Before we post the comment we received yesterday, let us first say that being a JA is a thankless job. The hours are long, the pay is low, and for every efficient attorney who feels like they're getting the run-around, there are plenty of our brethren who have no idea what they are doing, and treat JAs, clerks, bailiffs with disrespect. A good JA can save your case and your client, and a disgruntled JA can sink you.
Within the last year, some of the more efficient robed-readers have taken to having their JA email lawyers reminding them about their case set for the following day. In our view, that is above and beyond the call of duty. One of a lawyer's first responsibilities is to learn how to keep an accurate calendar.
With that in mind, we print this comment we received yesterday:
I am in the office today and I am trying to set matters on calendar that I could not for the past two weeks because judges and staff have been on vacation. Now that I am getting JAs on the phone, I am getting a lot of passive aggressive groans, underhanded complaints, exasperated sighs, and so on...just because I need to put such-and-such on calendar.
I am trying to be pleasant. I am being patient and understanding. I get that this is the first day back and things are a bit hectic. But this attitude is not limited to the day after New Years. Some JAs always treat us like they are doing us a grand favor by putting a matter on calendar. Not all JAs - some are wonderful and nothing but helpful. But a good number are nasty on the phone, and that's uncalled for.
So Rump - I call on you, to advise a solution to the constant kerfuffle between defense attorneys and their staff and the judicial assistants. Could we perhaps move to an online scheduling system for criminal so that JAs don't have to manually set our dates? I would love to hear a JAs perspective - what can we do to make your jobs easier?