Thursday, April 8, 2010

Apparently, I have time to waste

I was so mad at one of my clients yesterday that, had the hallway not been full of people I would have given him a earful. I picked up this client 3 weeks ago on a worthless check charge. First, he told me that he was in Metro jail on the date of the allegation. I made a few phone calls and 30 minutes later learned that he was a few days off regarding his intake date. After telling him that, he then said that he was not in Cheatham County on the date the check was written, had not been in Cheatham County in the last 5 years, had never met the victim, etc. The police officer or victim had not been subpoenaed and there was no copy of the check in the court file so I reset his case to yesterday and issued subpoenas.
Everyone showed up for court yesterday. Before I spoke with anyone else, I called my client out into the hall to speak with him. The case seemed odd to me. Normally, my clients will admit their guilt or admit that they were there but it wasn't them or something like that. This was the first time I got the amnesia story so I was suspicious. As soon as my client gets out into the hall he asks me what kind of deal I can get him. I asked him if he remembered what he had told me last time & he said yes but he just figured that there was enough proof to convict him. He now has an outstanding charge in Metro & this case is holding that one up so he just wants to get on with it & that he wrote the check.
So help me, if the hallway had not been full of people I would have told him more than he ever wanted to hear. Like I have all the time to just sit on my thumbs & think about his petty worthless check case. The Court has more important cases, the police officer has better & more important things to do & I have more pressing cases to work on. But no, we have to clog the Court's docket & take up every one's time to be a self-serving moron. What did he have to say for himself when I told him that I would have appreciated him being straight with me to begin with? A shrug of his shoulders. Gee, thanks. And what does my client get for all of this? Nothing, except payment of costs & restitution. And as his defense attorney I would not have cared had jail time been a part of his plea. Is that wrong of me? I can't help but think that it is, from a defense attorney standpoint.


  1. You need a nice little speach to give to your clients when you first get in there with them. They can't give you this "who me?" crap and think they won't get caught. If they are straight you'll get it done quickly. If they pretend to be a child and claim to be on the moon at the time, they'll love your trust forever.

    But a lot of them think that if they tell a PD that they are guilty the attorney won't even try to look at the sufficiency of the evidence or whether constitutional procedures were followed, etc.

    I guess you're just developing that skepticism and distrusting attitude that is necessary for being a successful defender.

    btw... if you were working as a private defense attorney you'd love that he created more billable time. :)

  2. I had never thought of the 'billable time' like that. I sincerely hope I never get that desperate for money!
    On a side note: a very 'influential' person told me that this particular person was a particular part of a horse's anatomy when they found out what happened. :)