Friday, June 30, 2006

Judge Slap

If you're ever looking for prosecutorial misconduct cases you might find this little gem:
The total failure to constrain this prosecutor, combined with the obvious annoyance displayed by the court that defense counsel was “interrupting the flow” of the State’s argument, suggests that the trial judge may have forgotten, at least momentarily, where she was sitting and what she was wearing.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Public Defenders and Criminal Defense Attorneys

There are a couple of attorneys in the office that just don't fit. It's not that they're bad attorneys, they just seem out of place Janet independently mentioned that there are public defenders and there are criminal defense attorneys who happen to work in a public defender office. She hit the nail on the head. That was the difference; they just don't give off that PD 'vibe.'
But what is the "PD vibe?"
I think it's giving a damn. Criminal defense attorneys that become PD's do so for the steady salary and a guaranteed case referral service. This is particularly important for those whose bedside manner is so bad they can't attract their own clients. Note that I said case referral, not client referral, because the PD vibe involves seeing clients as humans and as individuals. For a criminal defense attorney, a divorce is the same as a criminal case is the same as a zoning variance. It's a file to get finished and be done with; just another widget on the assembly line.
Caveat; I'm overgeneralizing all over, particularly with regard to the criminal defense attorneys who do care. They've got the vibe, too. So maybe it's not a PD vibe, but a decency vibe. It's both a humanist vibe (focusing on the worthiness and dignity of the individual) and a Christian (Matthew 25:40) vibe.


Soul for Sale

I was recently being candidate Jack and was asked, "Where is your practice?" and I told him, and he asked, "What kind of law?" I told him I was a public defender. And his shields went up. You could tell it in his expression, and he quickly turned away and walked off.
So, now I need to add something like, "I'm a public defender, which balances my time as a prosecutor in the Marine Corps."
Janet has suggested that I might also need to say I do criminal law rather than being a PD. Ugh. The idea that its necessary to take the sting out of representing accuseds and the Constitution by postfacing my answer with my prosecution time is bad enough, but I'm proud to be a public defender - I don't know if I'm willing to compromise that far.
Do prosecutors running for office ever feel compelled to give short shrift or excuse their time as prosecutors? I think not.


Friday, June 16, 2006

Ballroom mania

This week I started ballroom dancing. I have found my new crack. I've had two lessons and have learned the basics to the foxtrot, rumba, waltz, and swing. Last night I started learning the tango. It is so nice to go and dance and not have to think about dna, police, jail, or anything dealing with criminal law or politics.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Jack goes to Washington

Jack has thrown his hat into the political arena. Surprised... Yes, think he would do a good job, absolutely. Jack and I live in two different areas of the state even though we converge into the same office Monday through Friday. My commute is 7 minutes if I hit the light and his is god awful long. So I can't even vote for him. I am also working on a campaign althought from the backroom. Being a public defender thus a government employee have to be careful. I have absolutely no respect for the individual my candidate is running against. I have two hours left and time is going backwards today. Atleast there is baseball tonight. I'm going to go out and support the local boys. have a good weekend

Friday, June 02, 2006

back with a tan

I'm back and granted I would rather be drinking bahama mamas on the ship still. It was a wonderful time. As soon as Jack gets out of court I'll have him put some pics on the web. Luckily after three days of straight court i'm finally back in the office where I can actually get some work done.