Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Yet again today, I ran into a former client. This is a guy that I wrote about back in July -- he is Muslim and it seemed to me that he got arrested and charged largely because of backlash.

Anyway, he had left me a couple of voicemails from time to time, but never with any a return number. I happened to run into him today as he was leaving probation. He looked good, and seemed to be doing better than he was when I first saw him.

I think most of our clients just need to know that someone is in their corner -- that someone is willing to fight for them -- that someone cares.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Irony fulfilled

The case was dismissed today.

I felt kind of sad, though. The criminal case is done, but now he has to go face immigration on his own. Without much English. Fantastic.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I have a trial set tomorrow for a hispanic guy that has been in immigration custody for 60 days now. We tried to enter a plea about a month ago, but we tried to do it in a way that wouldn't hurt him on the immigration side. The Judge wouldn't accept the plea because the State's recommendation was too lenient.

Well, the trial is set for tomorrow and, as of Friday, the State hasn't located their victim. This case should be going away tomorrow.

I don't know what is going to happen with the immigration proceedings. I can see how their would be economies in the P.D. representing clients in immigration proceedings, as well. However, that kind of thing is outside of what the county commissioners will let us do.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Client appreciation

In the past a couple of weeks, I've had three or four clients wave me down, outside of the courthouse. Mostly, they just wanted to say hello, but they all seemed genuinely happy to see me, which must mean that they were pleased with how their case turned out.

That always a nice feeling.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Every P.D.'s Nightmare

So, I mentioned in the last post a case that one of my colleagues just finished trying. Apparently, the client shot up his mother's house, while she was inside. The client's sister actually makes the 911 call. In addition, despite an admonition from the Judge, the client elected to attend trial in his orange, jail jumpsuit. Let's just say that the State's evidence was strong.

The jury came back with a verdict of guilty, and the client took it in stride. The verdict was handed to the Judge, and the client was peaceful. The Judge rescheduled sentencing, because she wanted to hear from the victim, and the client didn't say much. And then, just after the Judge remanded the client to the custody of the Sheriff, while the jury was still in the box, the client reached over and knocked my colleague upside the head. Apparently, he was getting ready to hit her again, but the deputies were on top of the situation. This particular colleague is very strong, but I could tell when I spoke to her later that she was still rattled by what had happened.

As luck would have it, I ran into the ADA that tried the case late Saturday night at a local watering hole. He said that the jury freaked out and the Judge was out the door at the first sign of trouble. You see, the Brian Nichols incident occurred just down the road from us. I was struck with his concern for my colleague, because it was obviously personal and not ideological. He told me many times that he liked her and it all seemed very genuine and sincere.

I can tell you this: I think it would be very difficult for anyone in our office to represent the guy at this point. I'm not sure that I could keep his best interests in mind.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A New Phase

So, the prosecutor that I like so much has left. She took a job with the State's Attorney General. That's good for her, obviously, but I don't like it much.

They haven't assigned a second prosecutor to my courtroom yet, so I've been working almost entirely with the junior prosecutor for the past two weeks or so. He's a good guy, but he is straight out of law school and I don't think he has tried a case here yet. He apparently did try quite a few cases in law school, which is good. (I do pay real estate taxes in this county, after all.)

I have heard him say on a couple of occasions, "this one is pretty bad." Perhap I'm jaded, but unless it's a domestic violence case or a DUI, I don't consider a misdemeanor "bad." And he wasn't talking about those. (He actually said that in the context of a criminal trespass -- my client was going to an apartment complex when she shouldn't have been. How can that possiblybe "bad"? I mean, my god, our office just tried a case where the client shot up his own mother's house. Relatively speaking, a trespass at an apartment complex ain't bad.)

In addition, I'm afraid that he is a little inflexible. I've got a domestic violence case where my guy is willing to plead to a simple battery, but doesn't want to plead to a family violence battery because he will lose his right to carry. (He is in a rap group and, unfortunately, all of his compatriots are felons. They go to places where they feel the need to carry to protect themselves.) But, because there is a history between my client and the complaining witness, he isn't willing to bend that far. He ended the conversation with, "you and I haven't tried one yet, anyway." I am so over trying misdemeanors.

This prosecutor is a good guy, but it's going to take awhile before he finds himself, prosecutorally. That's what I am inpatient about.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Caseload, Part 3

I've been closing out old files, and have topped 500.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


A friend of mine is getting caught up in something that shouldn't be happening. It is a truly, truly scary thing when the State decides that it is going to take a hard look at you.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Return from Silence

I haven't had much to say, lately, because the senior assistant prosecutor in my new division has been a dream to work with. My favorite words out of her mouth are, "oh yeah, we can work that case out."

Unforutunately for me and my clients, I have learned that she is going to leave this job and go work for the state A.G. So it looks like my ride along easy street is about to end.