Monday, July 27, 2009
A LAWYER RESPONDS
Update: for the umpteenth time: Something smells in Broward and their blog has it. A police officer crashes his car into a civilian. The next thing you know the police are cooking up a DUI arrest for the victim. However, there's a video....with audio. Yup- the police caught lying in Broward (We know- by now it's as surprising as a 'Dog bites Man" headline.) Check out the Broward Blog here.
Not sure if the Broward SAO has enhanced penalties for DUI suspects who catch police officers lying, but we're sure they're not happy about it (the officers being caught, not the actual lie.)
Our Presidential Trivia Game continues below.
Hot on the heels of our putative and punctilious Judge, a lawyer responds:
May it please the court:
I shall endeavor to respond point for point to your list of complaints:
1) No contest. You are 100% correct. I shall pledge to smack in the head any lawyer I see raise two fingers on both hands to indicate parenthesis. I find it as extremely annoying as you do.
2) Case Law: How about reading it? You admit you don't. We went to the trouble of finding it and copying it for you and the State to help you make a wise and intelligent ruling. How about spending less time in chambers flirting with your JA or the Bailiff or the new PD/UM intern or whomever, and reading what we gave you? If I know you have read the case law, I won't make a gratuitous remark about you reading it.
3) "This is the case where...". Again, I agree it's slightly annoying. However, this usually signifies that the lawyer has discussed the case before you in the past. Is it too much to expect that you can devote some attention and recall some of the facts of a case we spent twenty minutes on three weeks ago?
4) Jokes. Laugh clown laugh. Jokes put people at ease. If the Judge laughs or even smiles the client sees that his/her lawyer got a nice reaction out of the judge. Sure some of what we do is show. But remember our client is our customer. We depend on our customers for referrals (if we're honest and not sleeping with bondsmen). Give us a break and crack a smile. I promise the routine won't go more than a minute.
5) Texting. Here's the deal. I will stop texting if you stop using the computer you have on the bench to send an email to the Judge down the hallway confirming that you're going to Casolas for lunch while I'm arguing to get my client out of custody. Deal?
6) Facebook. You're not my friend and I don't want to be your friend. Remember that when you're up for re-election, because I'm only giving my hard earned money to my friends. Ok?
7) Other cases. I won't announce that I may be unavailable if you'll stop thinking you have the most important case in the history of law. True story: I saw a county court judge a few weeks ago tell a lawyer on a misdemeanor DUI that s/he was going to call the FEDERAL JUDGE to see if the that trial could be moved back two days. First of all- do you have any idea how difficult it is to prepare for one trial, not to mention two? Especially if one is a Federal case? Furthermore, there's a practice order floating around somewhere that lists the order of importance. Here's a bulletin for you: if you're a county court judge, you're last on the list. If you're a circuit court judge, your second to last. Live with it.
OK. Now here's my list short and sweet.
Do a good job. Read what I've taken the time to prepare. Circuit Judge Phil Knight (rest in peace) used to get to court at 7AM and have his clerk pull all the files and then he would read every one of them. When you got to court he knew what you wanted and was way ahead of you. Try preparing. Just because you became a Judge doesn't mean you don't have to prepare for a case anymore.
Show the world that you can be fair. Don't automatically decide to max someone out who goes to trial. You were elected or appointed to be a Judge. That means to make decisions based on the facts of the case and the history of my client. Anybody can be a human calculator and total the scoresheet points and arrive at the maximum. I once saw Judge Moreno after a very difficult manslaughter trial in state court sentence a defendant to several years below the prosecution's pre-trial offer. Because that's what he thought the sentence should be. Is it any wonder he is now Chief Judge of the Southern District? Try to be more like Judge Moreno and less like you heard Judge Morphonious was. Being nicknamed "Maximum" is not a badge of honor for a judge. It's actually a badge of shame- declaring to the whole world that you have no temperament and wisdom to be a Judge.
OK, your honor. Thanks for listening. And as always, Thanks to you Rumpole. You run a great blog.
Rumpole says: Well done ol'chap. Well done indeed.
The Internet demands that we be a little more crafty with our presidential trivia:
According to noted presidential historian and bon vivant, Felix Unger, which two presidents knew the LEAST about ballet/opera?