided he liked the double date's girl better and we both looked over in the movie theatre and they were making out. Worse than my prom date who uttered the words: "I'm sorry you have a headache, come over here and let big daddy jim kiss your headache away." (Ewwww.)

I was in college, a sophomore I believe, and I had a second date with a guy friend's roommate. This guy was from Atlanta so I was excited to be going out with a Southerner as there weren't many of us at my college. We had a nice time on our first date and he called me the next day and asked me out again.

So the designated night comes for the date- a Wednesday I think. He had a late class from 5-7 so he would call me when he got out and we'd go have some drinks and pay some pool. Nice casual time. Now, the roommate had been in a horrible accident in Key West just before this and was in a wheel chair with two broken legs. (This does factor into the story.)

7:30 comes around and I'm ready and waiting in my room.

8:00 and I'm miffed, and waiting in my room. I have finished all my homework.

8:30 and I'm reading a novel and smoking out the window, irritated. But I'm not going to call him.

9:00 the phone rings. Its not my date. Its his roommate. His roommate says, (I just realized I can't for the life of me remember my date's name so we'll call him Danvers.) "Danvers is in the back of a cop car. He needs someone to go get him, would you please? I think you need to know where he was. Plus, I can't drive and there is no one else around."

Hmmm, I figure something weird is going on and roommate has my back- he doesn't want to tell me, but he thinks I need to know... So I say, "Ehh, I'm not exactly doing anything, I'll go get him."

So I drive to where he tells me they are. Sure enough, Danvers is sitting in the back of a police car. As I pull up to the police car I realize there is someone else in the back of the car with him- and he's kissing her. They don't notice my headlights on the car and don't even pause as I park and get out. I walk up to the officers standing at the front of the car and tell them I'm here to collect Danvers. The officer takes his stick and raps on the window, "Hey you two, his ride is here." The finally break apart. He has lipstick all over his face.

Danvers sticks his head out the window and slurs something at me about "hey, we had a date tonight." He is trish trashed drunk. Luckily, his other date was driving so they're letting him come home.

He gets in my car and we drive to his apartment. I am pretty peeved- not that I care if he goes out with someone else- but dude, you called ME up and asked ME OUT- At least cancel if you change your mind. I look at him and tell him if he didn't want to go out he could have just called. He says that the class went out for drinks and it just sort of happened. And !!!! And then- he starts trying to flirt with me. He wants to go out and drink some more and hang out. "Come'on" he's pushing, "lets go and have some drinks!" Its pretty easy to say no to a guy with another woman's lipstick on his face.

It was one of those unfortunate situations where the other person is drunk and you're sober and you just aren't going to be able to communicate- plus, I'm irritated because he blew me off. Naturally I'm ignoring his pleas and driving steadily to his home which is about 20 minutes farther on. He starts getting mad. He doesn't want to go home. He begins pitching quite a fit and I just keep ignoring him. I finally pull into the apartment complex and I see Roommate out on the walkway in his chair. "Thanks" I yell up to him, "I did need to know this." I smile at him. Danvers meanwhile, is trying to get out of the car and is still pissed about coming home so early- he wants to go drinking. "Bitch" he slurrs, "I can't believe you won't go fucking out for a drink." He then tries to get out with his seatbelt on and practically strangles himself. I break down laughing my ass off. Never went out with him again, but the roommate and I continued to be friends the rest of college- and we're both attorneys now. I have no idea what Danvers is up to.