"The war outside still rages, but you say it ain't ours anymore to win."
Bruce Springsteen, No Retreat, No Surrender.
Before we try a case, when we are in trial, and while waiting for a verdict, No Retreat, No Surrender is our song. We play it on the way to court, and listen to it during breaks, sometimes in the background while reading case law or reviewing notes.
Trials are war. Clients come to all of us and ask us to be the one remaining person between them and everyone else. Sometimes the opponent on the other side is the U.S. government, merely the most powerful entity on earth.
But this is not about those wars. We all have our war stories.
This is about when the war "ain't ours anymore to win."
When does that time come?
When do you lose the fire in your belly; when it becomes harder and harder to work till midnight, then get up at a few hours later and get to the office hours before anyone else?
And what do you do when being a warrior is all you've ever known?
Do you don some robes and call balls and strikes? With all due respect, from where we sit at counsel table, sitting in court and watching a trial and not being allowed to get up and attack a witness is our definition of hell. It's why we never second chair a case.
So what do we do when "it ain't ours anymore to win?"
Sy Gaer was carried out on his shield after a lifetime of wars. (Note to new lawyers, go to the second floor of the REGJB, face the elevators, then turn 180 degrees and look up.)
Most of us just fade away and we prefer to think of General McArthur's last address to the Corp at West Point when we think of colleagues we never see anymore; that they haven't died, but just faded away.
It's the start of a beautiful weekend and we don't mean to be morose or bring anyone down. And lest any of you worry or any prosecutors start popping champagne corks, our time has not yet arrived. But there's a bit more gray then there used to be, and a few more lines on the face, and nothing lasts forever. Even Rumpole.
Enjoy your weekend.
See you in court.
WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM