Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Felony trial #2 begins today. Game face on!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Success is counted sweetest by those who ne'er succeed

I lost a sentencing motion today.  I worked super hard on it, as did a member of my support staff.  I even put together a powerpoint presentation to correspond w/ my verbal argument to the court  (and it took me roughly 6-8 hours to put the presentation together because I really don't know how to do powerpoint and kind of had to teach myself as a I went along).  But, in the end, the court did not agree with our recommendations, so we lost the motion. 

Despite the fact that we lost, I can take some consolation in the fact that I had people tell me that I did a really good job on the hearing.  Considering that in most of my court hearings, I'm always wondering if I sound like a total moron (it's that whole public speaking thing that can be a bit unnerving, even when your job requires you to do it every day), it was nice to hear that people thought I did well.  The court clerk told me I did an excellent job, another defense attorney in the courtroom told me afterwards that it was "hands down the best departure motion" she'd ever seen, and even the prosecutor told me afterwards that my powerpoint was really good.  So, at least I know that I did everything I could and the presentation of the motion was strong.  The court didn't agree with what we were requesting, but I did feel like the judge listened to the arguments and considered them and that's really all either side can ask for. 

Well, you can't win 'em all, and thankfully, for our side of things, you can't lose 'em all, either.  And as Emily Dickinson  so aptly stated, "Success is counted sweetest by those who ne'er succeed." 

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need. 

Not one of all the purple host
Who took the flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear, of victory!

As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday evening musings

Sweet mother, I just saw an episode of "Sister Wives."  I'd never seen any episodes before tonight.  What the hell?!  I'd claw those other women's eyes out, no questions asked.  And then I'd kick my husband's ass for even suggesting he be allowed to bang other chicks, let alone force me to consider them my "sister wife."  

My favorite part of the episode was when the group had to move because the police were investigating them and the one woman looks at the camera, crying, and says, very seriously, "This isn't the America I learned about when I was in school."  And I thought to myself, "You mean, the America where if you break the law, you get in trouble with the police?  I'm not sure what America you grew up in, but in the America I grew up in, that's pretty much the routine."   ...you know, unless you have a killer public defender...hehehe...

My dad's coming out from the East Coast in about a week or so.  I told him I'm scheduled to be in trial that week, to which he replied that maybe he'd come watch me let a criminal go free.  Naturally I reminded him that if we won, then he wasn't a criminal, but that he'd be more than welcome to come watch since court is open. 

I've only had one person ever come see me while I'm in court--RV came and watched part of the murder trial but I didn't say anything so she more just watched the trial in general.  So, it would be kind of cool if my dad were actually able to come see my trial.  Even Hat hasn't ever seen me in court--for all he knows, I may have totally made up this whole "public defender" thing and I really don't do anything all day after I leave the house.  Well, that's not entirely true, since he's come to the office a few times and met many of my co-workers.  More accurately, I could have made up this whole "being a lawyer" thing--maybe I'm really working there as a paralegal or secretary or something else, since he's never actually seen me in court. 

Also, I love the show "Cops."  People are soooo weird on this show...and sometimes the cops are amazing and hilarious.  Like the episode I saw recently where 2 like 16 year olds were hanging around a meth house (unbeknownst to them) and the cops pulled them over and then found a joint in the car.  So, instead of arresting them or something, the cops made them each call their parents right there and then the cop told the parents that he'd busted them w/ weed and they were hanging out at a meth house, although they didn't have any meth and they didn't seem to know it was a meth house.  And the one girl started to cry and said, "Please, don't make me call my dad!"  That cop apparently knew that getting arrested is sometimes the better option if the options are arrest or telling the parents.   So, he made them deal with the worse option--the dad was yelling so loudly at the girl that you could hear him through the cell phone on the TV!!

Okay, back to the "Cops" marathon...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Back from the land of paradise

So, Hawaii was amazing.  Stepping off the plane felt a little like stepping into a movie, since everywhere I looked, there were palm trees and gorgeous mountainscapes.  And the ocean.  Lots of the ocean.  Like this:

Those are actual photos I took while we were there.  I know, right??  Un-freaking-real...

Needless to say, it was super relaxing.  My regular stabbing-upper-back/shoulder pain that likes to make my right side feel like misery didn't act up once while I was in Hawaii! I felt awesome the whole time I was there.  And, Hat's allergies disappeared, too.  So, physically and mentally, it was phenomenal.  Hat's already trying to figure out how we can move there.  However, since Hawaii makes you take its bar exam (no waivers), it probably won't happen.  One bar exam is torture enough!!

So, today it was back to work as usual.  Nothing really had changed.  Well, there was a new copier in the office--this one is in color!!--and it scared me a little since I'm technologically equivalent to a caveman.  So, when I had to fax something in to the court, I got a little nervous that I might not know what to do.  Thankfully, that aspect of it was the same as the old copier, so I was okay. 

I did win a sentencing argument today, so that was pretty neat.  It was a drug case and the agreement let me argue for a stay of adjudication (meaning no conviction is entered and if the person completes probation successfully, then there is never a conviction) and the state was going to argue for a stay of imposition (meaning a felony sentence isn't imposed and if the person is successful on probation, the charge is a misdemeanor on their record--it's a felony on their record while they are on probation, though).  So, I made my arguments and thought we had a decent enough shot at the court giving us the stay of adjudication.  And the court did grant that, which was pretty awesome.  

The judge I was in front of is very hard to read, though.  While I was giving my reasoning for requesting the stay of adjudication, I kept thinking, "Omg...what's that expression mean?? Is this going terribly? I don't think I sound like I'm talking crazy but maybe I am...ugh...what is this judge thinking?!"  The judge's face was somewhat stern looking and they kept raising one eyebrow at me, making me wonder if what I'd just said was totally nuts.  However, after the court went with our recommendation, I started to think that maybe that was just the judge's concentration face--I have been told I look mad when I'm thinking really hard, so maybe it's something like that.  Or maybe I did sound like a whacko but the court went with the recommendation anyway.  That's always a possibility.  

The biggest benefit of my Hawaii trip is now I look even less like I'm old enough to be a lawyer, since I now have a great big crop of freckles across my cheeks and nose.  Like a little kid.  They only ever come out in the summer time--they are not really visible at all in the winter, but in the summer and in the sun, they pop out like crazy.  So, as I was talking to one of the prosecutors today, she asked me, "Were you out in the sun recently?  I've never seen you with freckles before!"  So, I know that they are noticeable.  I already get asked about my age and how long I've been an attorney.  A big splash of little-kid-freckles can only make that perception even better...

Monday, May 16, 2011

So, May 21, 2011 is supposed to be Judgment Day, followed by misery for anyone who isn't Raptured. At least I got to go to Hawaii before all that happens.

Monday, May 09, 2011

A tale of two weather forecasts

May 12: Showers; high of 62; low of 50
May 13: Few showers; high of 56; low of 49
May 14: Few showers; high of 60; low of 44
May 15: Partly cloudy; high of 64; low of 46
May 16: Partly cloudy; high of 66; low of 47
May 17: Showers; high of 67; low of 46
May 18: Scattered showers; high of 66; low of 44

May 12: Partly cloudy; high of 84; low of 73
May 13: Partly cloudy; high of 83; low of 73
May 14: Partly cloudy; high of 83; low of 73
May 15: Partly cloudy; high of 84; low of 73
May 16: Cloudy; high of 84; low of 73
May 17: Partly cloudy; high of 84; low of 73
May 18: Cloudy; high of 84; low of 73

Do I really have to come back afterwards?? I'm sure I could pass the Hawaii bar exam.  And I hear Mormons are really big down there, so I'd fit right in (at least at first until they figured out that I secretly don't fit in at all).  I'm sure I can just stay there forever, right??

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Thursday is Hawaii-day!! I'm almost on the amazing, glorious Hawaiian beach!! Just gotta make it through Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Then vacation!!!!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Humorous conversation of the day

One of the prosecutors and I were discussing bail on a case before court this afternoon.  I wanted him to agree to lower the bail.  While we were talking about why I thought he should agree to reduced bail, he was reviewing the bail evaluation, which is this form that ranks defendants based on a number of factors to determine whether bail should be set and at what level.  The scale goes something like this: 0-8 is low; 9-17 is medium; 18+ is high. 

Today's client had a score of 89.  While discussing the bail with the prosecutor, he says to me: "He's got a bail eval score of 89. I don't think I've ever seen one that high before."

Me: "Oh, I've seen ones that high before."
Him: "Really? You must know some interesting people."
Me: (Pause) "You know what my job is, right?" 

Hehehe...gotta have some humor to lighten things up at work.