Thursday, May 03, 2012


I am starting to understand why people burn out in public defense. Things have been substantially more difficult since the start of the year for a number of reasons. Having back to back trials right after getting back from vacation meant I started January off being crazy far behind. I don't think I've been able to entirely catch up. I've had to do misdemeanor cases along with felony cases and the volume of misdemeanor cases is always high no matter where you work. I got assigned a high maintenance, although not annoying or frustrating, client who has multiple felony cases that are fairly complicated. And it seems that, in general, my front cases in the last few months have been more complicated than normal, with much more work and investigation needed than normal. Plus, I've had an extreme uptick in contested omnibus issues (non-lawyers, this means I've had an uptick in cases that have potentially problematic evidence issues that we are trying to get thrown out for some legal reason).  Those hearings are often like mini-trials, with witnesses giving testimony, and they are longer than uncontested hearings. Plus, I've obviously been dealing with the emotional fallout of YKW's departure, which means that somedays, just getting out of bed and forcing myself not to cry all day is a monumental task.
So all these things have combined to make work over the last few months pretty overwhelming. Maybe it's just that I'm overly sensitive right now but it certainly feels more intense than it ever has been. I'm having to request continuances because I haven't had time to prepare, which I really haven't had to do very often for the last year or so. I hate doing that. Hate, hate, hate it. It makes the court cranky, makes the prosecutors cranky, and makes me look like crap to my client.  What kind of professional shows up and says, "Sorry, we need to reschedule because I am not ready."  Can you imagine if you showed up for surgery and your surgeon said that?! So I hate asking for continuance because I'm not prepared.  But if I'm not able to get to things, there isn't any other option. But it's stressful.
I am feeling very worn out and like it doesn't matter how much I try, I can't catch up so it's pointless to even try. I'm still trying to stay on top of everything but I definitely feel like I'm rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
I need a clone of myself.

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