Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Not Guilty! My favorite words!

I was in trial this week on a difficult case. The charge was one of those where just the charge itself is bad & people assume being charged is bad enough. It was a very tough case w/ difficult facts to work with & even more difficult bc I honestly believed my client was innocent. And those are the hardest to defend bc the pressure to be successful is so high.

This was a commit to prison case, meaning if he were convicted, he'd have had to go to prison, no probation. And it was a long sentence: 91 months. My client had a lot at stake going into trial. And I was so nervous I was shaking at last Friday's pretrial motion hearing.

We started on Monday & wrapped up today. Jury went out at 11:50 a.m. They had a verdict by 1:25 p.m.

My heart sank. That felt too fast to be good for my client. They felt like it was going to be a guilty verdict & I was going to be devastated & my client was going to be beside himself.

The verdict was not guilty. I gasped audibly in shock & joy. So did my client. I grabbed his shoulder, he grabbed mine, and he said softly, "Thank you so much. Thank you."

My client had been in jail since his arrest. He was released after the verdict. He had to go back to the jail to be booked out, but this time, the transport bailiff didn't have to hand & leg cuff him. My client was a free man. My client finally got to go home & get his life back & see his son again.

There is no way to describe the feeling of getting a not guilty verdict. It's relief and joy and excitement and vindication and satisfaction and tons of other emotions all at once. Getting a not guilty that saves someone from prison, that adds even more to the emotional overload.

Seeing your client finally walk out w/o handcuffs and knowing I'd helped to set him's an experience like nothing I can ever explain. It's powerful & overwhelming & humbling all at the same time.

Days like this make it all worthwhile.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Here we go again

So, I had two trials right before I went on vacation last month. I lost both. I had to prepare for 4 trials but only 2 actually went. So it was an exhausting month. I finished my last trial two days before I went on vacation. A much needed vacation by the time it rolled around.

I came back from vacation on January 6th. And today I start another trial. A really serious trial that's going to be a lot of work this week.

Next week, I'm scheduled for another serious trial, as well.

I'm already exhausted & the stress from this first trial is going to eat me alive. And then I have to also try to prepare the other case for trial while simultaneously being in trial on this case. There should be a rule that you can't be in trials back to back. It's too hard & too exhausting. Not to mention nothing else gets done on your other cases.

So, I went from rarely having trials in 2013 & most of 2014, to having prepped for 6 trials in 2 months & actually going to trial on at least 3 and if next week's case doesn't settle, 4 trials in 2 months. That's a lot of trials.

I'm already tired from this week & it hasn't even started.