Saturday, April 07, 2012

Winner, winner...

...chicken dinner!!

Just found out this week that I won my contested motion on three files.  Suh-weet.  It was one motion that was covering three files and I ended up winning in all three files and successfully had statements made during an interrogation of my client in those files suppressed.  Score!  Even though it was essentially just one hearing/one issue, I'm going to count it as three separate wins since it's three files' statements being suppressed.  That makes my contested omnibus record 4 out of 5.  Not too shabby.  Granted, it helps that my prosecutors are usually willing to discuss things I think may be omnibus issues and adjust their offers if needed, meaning we often don't need to actually contest many issues, but I'm also going to say it's because I'm kicking a$$ and taking names.  Because that makes me feel good about my lawyering skillz.

I also had to have another contested hearing on Friday--for THREE HOURS!!  I totally underestimated the time that would take.  I expected it to be an hour, but it ended up taking three.  Whew, was I ever off on that estimation.  I went up against one of the prosecutors that I get along with very well and with whom I am able to generally work out plea negotiations that almost all my clients are satisfied with.  I should probably give him a name, since I deal with him quite frequently and I've mentioned him before...hmm...let's see...I'll go with Sunshine, since I will sometimes call him that when he's cranky or tired because he looks so serious then.  Sunshine it is.    

During the hearing there were 4 officers called and Sunshine was asking the routine prosecutor questions that they use to establish the officer's background, blah, blah, blah to make the officer credible and show they know what they are talking about.  However, this generally takes like 5-10 minutes, depending on how long the officer has been an officer, what, if any, specialty training they may have had, and the various places they have worked. And the hearing was already taking waaaaaaay longer than I had anticipated.  

So, after two of the officers, the court took a break and I looked at Sunshine and said, "Hey, speed up over there!  This is taking forever...we all know the officers are officers...can't you skip all that stuff??"  So, when we came back from the break and got to the next officer, Sunshine's initial questioning was much more succinct.  As he was showing me exhibits before showing them to the officer, he quietly asked me, "Was that better, Your Highness?"  I had to laugh at that.

Some people who aren't in the legal field think it's really weird that I actually get along with the prosecutors I deal with routinely, but I have never thought it was necessary for the opposite sides to hate each other.  Court is court, cases are cases, and we each have a job to do.  That doesn't mean we're mortal enemies.  Sure, I'm not going to tell the other side info that is confidential, nor am I going to tip my hand or anything like that that would detriment my clients.  But, I'm not one to take the things that occur in the courtroom personally (unless it's totally jerky and personal--like if I'm being thrown under the bus or if the prosecutor is insinuating I'm acting unethically) and I don't make personal attacks on the other side, either.  It's just not necessary.  

One of the prosecutors recently told me that one of the reasons he likes the jobs that we do is because there aren't many other occupations where you go up an equally trained opponent whose job it is to undo everything you are trying to accomplish.  He said that, besides the legal field, he could only really name professional athletes and soldiers.  I had never thought of that before, but it's pretty accurate.  

Completely unrelated...  I was doing a crossword puzzle recently and realized that the word list looked like this: 

Ooops...maybe next time, add another word in there...Gusto, Hares, Hoots...anything...

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations. Give yourself a hug! At least work is going OK, sorry home is not so much.

    If your success rate dips, don't let it grind you down. You're like a firefighter, every save is a good save even if you can't save everyone.

    The mark of a winner isn't whether she is knocked down. It's whether she gets up and fights again.


    Apropos of your blabbermouth clients, don't you wish you could make them attend a course on keeping their mouths shut and asking for their lawyer?

    You should make them watch this

    (James Duane, a professor at Regent Law School and a former defense attorney, tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police.)

    and then this

    (An experienced police officer tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police.)

    Theoretical questions re your omnibus motions:

    1) If your blabbermouth client talked to the police because the police lied to him, does your motion include a claim for suppression based on the police not telling the client that they can and will lie to him? I see no reason that Miranda shouldn't be extended to include that warning along with the rest. (Am I the only one who watches "The Closer"?) And shouldn't he be warned that if he lies to them they will use that fact against him?

    2) If your client talked to the police for other reasons, such as the case of a missing wife, child or other significant person, does your motion include a claim for suppression based on the contention that all of his statements were privileged and given for the limited purpose of getting the police to perform their duty of finding that missing person and not for the purpose of incriminating him in any crime, alleged now or later? After all, this is a point where the two duties of the police clash in that they want full disclosure to find the person and that conflicts with the right against self incrimination.

    No, I'm not in any sort or trouble - never have been!