Monday, April 27, 2009
Am I still in high school? Threatened by a judge with $5,000 in sanctions for not preparing a brief on time - like being late with your homework. The judge keeps me waiting in court for two hours while he decides what he's really going to do to me. (tell my parents?) And one of the lawyers on the case (a friend) tells me with a giggle he's going to hang out in court just to see what the judge is going to do with me.
That same day I get a call from an appeals lawyer representing my former client who got convicted after a jury trial last year. She wants to know why I didn't object to a question the DA asked the cop on the stand. "I don't know" She waded into me just like a teacher. "Well what was on your mind?" All I could get out was a mumbled "I don't know." If this was on film I'd be looking down at the floor.
The $5,000 in sanctions? The judge settled for making me come back next week.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sometimes I wish I was a DA. I look with envy on their lot. (well except for those in the welfare fraud division who have to prosecute poor people in wheelchairs for being a little greedy with the dole) The reason I envy DA's is that they have such an easy time of it in trials. All they gotta do is show the jury what my guy (the defendant) did and they'll usually get a conviction. It's really as easy as all that. They don't have to come up with arguments like this:
defendant is accused of threatening a witness to a crime to dissuade the witness from testifying (this is a crime in itself - PC 136).
Defendant says: "snitches die with stitches."
The argument: "This was not a threat, it was simply an observation."
Now I didn't make this pathetically strained argument. I heard another lawyer do it. He obviously had nothing else. The joke is if it came down to it I'd probably make this argument too, if I had nothing else. I know this because I've made them. Shudder. Probably some of them worked. Hallelujah!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I'm in court and watch as a judge listens to a man's brother plead with the judge not to sentence his brother to 25 to life under the 3 strikes law. Although this was the defendant's 3rd or 4th violent crime conviction, the brother told the judge about his brother's struggles with drug addiction. His honor had tears in his eyes as he listened. And then he sentenced the defendant to the 25-life.
Later on I saw the judge in the hallway and said "that must have been tough." He looked at me a little surprised and smiled. "Easy as pie."
Thursday, April 16, 2009
California prisons are filled to the brim (no pun intended). Why? Because no politician, no judge has ever gotten into trouble for sending "criminals" away for the maximum time possible. BASIC LAW OF BEING A JUDGE OR POLITITICAN. THE TOUGHER YOU SAY YOU ARE ON CRIME THE BETTER YOU WILL DO IN THE POLLS.
1. prostitution (we arrest them but then let them go unless we can get them on drugs or identity theft et al.)
2. stripping (we don't even arrest them just for that anymore do we?)
3. Bestiality I actually looked it up. It used to be a MAJOR crime Death & worse - just like we treat child molesters today. (check out the Bible) But guess what? Beastialitists must have had friends in high places because the "crime" has turned into a measly misdemeanor - and then only as part of cruelty to animals statutes.
4. marijuans is another, because the children of politicians and their friends use it as do the politicians.
My wife says I don't have a point of view: no I don't think we should put people in prison for prostitution, stripping, bestiality, marijuana either but we shouldn't put people in prison for as long as we do for many, many, crimes. That's my pov.
Anyways I needed an excuse to put another photo of a stripper/mug shot up because - for some reason it attracts advertisers. Who would have thought sex sells.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
I get cred from courtroom staff depending on the bizzareness of my clients cases.
Whenever I see the Kathie the clerk - in whatever court she is in - her face lights up and we reminisce about a trial over 15 years ago where my client's wife - County Probation Officer - testified that my client - also a County Probation Officer - wasn't at that seedy motel on Washington Bl to smoke crack cocaine with a hooker (and later beat her up over a disagreement in their contractual arrangements). The wife knew her husband wasn't at this motel with the hooker because in truth she was the one at that motel with her husband that night. She explained how they liked to go to a seedy motel on Washington Bl on special occasions. On these occasions, she, the wife, would get up on a table and dance and strip, to spice up the relationship. She stepped down from the witness stand and demonstrated the dance. Unfortunately the jury came back guilty. Which doesn't matter much now - it's all about the dance.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
last night I had a dream. I did an armed robbery using my antique WWII M-1. Immediately caught I was in a police car and the cop said - "If you tell me what happened I'll give you a break. I know that this was a one time thing and you're not a criminal." In my show - IT'S CRIMINAL the comedy - I do a bit based on my experiences as a criminal defense lawyer about my clients confessing at the drop of a hat. It amazes me they listen to the cops horseshit they use about helping them out etc. In my dream, that's just what happens - the cop says to me - "if you tell me what happened I'll be able to help you out." I think what the hell - and confess. The next thing that happens is I'm in jail and I'm wondering if there is any possible way to escape and how I can case the joint out without the guards knowing that I'm thinking about escaping. And I'm scared.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Eye witnesses are a nightmare for me cause they're so believable. Everyone believes they saw what they say they saw. Even if we read tons of stories in newspapers about some guy getting out of prison after 30 years because some DNA proved that he couldn't be the guy the eyewitness id'd. Even though we see these reports over and over - you put an eyewitness up there and he says "He's the guy!" pointing at my client and the jury is going to convict.
Recently in trial - liquor store robbery with guns and a shootout. The witness who is in the shootout says he saw everything, everything down to minute details about how my guy looked.
I ask. "How's your vision?"
Without hesitation - "Perfect."
But it looks like one of his eyes is higgly so I ask -
"Is something wrong with your right eye?"
"My right eye? Yeah, it’s a prosthetic."
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Why is it that whenever the cops record an interrogation they put the microphone close to the cops and you can hear them clear as a bell but the guy being worked over - usually my client - you can never hear clearly. Do they do this on purpose?
Saturday, April 4, 2009
As I'm leaving the Criminal Courts for lunch a deputy sheriff with glee in his voice shouts "Did you hear there are 8 judges stuck in the elevator!" Wow.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
i'm sitting in court and hear this exchange. "Well Mr. so & so if you want to go )pro per (be your own lawyer)you'll be going up against someone who has been to college and then law school and is a tremendously experienced prosecutor. Do you think you can handle that?" "Yes your honor." "Well Mr. so & so - do you even know if the crime you are charged with committing, manslaughter is a general intent or specific intent crime?" Mr. So & So waits a long time. I'm thinking. I don't know the answer. I don't think the judge knows the answer - in fact God doesn't know the answer because nobody knows the answer. That's my position.