The Sun Will Come Out... Tomorrow.

You get to the point where you hear the same B.S. over and over. And it just starts to sound like B.S.

One thing that the judges care about is whether your client has a job, what the job is, and how long he's held it. Holding a decent job for a long time is a good sign that (a) you're reliable, and you won't skip court, (b) you've got a good reason not to skip town and (c) you might have someone else relying on you financially. Not holding a job means, in the judge's eyes, you've got nothing better to do with your time besides get in trouble, so you might as well stay in jail.

The salary isn't a major issue. Even if you have a regular gig sweeping the church after BINGO once a week, it might mean something to the judge. Maybe your boss at the church would be willing to say, "He's a good guy." And that would mean something to the judge too.

So, I routinely ask every client if they have a job, any job. If they say no, I ask what my client what he does with his days. If you don't work because you're taking care of your elderly grandmother or your handicapped child, saving your family the cost of a home health attendant, that means something to the judge. If you fill your days selling crack on the corner, well, let's not mention that. (And, yes, there are clients that say, "I sell crack. What do you think I'm here for?")

But what I can't get over is why EVERY client who doesn't have a job tells me that he has a job interview "TOMORROW." That, and a drug program. EVERY client is starting rehab "TOMORROW." Yeah, and "tomorrow" might be the day I get up early and start running before work. Let's hold our breath.

I think I might have believed it when I was a newbie. I think that maybe for my first five, ten clients, I thought, "I have to get my client out... he's got that job interview and rehab appointment tomorrow." Now I'm just like, "Let me guess... tomorrow?"

But I still repeat it to the judge. I put on a good show about how my client needs to get home for his important job interview tomorrow, or his appointment for rehab intake, or the medicaid appointment so he can afford rehab. Even though I know the judge has probably heard it as many times as I have. Because my client wants to hear me say it.

You know, it's like when I was in high school, I was in a play. I think the play ran maybe 3 nights. And on the third night, before the curtain opened, the director (who was also the drama teacher and one of my favorite English teachers) said, "I know this is the third time you're going through this. But for the audience, it's the first. So give them as good of a show as you did the first night."

And I thought that was a good point.

Although, for my clients, it's probably not their first time seeing the show that is called court, it is usually their first time seeing this actress on stage.

So the show goes on.

8 comments:

  1. It's kind of like one of those medieval morality plays, isn't it? Ah well, there's a lot to be said for rituals.

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  2. Loved this post! It's sooooo true.

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  3. "But what I can't get over is why EVERY client who doesn't have a job tells me that he has a job interview "TOMORROW." That, and a drug program. EVERY client is starting rehab "TOMORROW.""

    I thought that only happened in Georgia.

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  4. Hey, there..I just got your email. I've written you back. :o)

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  5. There's an interesting ethical question here: if, by repeating the same thing to the judge every time, you dilute your own credibility without helping out your client (since the judge isn't going to believe you if you say it every time) -- are you actually doing a DISservice to future clients who might actually have a job interview tomorrow? The judge probably won't believe you if you say no, really, this time it's true. (I don't know the answer, but I think it's an interesting question.)

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  6. "I sell crack. What do you think I'm here for?"

    We only catch the stupid ones.

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  7. Fabulous- and very true. As for how you differentiate the real ones, when it is real I ask for the info, the person they are i-viewing with, or the intake person at the rehab facility. I give that info to the judge, and it is kind of like a secret code between us- he knows that I have verified this info- so he takes it in to account when he makes the bail decision.

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  8. Blonde,

    Im glad I wasnt the only one blogging about our clients today. Maybe there is something in the water...

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