You Had A Bad Day

Some days are better than others.

Some days the judges are charmed by me, some days my clients follow my advice, some days the prosecutors give me fantastic offers, some days are quick and easy.

Other days the judges are downright rude, other days my clients don't care what I have to say, other days the prosecutors make the most ridiculous offers, other days my clients get "lost" somewhere between the jail and the court and I spend all day waiting.

Today was a bit of a rough day.

The prosecutor's offer was crap, and while my client was happy to take it, I was disappointed with the disposition.

I left the courtroom after a long, tough day, feeling like a failure, my head hanging low.

"Excuse me? Excuse me, Miss?"

I turned around and saw a young man who had been sitting in the courtroom all day.

"Can I get your card? You're a real good lawyer."

I was about to explain that I'm a public defender, and that all of my clients are assigned to me, so there's no point in taking my card. But, first, I had a question...

"Oh yeah? You liked the way I entered that plea? You want a year in the county jail?"

"Well," he said, "It sounds pretty good compared to what my lawyer says I'm gonna get. And that guy looked real happy with it."

I guess it's all about perspective.

"So, can I get your card? Can I get a year?"

12 comments:

  1. I absolutely love your blog
    i haven't read hundreds or anything but yours is my favorite that I have read so far.
    I liked your story about your childhood friend, and basically all of them, being a lawyer must be a crazy thing to be.
    thanks for finding time to blog with your busybusy life, I enjoy it :)

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  2. Sorry to hear you had a crappy day, there must be something going around. But it is a good message that sometimes its in the perspective.

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  3. It could be worse. You could be studying for the California Bar Exam.

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  4. Sorry about your day--isn't it the truth that some days are SUCH a breeze and some days really suck? Right now I have 3 lawyers I REALLY hate dealing with. Luckily, I settled a case with one of them today, after I complained that all he did was telephone me up and harass me about how my case is a piece of shit and how stupid I am for pursuing it, and how his client doesn't have any money anyway. (His client fraudulently evicted mine.)

    Anyway, I called up my client and lo and behold she wanted to settle the case for $15,000--really, I had no idea she would take so little money. I told jerkface that she'd take $25,000, and he accepted! Bye bye jerkface.

    I really hate it when Judges yell at me--I don't know why. Sometimes I feel like I'm in 4th grade and want to cry because I didn't get a gold star that day. Pathetic, yes?

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  5. Ahhhh, what a nice guy! The question is, can you get him just a year?

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  6. You sound like you could use a gratuitous adorable baby llama.

    (Was going to hotlink, then I thought that was maybe not kosher.)

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  7. Great post. I can imagine the hope in his face. Isn't that what keeps you going, day after day?

    We all have bad days. Enjoy the weekend. Have a glass of wine.

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  8. few things feel better than when you have had a hard week and you are standing in the jail, meeting new clients, when they come into the meeting room and say "god am I glad I got you, the guys upstairs say your the sh%^, a real good lawyer" it helps, especially when one of the guys upstairs just got maxed...

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  9. Sorry it was one of those days, but thanks for writing about it, it is good to know I'm not the only one who has days like that. Hope your weekend is relaxing...

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  10. I seem to remember the Sixth Amendment to that pesky Bill of Rights containing language requiring defendants to have the assistance of counsel for their defense. You could go look it up, but trust me it's still there. No, on the other hand maybe you should look it up to be sure it is still there. After all, the fourth doesn't require Gestapo 911 to knock before breaking into the wrong house to serve a warrant with a typo anymore.

    What if no defense attorneys showed up on the third Friday of the month?

    Think about it.

    Just another Sunday.

    (x-posted over there)

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  11. I seem to remember the Sixth Amendment to that pesky Bill of Rights containing language requiring defendants to have the assistance of counsel for their defense. You could go look it up, but trust me it's still there. No, on the other hand look it up to be sure it is still there. After all, the fourth doesn't require Gestapo 911 to knock before breaking into the wrong house to serve a warrant with a typo anymore.

    What if no defense attorneys showed up on the third Friday of the month?

    Think about it. Don't take the day off, just pool your energies and direct them elsewhere. Assume responsibility for the state of the system.

    Just another Sunday.

    (x-posted over there)

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