Just Leave A Message

So, here's something I don't get. Maybe if you have the 411 on urban life, you can explain it to me.

During my lunch hour, I have about a half hour to eat my lunch, sort through my mail, maybe send a fax, and return all of my clients' phone calls.

As I've stated before, I have no problem taking as much time as needed to explain my client's case to them as many times as they need to hear it. I don't mind laying out the options again and again.

But you know what I don't have time for? Getting a client's answering machine, and, instead of an outgoing message, it just has 3 minutes of a rap or hip-hop song playing before the beep. What's up with that?

I guess the one upside is that it keeps me up-to-date on the music my clients are listening to.

In my clients' files, I document my messages received and the date and time that I returned each call (basically to cover my ass in the event of an ethics complaint). Just once, though, I'm going to write "Tried to call back, couldn't wait through song."

And, of course, that one time - that will be the one client who files a complaint. And when the Review Board goes through the file, they will find the notation and say, "What could this mean?" Because I'm sure that the attorneys on the Complaint Review Board do corporate work and have never once called a client only to listen to three minutes of "You Will Always Be My Boo."

Gifts Galore

I saw this on AI, and needed to pass it on:

Check out this holiday mix-CD exchange. I'm doing it, it sounds cool. And cheaper than this Secret Santa.

Cheap is good.

Turkey Day TV

Alright everybody, calm down, I'm back. And, thanks for missing me.

I went to see my family for Thanksgiving and had a lovely, relaxing holiday during which I hardly thought about criminal law or my clients or court or my cases at all. That was nice.

I did, of course, think about criminal law while watching television. (As in, "That wouldn't be admissible!" or "You'd think they would've heard of privilege!") My father and I watched a lot of television. That's his thing.

One funny point came when we saw a commercial for the T-Mobile Sidekick. In the commercial, Snoop Dogg isn't sure how to use fabric softener. He uses his sidekick (some sort of phone-IM-type device) to ask, among others, Molly Shannon, Paris Hilton, and Wee Man. It's not clear to me whether you can use the sidekick to send messages to many people at once (like a chat room?), or whether all of those people were forwarding messages to each other, or what. If you could send the messages to everyone at one time, then that was probably the point of the commercial, and I missed it.

Anyway, after the commercial, I said to my father, "Wow, they had a lot of celebrities in that one commercial."

And my father responded, "Yeah, I'm going to have to get that fabric softener."

Talk about a commercial not getting its point across.

Miss Me!

I'm headed out of town for a few days. I hope that you'll all be able to find ways to entertain yourselves. (If you need inspiration, I like the links on the right.)

I'll be back again next week, full of exciting stories. Promise. I even already have a few in mind.

Just Let Me Vent

You want to know my biggest pet peeve? D.A.s (and the general public, but mostly D.A.s) who think that my clients like jail or want to go to jail.

Yes, I know there's this urban legend about poor people committing crimes to get a roof over their head and a hot meal. I don't know if it happens in other places, but I don't believe that it happens here. I have never once met a client who said, "You can just leave me in here." Instead, they all say, "Get me out of here." Even the homeless, even the sick, even the poorest people I see. Perhaps that's because our city has a decent shelter and food-pantry system, and, quite frankly, a crappy jail system. Or, perhaps it's because all people (yes, even the poor) value their freedom.

But, ok, let's just say, for the sake of argument, that I can believe that there are some homeless people who would rather spend a night in jail than on the street. That does not mean that all poor people would rather spend time in jail than at home.

Take, for instance, a client I had last week. Older guy, lives with his wife and their grandchild, has an apartment and a full time job. He got arrested for a stupid petty offense. The DA pretty much admitted to me that he thought it was a stupid case, but then told me that he was going to ask for a lot of jail time.

I looked at the D.A. and said, incredulously, "Are you serious?" And he responded, "He probably likes it better in jail."

Ok, buddy, listen up. I know that his apartment probably isn't as big as yours. And his job isn't as comfy as yours. And his family isn't as white as yours. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't love his life and want to be able to go home at night. You are not the arbiter of the standard of living, and it is not for you to decide whether or not someone's life is better or worse than you imagine jail to be and then do them a "favor" by sending them to jail.

So, f- you now. You can take your jail recommendation and shove it. Because you, and your lame ass recommendations will not be seeing pleas from me or any of my clients. You want jail time? You're going to have to get off your lazy ass and beat me at trial.

Thank you, that is all.

Overworked and Underappreciated

I've thought about whether or not I would want a client or D.A. to find my blog. (The answer is no, and that's why I try to keep my blog a little vague.)

But I've never given any thought to finding a client's or D.A.'s blog.

Well, tonight, it happened.

I wasn't searching for a client's name or anything. Actually, I was looking for a particular news article I had seen awhile ago. Among the hits I found a "Free [My Former Client]" website.

(Side note: We're talking "free" as in "free me from prosecution," not "free me from jail," because he's not in jail.)

Anyway, I say former because this client has hired a private attorney. So, what did the website say about me? Nothing much, really. All it said was that he was trying to raise money for a private attorney because his court appointed attorney was overworked.

And, that's true. I'm overworked. And I fully believe that anyone who can afford a private attorney should hire one. It supports the private attorneys who are trying to make a living and it frees up my time for clients who truly need my services.

So, nothing surprising. It's not like I found an inmate's blog talking about his hot lawyer or anything. Just that I'm overworked.

But still, I never really thought anyone was writing about me. I'm going to have to keep my eyes open more.

Funniest Part of the Day

Sitting in church this morning. During the sermon, I hear a little girl a few rows behind me start whining.

"Mommmmmmmy, I waaaaaaaant my mmmphupuph." (Whatever that is.)

Someone (mommy?) whispers patiently, "Ssshhh, you have to be quiet."

But the whining continues. "Mommmmmmmy."

Again, mommy shushes the kid.

And the whining continues. "Mommmmmmmmy." Honestly, you'd think the kid was dying the way she slowly stretched out the word in such a tortured whine.

I guess Mommy had enough because the next thing everyone in the church hears is Mommy saying, just a little too loud, "JESUS CHRIST! BE QUIET!"

Ha!
_______________
UPDATE:
I just realized I forgot the funniest part of the story!

Then, a little later in the service, there's a part where we pray for particular people. First, the pastor prays for sick members, people in our church who are going through difficult times, etc. Then the pastor says "And all whom we name before you now, either silently or aloud."

Most people stay quiet, but you can hear a few people muttering the names of friends and loved ones.

At the very end of quiet moments, right before the Pastor started to speak again, we also heard "Mommy" in the back praying for, "My daughters."

A few people in the church couldn't keep themselves from laughing.

Held In Contempt

Here's a judge that took "quiet in the court" a little too seriously.

Extreme Exoneree Makeover

I'm sorry, but there's no other way to ask this...

What has our country come to?

You'd think by now, there'd be no surprising me. But, here we are.

This just speaks volumes about the state of criminal law and due process in our country, AND, moreover, the state of "entertainment."

Grilled Cheese - Now with Photos

Important Update!

This page has a photo of the 10-year-old Grilled Cheese. And it's woman.

Honestly, for 10 years wear, the grilled cheese is looking better than the woman. I guess it's the cotton balls?

And, perhaps more importantly, what's up with that lipstick?

Thank You, Seal-A-Meal!

All I really want to know is...

How the heck do you keep a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich from molding over?

Whatever she's got, I need one of them. Picture it - you could spend one Saturday in a grilled-cheese-sandwich-making marathon. Make hundreds. Then, use whatever this lady's got - call it divine intervention or vacuum fresh sealing - and you've got a decade's worth of delicious meals.

Yum. Grilled cheese.

More on Kiddie Prosecutors

A friend who is also friends with the kiddie prosecutor mentioned this morning, "You know, apparently, [the juvenile prosecutor friend] isn't happy at her new job."

"Really?" I asked.

"No, she doesn't really like the people she works with."

At this point, I could just not hold back. "Why? Because they're all... prosecutors?"

"I guess she thought there'd be more people like her..."

"And it turns out there all just a bunch of people who get off on locking kids up and throwing away the key?"

"Pretty much."

Hmmm...

Actually, it reminds me of another kiddie prosecutor story. A few months ago, I went to a seminar on Criminal Trial Advocacy. The professor (a criminal court judge) wanted to get a sense of everyone's practice area and experience level so he asked every to go around and say their name, where they work, and how many years they've been practicing. (It was a small crowd.)

There were a few law clerks and people looking for jobs, a few prosecutors, a few public defenders, a few people at firms (some exclusively criminal, some general practice). Most stated their information nonchalantly and seemed to find the entire process boring.

Then, we got to this one girl. I'm telling you, it was strange. As we went around the room, she seemed like a nice young lady. But then, when it was her turn, all of the sudden her pupils dilated, her face turned red, her hands curled into fists, and she growled, "I am Kathryn and I've been a juvenile prosecutor for 3 years."

Honestly, my first thought was, "Gee, I'm glad no one here brought their kids." I had this mental image of her running around the room, red cape and big basket, snatching up children and eating them for dinner, fairy-tale style. This crazy thought actually made me laugh out loud.

These are the kind of people our juvenile prosecutor friend works with. God help her.

67 cent Mashed Potatoes

Tell me what you make of this...

I'm at a fast food restaraunt this evening, picking up some dinner to bring back to the office. (Sad, isn't it?) At each register, they have a little flat screen television monitor thingee. And there's a message flashing on there like, "What can you get with your change?" Around the message were pictures of different side dishes. I thought it was like a "dollar menu" or something.

Then, it flashed things like "Save 40%" and "Save 60%" I didn't really know what that could mean, so I started touching it, but that didn't do anything.

Then, the woman rang up my order. I got a sandwich combo and it came to $5.33. Then a message appeared on the screen. It said "Make it $6 and get:" Then there were 2 choices: mashed potatoes or some dessert pie thing. And then, underneath each of the choices, was the percent I would save by buying that item at 67 cents rather than full price.

It was bizarre, but definitely a good idea. I felt like we were on Let's Make a Deal. How many times do people just leave their change behind, and instead, they could now get an item for it? And I wondered, if my meal came to $5.99, would I have the option to buy a side dish for one cent? And, do you think the employees are going to see a drop in their tip jar when people could use their change to buy another item instead of dropping a few cents into the tip cup? I also wonder whether this will be the way of the future (like "Would you like fries with that?") or will it only be at this one restaraunt? Perhaps most importantly, I'm talking about it (free advertising, if only I'd mention their name, which I won't because it might ruin my geographical anonymity thing) and I'm even tempted to go back there and try it.

I will keep you posted.

Christmas Wish List

In case you were having a hard time coming up with something to get me for Christmas... I've thought about it, and I'd really like something like this.

It doesn't have to be that exact model or brand (there are a lot more out there, so you'd want to look for the most memory for your buck), but I like the idea of a little portable USB drive. (Although, most seem to be USB 2.0 and I'm not sure that I have that.)

Here's why: For example, right now, if I'm working on trial prep. When I'm at the office, I'll start working on a direct exam, for example. When I'm ready to go home, I email it to myself. I get home and work on it some more, and email it back to myself so I can get to it in the office the next day. That's a pain. Then I have all of these files on my email and I have to worry about whether I'm using the most recent update. And, heaven forbid, email is down, am I going to end up at trial saying "Uh... um...?" And, then, there's times when I get home and say "Oh, I should've sent that other file too." This way, I don't have to worry about that.

Just a suggestion. Thanks.

Lyrical Eulogy

I dedicate this to all the pretty girls. All the pretty girls in the world. And all the ugly girls too. 'Cause to me your pretty anyway.

Today we mourn the passing of Ol' Dirty Bastard. O.D.B., I will always remember your immortal lyrics, such as "If you wanna look good and not be bummy, girl you better give me my money."

R.I.P., O.D.B. You may be gone, but you'll never be forgotten.

Pilgrim Sandwich, Part 2

I almost forgot to give you an update to Wednesday's Very Important Post: On Friday, I followed my readers' advice and walked right in to the not-so-friendly sandwich shop and asked for my free pilgrim sandwich.

And I got a free pilgrim sandwich. And chips. And a large drink. All free. Sweet.

Overheard on a Saturday Morning

"At some point on a Saturday, you have to get up and take a shower."
"And then go back to bed?"
"Yeah, but then it's considered a nap."

____________________


"What if they don't have Incredibles toys?"
"Screw them then!"
"But, what do you want?"
"I dunno. A Big Mac and fries?"
"Oh yeah, you're really screwing them."

Lawyer Sues 'Law & Order' for $15M

You know, if there was a $15M lawsuit to be had every time Law & Order portrays a criminal defense attorney as "crooked," we'd all be raking in a lot more dough.

Every lawyer who has ever defended a high-profile case, or a criminal case in New York City, and New York City's public defender organizations, for that matter, would be set for life. Which would be good - because none of them would ever get hired if defendants/clients believed how defense lawyers are portrayed on L&O.

And I'll admit, I've fumed a few times about the way that L&O portrays defense attorneys. Obviously, it's a very prosection-oriented show. But as a defense attorney, you begin to see that life is very prosecution-oriented.

They say all publicity is good publicity. And now, this lawyer just got publicity from (1) being portrayed on L&O; (2) having his lawsuit publicized; and, most importantly, (3) by having the suit mentioned on Blonde Justice.

Call to Get Your Degree Now!

I'm sure everyone gets the same spam, but you know what really cracks me up?

Spam with subject lines like, "Improve your career with assoc degree in crim justice."

Oh really? You think that might help?

And The Awards Goes To...

Best new show on television?

Motormouth on VH1.

Set up your Tivo, and you will never ever feel sad again. Guaranteed.

Very simple concept: Hidden cameras catch people singning along with their radio as they drive. You've got the White guy belting out "I will survive," the little Asian lady jamming to 50 cent's "P.I.M.P.," a young pastor taking off his shirt to Britney Spears, and the African-American mother busting a groove to Missy Elliot, much to her daughter's dismay.

I'm telling you, it's hilarious. And it'll make you think twice the next time you start to sing on the highway.

Thanksgiving Feast On a Roll

This is really important, so listen up.

I get my lunch at the same sandwich shop every day. And it's good. They're nice there, they know me, they know my order, and they start making my sandwich as soon as I walk in. It feels nice to get my lunch where everybody knows me. And, more importantly, the owner/manager will throw in a free bag of chips or a soda from time to time. And I like to patronize businesses where the customer service is good.

But recently, I noticed that a nearby competitor sandwich shop had a sign up for a limited time special, called the pilgrim sandwich. This sandwich is made with turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing. And, since these are some of my favorite foods, I decided to stop in and try a pilgrim.

I felt a little conflicted, of course. I thought maybe the people at my regular sandwich shop would see me walking by with their competitor's bag and be sad or jealous. But, I rationalized, that's their fault for not offering a similar thanksgiving-feast-on-a-roll. I also promised myself that I'd go back to my regular sandwich shop right after Thanksgiving (or whenever this "limited time" ends.)

Then I ran into another problem. The people at the pilgrim sandwich shop just weren't nice. I'd come in all smiles, but leave there feeling annoyed. Here's an example:

One day I went in for the pilgrim sandwich. Since I had bought it... oh, say 3 times that week, I knew exactly what the total would come to. And, it came to that amount exactly. $4.33. So, as the young lady rang up the total, I got out a five dollar bill and a quarter, a nickel and three pennies, thinking that I could lighten some of the change out of my wallet.

The girl took my money and gave me a handful of change in return. I explained to her that there had been a mix up, and asked her for a dollar bill. She hemmed and hawed (Ha! that's a funny expression, isn't it? Sort of southern, I guess) until finally some obviously more senior employee came over and said, "Just give her the money."

I didn't really like the way I was treated, and I faced a dilemma - Is it more important to patronize friendly businesses with good customer service, or is it more important to eat tasty pilgrim sandwiches for a limited time only?

Well, today I finally gave in and went back for a pilgrim sandwich. Yes, all this turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce is a little sick, I know.

After I ordered my pilgrim sandwich, there was another lady trying to decide what to order. She too hemmed and hawed (I'm loving that expression!) and I turned to her and said, "You should get the pilgrim. It's delicious, I love it." And she did - She ordered the pilgrim.

When she walked away from the counter, the employee told me, "I am the manager here. Tomorrow, I give you a free pilgrim sandwich because you said you love it."

"Really?" I gushed. (Although, in my head, I was thinking, "That's the least you could do to win me over after the rest of your employees are so rude.") And Mr. Manager said, "Yes of course. Tomorrow, you say that I give you a free pilgrim sandwich."

Now, here's the final dilemma in this string of pilgrim sandwich dilemmas: TOMORROW IS VETERANS' DAY! And I'm not going to work!

Do you think I should march right in there on Friday, as if it was the next day (which it sort of is, in terms of business days), and ask for my free pilgrim sandwich?

Help me, anybody!

Yick.

And, another thing, don't even think of trying this Holiday Spice Pepsi.

Yick. Makes me want to go gargle something.

And Throw Away The Key

A lot of my clients take drug programs instead of jail. This works out for everyone. For clients, who get treatment, and who like the programs better than jail. For clients' families, who get a new clean dad or husband or wife or mother, instead of one that just languished away in jail. For the judges and the courts, who get to feel like they're actually doing something good for once. And for defense lawyers, who get to say to the client, "Well, it looks like you'll be avoiding jail."

Except that, a lot of times, it just doesn't work out. Overcoming an addiction is terribly difficult and most people don't make it their first time. Or their second or their third. In speaking to family members or attorneys who have never used drugs, I draw the analogy of quitting smoking or going on a diet. Many people try over and over before they get it right - if they are ever successful.

But, many of my clients are looking at jail if they screw up. That's not to say that their program won't give them chances. Most programs will allow a relapse or two. But, leave the program when you're not supposed to, or sneak contraband into the program, or have too many disciplinary problems, and you might be discharged to do your jail time.

For some clients, the threat of jail is the extra incentive they need to clean up. For others, its an added pressure that drives them to use.

I had a client recently avoid jail by agreeing to enter a residential treatment program. In negotiating the deal, I had spoken to his wife a number of times. She had a new baby and had told her husband that he wasn't welcome at home until he cleaned up. She and I had spoken extensively about her husband's addiction.

The court offered my client 6 months jail or a 6 month residential program. The catch is that if he failed to complete the 6 month residential program, he'd face one year of jail.

It is always difficult to counsel clients on this decision. Very few of my clients successfully complete the program. The rest are setting themselves up for "jail on the installment plan." Most clients cannot see it this way. Most look at the short term and see "leaving jail today," not "possibly coming back to jail for a year." Every client believes that they'll be the one to be successful, that this is their chance (or maybe they don't even believe it, they're just saying it), and who am I to tell them otherwise? I lay out the choices, and the consequences, and let my clients make their own decisions.

Anyway, this one particular client - the one with the new baby - chose a program. He knew that even if he served out his jail time, he'd need a program before he could come home. He figured that he might as well get some treatment during his time. As usual, I spoke with him and his family about the options and the consequences. After it was set up, I spoke to his wife again, and she agreed to bring some of his belongings to him at the program.

This was a few weeks ago. We're scheduled to return to court in a few weeks for a progress update from the program.

Last week, while I was on trial, I got a voice mail. It simply stated, "I'm just calling to let you know that Mr. Client is smoking crack again. [Click]." No name, no phone number, nothing. The message wasn't long enough for me to be sure, but I felt fairly certain the message was from his wife. The only other possibility I could think of was that the program called me, but they would've left more information and would have also informed the court.

Monday I'm in my office and I get another call. I answer, and a woman states, "I just want to let you know. Mr. Client was seen back in the neighborhood. I know he was getting high." I reply, "Ok... thanks for letting me know." At this point, I'm thinking, what does she want me to do, go down there and pry the crackpipe from his hands? There are a few things that I consider outside the realm of my profession, and that's one of them. I ask, "Can I ask who's calling?" And the woman replies, "Consider this an anonymous tip," and hangs up.

Now I'm positive that this is my clients wife. But the next question is, what does she expect me to do? Call the court and rat him out for leaving his program? They'll know when he doesn't show up with a progress report. Go stop him? Again, there's a lot I'll do from my clients. I'll play social worker, therapist, and family counselor if needed - but I don't pry the crackpipe from anyone's lips.

Today, the answer comes to me in the form of a voicemail. "Miss Justice. I am just calling to let you know that I saw it for myself and Mr. Client is out smoking crack again..." (Now I'm getting frustrated. How often is she going to call? And what the heck does she want me to do about it?) "...He's at the corner of [this street] and [that street]. You need to get out here and lock him up."

Ha! Lock him up! It's so funny because so many criminal defendants (and their families) say again and again that they believe that their public defender is part of the system, or trying to get them to cop out, or trying to keep them locked up. But it never ever occurred to me, that my client's wife, after all the conversations I had with her, believed that I had a pair of handcuffs that I could use to lock up my own client when I so chose.

Tee-hee. I'm still laughing. Lock him up? Ha!

Stupid People Suck

I'm kind of interested in these "Assault by HIV" cases.
 
On one hand, of course it's a horrible thing to knowingly spread such a deadly disease.  But, on the other hand - that's the risk you  take when you have unprotected sex. 
 
Would he be just as guilty if he had never been tested, and went around having unprotected sex, not knowing he was spreading HIV?  No.  So, therefore, he's being penalized for being tested? 
 
And I'm not saying these women got what they deserved.  But... well... he had sex with a lot of people.  It doesn't say how many in the article, but it says that he could have infected up to 170 people, including partners' partners.  So... he had sex with a lot of people... and if just never occurred to these people to think back to their 9th grade sex ed class, or the posters they saw on the bus, and think "Hmm... maybe we should use a condom," then shame on them.
 
I think everyone is out to blame someone.  And where there's blame to passed - it's easier to say "That guy did something to me," then to say "Man, was I dumb."  Because in the end, these people aren't alleging rape (that, of course, would be a very different situation), but they're alleging that they were dumb.
 
Just my take.  Anyone else?

Suggested Reading

Yesterday's New York Times includes this nice story about a public defender who regularly works the night court shift in New York City.

(As usual with the NYTimes, sign-in is required.) Enjoy.

My Brush With Reality Fame

Ok. One more reality tv story. But that's all for tonight, you hear?

In the interest of full disclosure, I figured that if I'm writing about other people's brushes with reality tv, it'd only be fair to share my own experience.

A few months ago, I got an email that Fox was casting a reality show and was looking for young lawyers. And, yes, I went on an audition.

What was I thinking? I guess I thought it might be fun. I like reality tv, and when I'm watching it I often wonder about the audition process. Where do they get these people? And what do they tell them?

At the time that I got the audition appointment, I had no idea what the concept of the show was supposed to be.

Actually - it was kind of funny. My boyfriend was waiting for me when I came out of the audition.
"How'd it go?"
"Well, it was kind of good. I don't know. At first, they wanted to take some pictures, and they wanted me to take off my jacket."
"Ok, and then what?"
"Yeah, then they wanted me to take off my shirt. I figured, you know, it's Fox."
"WHAT?" He freaked out until I had to tell him, calm down, none of that happened.

Anyway, I found out later that the concept of the show was to pit ivy league lawyers against public interest and public school lawyers in different competitions with the ultimate reward being some big firm job, sort of like The Apprentice for the legal field.

Eh, I had no interest in that. First, I'm somewhat competitive, but I've never seen the point in competing in hypothetical situations like mock trial. My time is much better put to use helping actual people. Second, what kind of reward is a big firm job? Sounds more like a punishment to me.

I noticed that the emails searching for lawyers continued for months and figured they were having a hard time casting the show.

Finally, I guess the show morphed into a spoof of the original The Apprentice concept, because the same production company - Rocket Science Laboratories - is now responsible for My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss.

I caught the first episode last night, and it was pretty entertaining - but definitely not something I'd want to be associated with. The contestants are ivy league types being put through humiliating tasks for the ultimate prize of a position with an (imaginary) company. There's a scene from a future episode where the contestants are being hit with paintballs at a desk in a field while trying to fax a document.

"Paper Jam! Paper Jam!" they're yelling. Priceless.

Mom of The Year

There's this woman that I met in my neighborhood. She's a mom to all boys. That right there should say enough about her. But, in addition, she's just a really cool kind of mom. The kind of mom you've always wished you could have.

She takes this really cool laissez-faire approach to mothering which is really refreshing in an age of piano-boyscouts-tennis-chess-soccer-moms. Her general attitude is "Let 'em do what they want, they'll figure out something good."

For example, the boys have lots of pets. At least one of everything you could think of. And when they bring something home and say "Can we keep it?" She says "Sure." If the boys want to wear tie-dye, or mix and match, or costumes, "Who Cares? As long as it's not hurting anyone."

And her kids are cool. Primarily as a result of this.

When I first met this mom, she was working on a knitting project. I asked her what she was working on, and she told me that she was knitting a rope - because that's what one of her boys had asked for. Later, I asked what he did it with - he used it as a jump rope, and hung from it, and built stuff with it.

When the school decided that one of her boys was just too "difficult," she decided to home school him.

I'm sure all of this sounds scary to your average "My home must be perfect and my marriage must be perfect and my child must be perfect" moms.

This past summer, one night I met up with this mom and she seemed bothered by something. It turned out that she had just received a phone call from someone casting a new reality tv show. The concept of the tv show was to find a household in dire straits and give it (and, in particular, the children) an obedience makeover.

She turned down the offer - which included quite a bit of cash. She just couldn't see allowing cameras into her home and how foolish her family could be made to look. Moreover, she was distressed that someone knew her, and knew her family and thought that they were in need of a makeover.

Because, when it comes down to it, she may live in a cluttered messy home with animals running all over and kids' and their projects on every surface - but she's raising happy children - not spoiled Stepford children who excel at every actvity and don't know what it means to just experiment and play and have fun.

According to the Daily News:
The concept of "Nanny 911" ... is to descend upon parents who are so utterly ­irresponsible and clueless that they A) allow their young children to run roughshod over them, and B) think nothing of allowing a TV crew into their homes to document all the bad behavior.


I'm proud to report that my neighbor, and her very lovely, very real children, will not be a part of it.

Life Imitating Art

Am I the only who thinks Arafat is already dead?

Or, have I just seen too many movies like Dave and Wag the Dog?

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.

Excuses

Sorry, I'll be too busy to blog for most of this week.

When I get back, I'll try to remember to write about my interesting voting experience.

In the mean time, remember this pearl of wisdom:

You can pick your jury. And you can pick your nose. But you can't pick your juror's nose. Well, I'm not sure that there's really caselaw on that, but, even so, it's probably still not advisable.

Know What I Love?

You know what I love?
 
The really annoying clients?  The ones who call you all the time and just cannot leave you alone?  The ones that hound you and hound you and then have their girlfriend call you and hound you?
 
When you do a great job and finally get their cases dismissed... it would never occur to them to say "Thanks." 
 
It kills me.