Baby Mama Drama

Skelly over at Aribtrary and Capricious sent me this great blog - babymamadrama.

I really can't be sure that it's a real baby mama blogging (it almost sounds too authentic), but either way, she really pins down the big truth:

It is the public defender's fault. If your baby daddy ends up pleading guilty and doing a lot of jail time when you really just want him home, it's the public defender's fault. And if your baby daddy ends up pleading not guilty and you have to go to trial "over bullshit," it is the public defender's fault. Not yours, not his, but the stupid ass of a public defender's.

And to anyone who thinks that it is the public defender who "persuades" these women to take their men back - read this and try to figure out who's twisting her arm. Well, besides her baby daddy, most likely - but I certainly don't think she's open to advice from the P.D.

p.s. How amazing would it be to find that a complainant in one of your d.v. cases keeps a blog? Priceless.

My Dolls

I pretty much spent all day working on a doll like the ones E.Spat made. So here it is:



I finally decided against the pink suit, because you already know I sport the pink suit, so I figured I'd mix it up a bit.

It really looks like me. Except that my eyes aren't quite so anime, of course.

You can make your own doll here.

UPDATE: Fine, I'll post the pink suit pictures. Complete with tiger about to eat the dog. Please don't call the animal rights people on me - I love dogs, I swear!



and

The Exonerated

I tried to mention it earlier but Blogger messed up and then I didn't get another chance... but, I highly recommend The Exonerated which premiered on CourtTV this week.

I haven't watched it yet (it's on my Tivo), but I saw it Off-Broadway a few years ago, and it was excellent.

It should be required viewing for anyone working, or thinking of working, in criminal law.

It's airing again this afternoon, check your local listings for showtimes.

Another Quiz





take the WHAT INTENTIONAL TORT ARE YOU test.


and go to mewing.net. because law school made laura do this.



I am just SO glad that I got the one with the Pink Car! Check it out, it's pink!

This is definitely the intentional tort for me!

Overheard In The Courtroom

Judge: Let's adjourn this case. How's February 28th?

Lawyer: Judge, that's not going to work for my client.

Me (silently, of course): C'mon, judges don't care what day is good for your criminal client.

Lawyer: She's going to be at the Oscars(R).

(Oh, ok, the Judge might care about that.)

Judge: I have a better idea. How about your client is here, and I'll take her spot at the Oscars(R)?

Lawyer: Could we have the following week?

Judge: Fine, March 7th.

Help!

I can't stop watching I Love The 90s: Part Deux.

Seriously. I... can't... stop. This show is addictive.

And they show the same commercials at every break. I must've seen the same Pizza Hut commercial 100 times today.

The only upside? It's only 10 shows. I mean, it's not like I'll have to miss work tomorrow morning because I'm stuck watching it.

Oh, well, actually... They keep advertising 90s ringtones. So, last night, after I went to the website, but the ringtones don't work with my service provider. Somehow, I ended up spending another few hours listening to all of the ringtones. And then I didn't even download any of them - because I couldn't decide.

Arrgh! This has been a long weekend. I'm ready to go back to work.

But first I have to try the 90s quiz.

Shake Hands With The Devil

Lately, I have had the misfortune of working on a case where my adversary is absolutely the epitome of a dirty slimy seriously-on-his-way-to-getting-himself-disbarred D.A. He lies to me, he lies to the court, he hides evidence, he calls me names on the record. It's disgusting.

I've considered filing an ethics complaint against him, but at this point, I don't want to make things worse for my client. And I haven't brought most of his indiscretions to the judge's attention, because I want to keep the focus on my case, not turn the trial into a name-calling circus.

Yesterday, though, I almost lost it when the D.A. put out his hand as if to shake hands. As I've mentioned before, I think that, in general, I have a decent relationship with most of my adversaries. I can respect the fact that they have a job to do. But I couldn't believe the nerve of this D.A., to put out his hand as if to say "good game," or "we're friends, this is just business."

When someone puts out their hand to you, though, you don't have a lot of time to consider it. But I took a second to deliberate whether or not I could get away with giving him the "stink palm," which I learned about in Mallrats but have yet to actually use. After only a moment's consideration, I decided I probably could not pull it off. Especially not in the courtroom. And, seriously, what was my other option? Could I say, "Wait right here," run to the bathroom, and then shake his hand? Nope, I decided, there was no getting away with it.

So, in the end (no pun intended), because I was raised to be polite, I shook his hand.

Of course, after he walked off, I quickly rushed to use my antibacterial gel. I may shake accused criminals' hands all day, but this guy is truly despicable.

Maybe I can get my revenge by volunteering him for 30 days in jail?

Most Dangerous Place in America*

Ken at CrimLaw writes about defense attorneys and the media.

Which reminds me... A while back, I went to a seminar for new attorneys taught by a well known (locally, at least) criminal defense attorney. After the class was officially over, a few people were still mulling around and bullshitting with the attorney.

Somehow, the conversation turned to perp walks (when your client is walked from the cop car into the courthouse or vice versa, generally for the benefit of the news cameras) and other occasions when your client has occasion to speak to or be seen by the media.

"I'm going to give you a good tip that someone once gave me," the well known attorney said. "I never touch my clients. Never more than a handshake. You want to set boundaries. But when the press is around, always keep your hand on your client's back or around their shoulder or even wrap your arm in their arm."

Hmm... I thought of all those times I've seen celebrities coming out of court, their lawyers arms around them. "They're awfully lovey-dovey," I thought.

"Do you know why?" the well known attorney asked.

"So you have more control of whether or not they talk?" one person guessed.

"No, not quite. If your arms and entwined, it makes it harder for them to cut you out of the shot."

*The title of this post comes from that old joke: "What's the most dangerous place in America?" "Between a defense lawyer and a camera."

Quiz Results

The quiz results are in. Nerd? No. Cool? Kinda.


I am nerdier than 17% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!


I am 32% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!

Chantico

It's time to tell you all about my Chantico Experience at Starbucks. Well, experiences, actually.

That's right, in the interest of journalistic integrity and fact checking and whatnot, I had a few of those Chanticos.

Then, afterward, I realize THEY HAVE 390 CALORIES! AND 20 GRAMS OF FAT! AND 50 CARBS!

That's, um, not healthy. So, is it worth it? If you're a chocolate lover (I am), the answer is YES. Absolutely. It's like hot chocolate but so much richer and smoother and with an amazing depth of flavor. And it doesn't have that powedery-from-a-mix taste you get with most hot chocolate. If you've ever tried Mexican Hot Chocolate, I think it's very comparable. Most importantly, it's delicious.

Is it a substitute for your everyday coffee beverage? I don't think that would be a healthy choice.

But as an occasional sweet treat, I think it's better than most other desserts, especially in the winter.

By the way, want to know how I managed to have multiple Chantico Experiences? I've gone to all 4 of the Starbucks in my neighborhood and had free samples. Hey, I'm a P.D., you expect me to pay $3 for hot chocolate? Anyway, the samples were a decent size, probably a few ounces (the drink is only sold in a 6 oz. - I guess even Starbucks recognizes that you shouldn't drink too much Chantico), so I definitely had enough to get a reliable sample.

Aah, the things I go through for my blog readers.

Without Further Ado

And, Finally, I present to you the results of my Mix CD. I really hope that I didn't build it up so much that you'll be disappointed.

I decided to go with a theme of "Songs of '04." (In fact, the title of the CD is "20 Favorites of 04." How original.) (Want to see a photo, so you can enjoy the title and the pink all together? It's here.)

The problem with a year in review CD is that by the end of the year (and a few weeks burning the CD), you end up kind of tired of the songs. But I think it's a nice thing to have, and a year or two down the road you can pop it in and remember a good year. I wanted to pick a few of the Pop songs, because even if they annoyed me this year, I think someday I'll hear them and say "Yeah, that reminds me of Summer of 04 when that song was all over the radio..." I also wanted to pick a few more obscure songs, partly to keep this from being "Totally Hits 2004" and also because, well, that's the kind of stuff I generally enjoy more.

A Side (No, it's not some kind of 2 sided CD. I was just reminiscing for the days of good old fashioned mix tapes, so I broke the CD up into two "sides." Live with it.)

1. U2 - Vertigo - Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce. Yeah, I dunno, I don't get it either. I'm not a big U2 fan, but I think of this as a great driving song. I like to turn the song up and shout "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!"

2. Modest Mouse - Ocean Breathes Salty - I first heard of Modest Mouse in '04. How could you miss "Float On?" It was everywhere this year. I'd like them to not be a one hit wonder, and I like this song, it's kinda catchy.

3. Kevin Lyttle - Turn Me On - I first heard this song when I went to Philadelphia for a friend's bachelorette party. All of the ladies were piled into a car, dressed to the 9s and headed for a night on the town. When this song came on, my friend cranked the volume and everyone started singing along. And I hadn't heard it yet. A few weeks later, it was playing in my hometown and it'll always remind me of a fun night out with friends.

4. Ashlee Simpson - LaLa - That poor girl took so much flack this year. But I think she's cute, and I like her show. I like the CD and I think this is a great "turn it loud, dance in your underwear, and sing into your hairbrush" tune. P.S. I think "LaLa" means sex.

5. Gavin Degraw - I Don't Wanna Be - That's a good message. You don't have to be anything other than what you've been trying to be lately.

6. JKwon - Tipsy - "Teen drinking is very bad." "Yo, I got a fake ID though." This is a great fun catchy happy song. Errrybody in da club get tipsy. (And where did I first hear this song? From my clients in a cell, of course.)

7. Fefe Dobson - Everything - Fefe is Canadian. She strikes me a pop chick with a good voice who isn't overly mass produced or anything. And this is a cool song. Also, I think that this is the album version, which I liked better than the radio version, so if you already decided to dislike this song on the basis of what you heard on the radio, at least give this version a chance.

8. Carbon Leaf - Life Less Ordinary - I really really dig this song. I just loove it. I've tried listening to a few other Carbon Leaf songs, but they just didn't do it for me. I don't know what their background is, but it's very different to anything else I listen to. This song is just so fun to listen to.

9. Counting Crows - Accidentally In Love - Purely pop, this is just a cute song, that, of course, reminds me of Shrek 2. And it's good to hear something good from Counting Crows.

10. Lazyboy - Underwear Goes Inside The Pants - This just just cracked me up the first time I heard it, and it still puts a smile on my face. And I agree with so much of what is expressed here. ("And then I thought, 'That's what I'm going to use it on.'") If you haven't heard it yet (and if you read my blog, I told you to listen to this months ago), here's your chance.

(And this concludes Side A.)

Side B (See, doesn't it feel nice to have that break between sides? Didn't you miss that on your newfangled CDs?)

11. Kanye West - Jesus Walks - I think this is a great song, and really groundbreaking in the genre. Kanye West is a great artist (he previously produced for Alicia Keys and Jay-Z) and I think we'll be hearing more from him in '05.

12. G. Love - Astronaut - I've been a G. Love fan back since "Cold Beverage" was on regular rotation at college parties, and I think this is another fun song.

13. Eminem - Just Lose It - Every year needs a new Eminem hit, and this was probably the best of '04. Love him or hate him, he makes catchy songs. Not to mention the videos.

14. Ryan Cabrera - On The Way Down - Perhaps best known as Ashlee Simpson's boyfriend, here's your serving of the boy pop of '04.

15. Dashboard Confessional - Vindicated - This was the year I also discovered Dashboard Confessional. I chose this song, because it's a good '04 release (but my favorite Dashboard Confessional songs would be Hands Down or Screaming Infidelities, which were released earlier).

16. Vanessa Carlton - White Houses - I was never a Vanessa Carlton fan (I think I got her confused with Michelle Branch and some of those other girls), but this song reminds me of summers spent at the beach. I originally called it "Pink Houses" on this list, but it's definitely "White Houses." See the comments.

17. Jay-Z - 99 Problems - How can a defense attorney not love this song? From the first time I heard this song, I hoped that maybe one of my clients would learn something from this song about their rights. ("I aint passed the bar but I know a little bit, Enough that you won't illegally search my shit.") And this song is just a little too catchy - try to keep yourself from walking around the office singing, "I got 99 problems, but a bitch aint one."

18. Maria Mena - You're The Only One - A cute song with a great attitude. She's Norwegian, and this girl is beautiful.

19. Frou Frou - Let Go - The Garden State Soundtrack was, by far, my favorite CD of '04. So, it was only right to pick a representative tune. I chose this one with the assistance of my ever-helpful blog commenters.

20. Ray Charles featuring Natalie Cole - Fever - I decided that it was right to remember the '04 passing of a great artist, and I will definitely miss Ray Charles. I chose this off the Genius Loves Company CD because I figured that made it an '04 release. (Sticking with the theme, get it?)

(This concludes Side B.)

Untitled

When I was a kid, I thought that when I met God my questions for Him would mostly revolve around people and animals that died. Such as, "Why did you take my dog from me?" and "Why did you take my grandfather from me?" Pretty selfish, I know.

A few years ago, I thought that when I met God, I'd want to know about war and terrorism and people killing one another. And why He allows it. But, really, upon further review, I think that's probably out of God's hands. I think He set us on the right track, and when people go off that track and kill one another, God's probably not happy with it, but He's not really intervening or causing it either.

Now, when I meet God, I really only want to ask, "Why could some women have babies and others couldn't? Did you have a plan? Because I can't figure out how you thought it was a good one."

One friend of mine has been trying very hard to have a baby for a few years now. She's just the kind of person who would be a perfect mom. She's smart and sweet and caring, she's got a good husband and a good marriage. She does everything right. If there's a news story that says women need more of this vitamin or less of that mineral to get pregnant or have a good pregnancy or to have a healthy baby, she does it. It's just not working.

Other women that I know have recently had miscarriages and another woman's baby died just a few days after birth.

Meanwhile, all around us, there are women having babies who don't want them. I see it all the time. Women accused of crimes who get pregnant. Women who will deliver their babies in jail. Women who don't know who the father is. Women in violent relationships. Women with health problems that make them unable to care for a child. Women who leave their baby in a dumpster.

I'm not saying that some women deserve to get pregnant and others don't. I don't think that's for me to judge. I'm just saying that it doesn't really seem fair.

This isn't a biological or social or political debate question, although I know all of those things play into it. It's just something I've been thinking about a lot. If God has a plan, I'd like to know what it is.

I've left the comments open on this post, even though I wasn't sure I should. I know this could be a controversial topic, but I'm really not open to a debate right now. Sorry, I'm just not. It's my blog and I'll debate if I want to. Please, sensitive comments only. Thank you.

Not-Hot-Chocolate

Starbucks has introduced a new chocolatey drink called Chantico.

I haven't tried it yet, but early reviews indicate that it's like drinking liquid ambrosia and having a bit of heaven run across your tongue and drizzle down your throat. (Her words, not mine.)

Starbucks, who should perhaps consider hiring the above-quoted woman to write in marketing, describes it as "a decadent, premium chocolate beverage that is dramatically different from hot chocolate."

My local Starbucks will be having a "tasting" with free samples tomorrow, and, I'm ashamed to admit, I've been trying to plan my day around the few hours that the free drinks will be offered.

("So what if the judge issues a warrant for your arrest? I need my free not-hot-chocolate!")

And, of course, you know that I will report back. But please don't expect me to be as explicitly descriptive as this woman.

Look What I Made!



I shipped it tonight, it should arrive in 2-3 days. I'll post the song list in a few days too.

Feeling Old

Everyone has their milestones that they believe make them an "adult."

Years ago, my family went on a vacation where we rented a beachfront home. In the kitchen, they had a beautiful cake plate (prettier than this one, and pink). I wanted one. But there was no room for a cake plate in my dorm room (and no need for one.) I knew I'd be an "adult" when I had a cake plate. And space for one in my tiny kitchen.

I'm now a real lawyer. I passed the bar. But I'm still not an adult. No cake plate.

Today, though, I realized that although I may not be an adult, I am "old." How do I know? I'm too old to audition for The Real World.

Not that I wanted to. But that's not the point.

Blawger Baseball

I know it's early, but we can't leave this to the last minute.

I've decided that I'm going to start an All B*law*ger Fantasy Baseball League. Yeah, that means you.

So, I wanted to give you a few weeks notice so that you could start to think about (1) your team name, (2) whether you have any preference between rotisserie or head-to-head and that sort of thing, (3) whether you think we should put a little cash on the line just to make it fun, and (4) whether or not you can truly handle losing to a girl (that'd be me).

I'd like to use a free website, and Yahoo is the only one that I know of, but if anyone has any other suggestions, let me know. I'll give you a little time to think about all of this. Leave your thoughts in the comment box or email me.

Today's News

Tsunami victims, your time is up.

Brad and Jen have separated, and the public can only handle one news story at a time.

Yellow Magnet Ribbon Sticker Thingees

A few months ago, when I went back to the hometown for a wedding, I noticed that everyone had these yellow ribbon things on the back of their cars. Big ugly yellow ribbons. At first I thought they were stickers, but it turns out that they're magnets.

Even my mom. On the back of her soccer mom van. And I haven't played soccer since 2nd grade when I was in the "munchkin" league. But that's a whole 'nuther thing.

So I asked my mother, "What's up with that?" And my mother said, "Well, you put one on your car if you support the troops. They used to cost more money and the money went to the troops, but now you can buy them at the dollar store, so I don't think any part of that dollar is going to the troops."

No doubt my mother got hers at the dollar store.

But, still, I was confused. I mean, first, you put one on your car if you support the troops? What does that mean? Are there people that don't support the troops? You may not support the war, but everyone supports the troops, right? Second, if you're buying them at the dollar store, what's the point? And, finally, if they cost a few bucks, why not donate the few dollars to some actual troop (whether through an organization or just your own "see a guy in uniform, give him a buck" campaign) and skip the big ugly sticker-that's-really-a-magnet?

At the time, I was going to blog about it, but I thought (or perhaps hoped) that it was really only something they did in that one little suburb. And, without some kind of camera phone to document it, I thought that all my readers would say, "Ribbons? Magnets? What the heck is she talking about?"

People just don't have ribbons sticker magnets in the big city. Probably because they would just get stolen. (Actually, to be honest, that's what I was thinking when my mom was telling me that you could buy them at the dollar store: Why pay a dollar when you could just take one for free off any car in this lot?)

When I returned to the hometown for Christmas, I saw that not only had the phenomenon not disappeared, it had actually grown. In fact, I saw one car that was all ribboned out. It had a pink ribbon, a yellow ribbon, a flag-themed ribbon, an anti-abortion ribbon, and even some kind of ribbon with a soccer ball pattern on it. What does that mean? You support soccer?

But, finally, someone is doing something about these lame magnets. And, I, for one, support that. Please check out AntiMagnet, it's hilarious.

Special thanks to ai for the link.

Update: I just saw this post on Andrew Sinclair about the magnet ribbons, and he raises another good point. What's up with the crooked and sideways magnets? Morevoer, I agree that people with ribbon magnets are just fad bandwagon jumpers.

Searching for Answers

Ok, I rarely write these posts where I tell you what kind of searches lead people to my blog. But this one from today really left me stumped:

how to clean pennies after sex actvity

Um, why are you cleaning pennies after sex? Were they involved in the sex somehow? Because I'm thinking my dirtiest here, but I just can't imagine. Is that how you got paid?

But, seriously though, thanks for bringing it to my attention that I spelled activity wrong in that one post.

Justice Breyer Not Selected for Jury

All I can say is, "Whoa."

I found this via Magic Cookie - who came very close to sitting on a jury with Justice Breyer.

I can imagine that this could create the potential for a lot of complications. Do you think that if you were on a jury with Justice Breyer, when you started deliberating, you would just turn to him and say "Well?" I mean, either you figure he's probably going to be right or you figure that if he doesn't agree with the verdict he can just get some of his buddies to overturn it later.

Do you think the lawyers and the judge would be on their best behavior? Do you think the case would be more or less likely to be granted cert? If, for example, you weren't very familiar with a Justice's positions, do you think reasonable voir dire questions might include, "What are your hobbies? Do you read any magazines? Do you more often overturn convictions or uphold them?"

The Justice Breyer thing aside, chickenmagazine gives a great summary of her experience as a juror. (And she aquitted! Way to go!)

Naked Napper

When I was in high school, there was a boy who had transferred from another state. In fact, if I remember correctly, he was one of those boys that transferred from school to school his whole life.

Anyway, one day, he was sitting at our lunch table, and somehow we were all talking about naptime. You know, a conversation like, "Aaah, remember the good old days when we had naptime after lunch? Now we have to go to History." And everyone said, "Aaah, yes, naptime" except this transfer student.

Transfer student said, "Naptime? I hated naptime. It was so gross, it felt all weird." Gross? Weird? "Yeah, you had to take your clothes off and sleep on that mat." Take your clothes off? I sort of remember taking my shoes off. Maybe socks if that's more comfortable. But clothes? "Yeah, everyone had to get down to their underwear..."

And it was right there, at the high school lunch table, that the transfer student realized maybe something wasn't right at his daycare. We all stopped laughing and the transferred student vowed he was going to ask his mother that night what kind of daycare she had sent him to.

Fast forward to today. Well, last night actually:

The doctor said I have scoliosis. A slight curvature of the spine.

Everyone has that. That's very common actually.

If it's so common, then why did they screen us for it in high school?

What do you mean?

They had this thing. All of the girls had to go to the nurse's office, take off our shirts, and bend over so a doctor could look at our spines.

Was this a man examining everyone?

Yes.

And you thought this was for scoliosis?

Uh oh, did I just have a realization moment like my friend, the naked napper? Did anyone else have these "screenings" at their school?

Jurors as Bloggers

I'm really excited that chickenmagazine from Magic Cookie has gotten selected for a jury. (And, presumably, will blog about her experience as soon as she's allowed to.)

I've never been on a jury - and I fear that I never will be, now that I'm a pretty opinionated lawyer and everything. So, I'd like to hear some inside scoop on what really goes on in a jury room.

And I know that a few people have blogged now about their jury duty experiences, so it made me wonder - Have any of my former jurors ever blogged about any of my cases? And how would I find out? I don't think it would help to search by defendant, as most bloggers probably wouldn't identify the case by name like that. And a "jury duty" "assault" search probably wouldn't be specific enough. I could add the city name, but there's still hundreds of cases every year, so it'd be hard to figure out which is mine, right?

You know I've at least got to try it.

(Oh, and in case you're wondering, I always imagine that my jurors are in there saying things like, "She seems like such a nice young lady, her client must be innocent." "Yes, and did you see her shoes? They were great." "Did you hear that argument she made? That was wonderful, just like her suits." "I liked her hair, it was much better than the DA's.")

Creating Loopholes

A former prosecutor and city councilman writes this editorial.

Public defenders creating loopholes? You'd think a former prosecutor would understand that filing a lawsuit doesn't create loopholes, and when the appellate division rules in your favor it's not a loophole, it's the law.

I'm Back (Yes, Again)

Ok, ok, I'm back.

Also back? Some of my favorite tv shows. I'm so excited for new episodes of Amazing Race (tonight), and new seasons of Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica (January 26) and The Simple Life ("coming soon").

Speaking of TV, did anyone else watch "Who's Your Daddy?" last night? I hate to admit it, but I watched it, and I cried through the whole thing.

And, also, what happened to My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss? I feel like I missed one episode (the paintball episode, of course, the one I really wanted to see) and now I've totally lost track of it. Has it been cancelled? Without revealing who the secret boss was? My Tivo can't find any upcoming episodes, Yahoo TV doesn't list any upcoming episodes, and the show's website doesn't have any kind of schedule listed. Grrr. I at least wanted to know who the secret boss was.

If you were one of the contestants (or even the winner), would you be happy or pissed if the show got cancelled? I mean, one hand, maybe you'd be happy if it never aired - the show is a complete mockery. But, on the other hand, maybe you'd want the world to see that you won?

I don't know. Whatever, enough about TV, that wasn't supposed to be the topic of this post. The topic is "The New Year."

I've got some good exciting trials coming up, so I'm looking forward to that.

And I'm also looking forward to catching up on all of the blogs I haven't read in the past few weeks. I am SO excited to see that Incompetent Attorney is blogging again. That was one of my favorites, so I'm eager to catch up with that and all of the other blogs I've fell behind on.

Alright, let me go do that.