Right now I'm in the Juvenile Division, where the stakes are pretty high; high in the sense that trial outcomes will often do much to shape the future of the children I representby placing all kinds of burdens on their lives. A 12 year old swings his soda bottle at some bigger kid who is bullying them and it's a felony charge forever on their record, forever to be explained.
Like Arthur and Amy (both of whom I know and respect) I wish I also had more time to better represent my clients thought proper case development and exploring other alternatives to trial.
The numbers get a bit insane when you run them. Right now I've got over 100 active trial cases, the majority of which are felony charges. I've done about 20 (bench) trials and/or dispositive motions since the beginning of October. And the really frightening thing is that I've won all but three.
Most days I really don't know how we're actually doing this. If we don't get some relief soon, a lot of people are going to get mangled. I'm sure it's happening now.
In other wierdness, on election day I had a State witness, the chemist in a drug case, ask me if he could be excused because he'd been sitting in the court house since he'd been called *by the state* and wanted to go out and vote. So I asked the guy if I were representing him, would he want me to just stipulate to an *element* of the charge, so a witness could leave at the more convienient hour of 3 instead of (what was likely to be) 5pm? This guy actually got *angry* with me for asking him that.
The juxtaposiiton of the machinery like conveyence of the accused to their systemic doom, the calousness of the "respectable" persons involved, and the lack of time to really work up these cases as they should be worked makes me break out in hives if I take a step back and analyize the system I'm working within.
I have some thoughts on Obama (whom I voted for), but the overriding one is this; It's fundamentally the same country as it was on Tuesday morning, all those lovely Op-Eds aside.
Back to work. At least I only have a half day's load on Sunday.