A Bias Crime

I have a client, who is... um... how should we say... "easily fired-up?" Today, I only had a minute to talk to him before we walked into the courtroom, so I said to him, "Listen. The judge is going to dismiss your case today. That's it, the case is going to be over. I just need you to come in, we'll see the judge, she'll say 'dismissed' and that will be it. All done. So, let's go."

My client really wanted to explain something more to me about the case. He just kept talking. And, I'm sorry, but the case was getting dismissed, so it really just didn't matter to me.

"Ok, ok, I got it. But your case is being dismissed. Let's just go get it done, and then if you have questions, you can ask me afterward."

And with that, I walked in to court, and let the judge know we were ready.

The entire procedure took about 3 seconds. The judge looked at me, looked at my client, looked down at the file, and said, "This case is dismissed with prejudice."

My client FLIPPED OUT.

"Prejudice? She saying I'm a racist? Prejudice? Are you serious? I've never been racist on no one! You can ask anyone who knows me! This judge be crazy!"

And there was nothing, nothing, nothing I could say to get him to stop so that I could explain what "with prejudice" means.

But, I'll admit, it was kind of fun to watch.

13 comments:

  1. Oh, jeez.

    I swear, you're a saint!!

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  2. I think I would have cracked up.

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  3. OMG!!!! I am curious as to how you got him out of there!!!

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  4. Our clients, God bless em', are not rocket scientist by any menas.

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  5. that is funny. best thing i recently heard -- an inmate we were interviewing as a potential inmate telling me he really needed to put his property in "astro".


    ....escrow?

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  6. You could have offered him a dismissal without prejudice I suppose...

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  7. I don't do criminal cases, but I've run across that alot with my clients in civil ones thinking the same thing. Sometimes I wish they would just change the terminology.

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  8. Terrific!!

    Reminds me of a client a few months back who, throughout a plea colloquy, kept referring to the judge as "Your majesty."

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  9. Thanks for this! I needed something funny this Monday!

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  10. I keep wanting to correct my clients when they say "arrangement" instead of "arraignment" but I just can't bring myself to do it.

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  11. Great, my clients often confuse motions to quash with motions to "squash." It captures what a quash is but still makes me chuckle every time.

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  12. Arrangement, rearages (arrears in Child support) injent (Indigent)... aren't clients great!

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