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.