It Is What It Is

Alright, Alright, everybody calm down, I'm back.

I was busy this past week. Jury trial. I lost.

Actually, let's be more accurate here. My client lost.

Then came the time when my supervisor had to tell me, "Lawyers win trials, clients get convicted." And, in this case at least, that was true. I fought that case as hard as it could be fought. And, in the end, neither the facts nor the law were on my client's side. It was a loser of a case, but my client had no choice but to go to trial because there was no offer on the table.

I had an excellent clinic professor when I was in law school who would always say, "It is what it is." And, at that time, I remember thinking, "What a dumb phrase."

But now, now that I am an actual trial lawyer (loves it!), I know exactly what it means to say, "It is what it is."

But, that's over now (thank goodness!), and I'm way behind on my blog reading and writing. I'm going to go see what my favorite bloggers were up to this week, and I'll get around to writing more here soon.


  1. No offer at all? Shouldn't they at least offer something to save us taxpayers the cost?

  2. A jury trial with a PD or a contract defender is not all that expensive. Consider: The PD is paid whether she tries a case or pleads it. The prosecutor is paid whether she tries a case or pleads it. The judge is paid whether a trial occurs or not. The courtroom staff is paid, whether there is a trial or not. The only cost is the payment made to the jurors and the witnesses. Not to minimize this, but really, in most states witness fees for non-experts are set by law and are so low as to be effectively inconsequential. The same with jury fees.

  3. First, from a PD point of view, the trial was expensive not financially but in terms of client care - I lost a week of standing up on cases myself (I had to ask other attorneys to cover for me), filing motions and writs, and returning clients' (and their family members') phone calls.

    Second, in terms of this case - we paid an expert to get that conviction.

    Oh well - It is what it is.

  4. I used to think that phrases like "it is was it is" were really stupid also. But then when I heard our illustrious pres saying stuff like "you do all you can because that's all you can do and you'll do it because that's what you can do" I realize. . . oh, okay, its stupid, but true.

    My old boss in the DA's office used to say "onward and upward" I like that one too. And, when I'm in the pitts at work (well, when I had work) I would say it. It's something they used to say in the navy during world war II.

    Not working for a week has made me dumb.

  5. I've been saying "it is what it is" for 20 years. It is one of my stock phrases (which, btw, I totally subscribe to). I'm sure my kids had the same initial reaction -- what a dumb phrase. I just came across your blog (via CM) and I love it; I particularly love the photo, since I'm also blonde!).

  6. It is not at all uncommon for there to be no offer at all on the table in California Felony cases because the three strikes law transforms a third felony into a 25 years to life case.

    I like to tell the clients that I believe that the truth comes out at trial. However, the truth I am talking about is not the absolute truth only God knows but that truth as perceived by the biases of all the witnesses and the biases of the jurors who filter the testimony and evidence through their own life experiences and quite often there own agendas.

  7. I am most used to the phrase:

    "You try the case you have and not the case you wish you had."