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.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Suspect descriptions

When one swears out a warrant against someone, one must enter a description of the suspect. In earlier blogs, I have pointed out funny things like a victim listing the client's occupation as "my drug dealer. "

Today I noticed a very interesting one: apparently my 5'1" client weighs 485 pounds and has "nappy fried" hair. Hmmm, I think the complainant is a little miffed at my client- because my client supposedly chased her down the street and jumped a fence to get at her.

Please, picture that.

I think "Nappy fried" could be my favorite phrase of 2006.

Build it and they will come...

I read an article today about a town that the founder of Dominoes wants to build. It will be a Catholic haven. No smut on TV or in the stores, no birth control and so forth. The article said that a lot of people were threatening to sue over this. I find it unfortunate that people can't just let others go off and do their own thing without getting huffy about it and threatening to sue. (I think I have a blog about shunning as my favored method of social control.)

People, if you want to live in a smut filled, condom filled town (Which I, for one, do.) then you should be happy these idiots are off living far, far away from you, happily sequestered in their own little area. Let them have their "town." Why does it bother you that they are off, where you don't have to see them, doing (or rather in this case, not doing) their thing?

The State controls certain social issues where they meet civic issues- in Florida it said, for example, pharmacies do not have to carry contraceptives. Thus, if I owned 20 acres I could offer to sell it to you with the restriction that you may not use the property to sell birth control. Just like communities set up protective covenants that cover what color you can paint your front door, or what kind of play equipment your kids can have in your back yard, to how long your garage can be raised-- individuals and communities can limit the uses to which their land may be put when it is sold.

In some states one does have to carry contraceptives in a pharmacy, in which case the restrictive covenant would be void as not being compliant with state law. Likewise, many States have laws on the books outlawing abortions, criminalizing the performance of abortions and so forth- but said laws are unenforceable.

I once went to Sun City in Arizona- and I am here to tell you that one can create a community where people really do walk up and down the street and tell you that you can't have a car parked there, or you do have to lower your garage- and you can be fined by the homeowner's association or removed from the community- but these provisions are very different than having a municipal government with rights to criminally enforce certain "Catholic" laws.

Look, we have Constitutional rights, and State laws passed to protect our individual rights- but the right to be free from insult is not and is never going to be among them. Where it does get a bit complicated is where a government would enforce "Catholic" laws- but a lot of people would argue, and its a pretty strong argument at that, that almost all of our laws are Christian in origin. It would not be that difficult to write laws that would be perfectly in line with the commitment to Catholicism and yet not a violation of one's Federal and State civil rights.

In other words, just because it says in the bible that if you hurt someone and they survive a year and a day, its not murder, and your state tracks the same language, does not make this an invalid law.

Ok, lets say this community has decided that no restaurant in the community shall serve meat on Fridays. Written into each purchase agreement was a covenant that the resturanteur would not sell meat on Fridays. The penalty for selling meat on Friday's would be...hmmm.... a penalty of $1,000.00 for your first offence, than forfeiture of your property and any equity you had in it. Ok, that's a contract, and aside form certain provisions void for improper subject (you can't enforce a contract in which you bought a human being, for example.) assuming its written well, you can enforce this.

On the other hand, lets say the Catholics form a government and they pass a law making it a crime to eat meat on Fridays. A misdemeanors, just as they are allowed to create and authorize. The difference lies in the difference between a valid contract in which you agree to do or not do something and a criminal law enforced by a government. There are U.S. Supreme Court standards and Federal standards for a valid law as there are State standards- and those standards must be met- I think its "rational relationship" to the health or safety of the people- but I'm no constitutional lawyer.

I'm a live and let live kind of person- and to me that means I have to respect other's rights even when I think they're using them poorly. I am all for people being allowed to create communities that would infringe upon their constitutional rights- as long as one could always avoid any non-constitutionally acceptable punishment by citing your one time only "permanent ban" in exchange for said punishment. Thus: you're about to be nailed for eating steak on Friday instead of fish so instead of taking the three hours in the stocks you accept excommunication from the community and agree to put your property for sale immediately.

But I probably won't come visit you.