Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Conflict" of interest

The office has finally been completely moved. It is a month and a half late and lots of people had personal items 'walk out the door,' but we're in the new space. It's much better than the last few offices I've been in. This makes my 6th office in the two years that I've been employed here. It's probably the second best (I liked my 20th floor window office).

Today I had to handle a calendar for one of my coworkers who had to attend a funeral. He had several people who did not show up for court, but I did handle one Motion for Bond. Before that hearing started I noticed one of the attorneys from another division in my office sitting with the victim. I thought, "hmm that's a little odd." But didn't really have time to investigate until later.

The hearing itself was to set bond for a client accused of rape. On Halloween he was at a party at Little Five Points and then late at night went home with a few friends. During the course of the night, someone had sex with someone. It's hard to tell who was doing whom since they had each had enough alcohol to drown a whale, but someone ended up rather unhappy and filed rape charges. The hearing itself was pretty standard: the client's father and sister both testified; as did the victim. I think I did ok, but I was a bit intimidated by the TV news camera. There is a murder trial going on in our courtroom, and the cameras were there to capture the drama. Then the judge set bond at $50,000.00. Not bad for a rape case.

After I handled the hearing I looked around for the young lawyer who had just been there. He was not around, so I called his supervisor, described what he looked like, got his name and cell phone number and asked him to hop back over to the courtroom for a quick talk about showing up with a victim in one of our cases. This wasn't by any means a confrontational chat, just wanted to know what was up with the situation. Turns out he had known this girl for a really long time (had actually been her friend for years) so we decided that it would be best if our office turned this case over to the Conflict Defender's Office. The professional rules say that if one lawyer in the firm has a conflict, all the lawyers share that conflict of intrest. So, since this guy knows the victim, it may appear improper for us to be representing the defendant.... probably best to stay away from any potential problems anyway.

I thought it was funny to see a public defender sitting with the victim in the case. He did think that the defendant had hired a private lawyer though, so I understand his thought process. At least I got to meet a new coworker, turns out he went to Georgia State law school, so we had a few things in common.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Fly

Yesterday I had a trial calendar begin. I had two cases on it, one of which plead out, one was dismissed by the prosecutor. It took a few hours to get everything in order, so I didn't get back from the 8:30 calendar call until 10 or 10:30. While I was walking around the new office looking for a co-worker I noticed that my fly was down. I had not taken a trip to the restroom, and my suit does not have a weak zipper. The only conclusion I could draw was that I was "not properly dressed for court." Luckily, when you stand in front of the judge with your client, you are behind a podium. Also lucky: nobody said anything, so hopefully that means nobody noticed.

I mean, if you noticed something like that in a courtroom, you'd help me out right?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

More Office Move

As I mentioned before, our office is moving around the corner so that all the attorneys can be in the same office. It's a pretty good space, and things should be smooth when we eventually get there... but as they say, the journey is half the fun.

I was in court on Tuesday and had a relatively short day, all things considered. I got back to the old office around 3 to find that the movers were getting to my office next. Sweet! The move that had been set for Dec. 11th, and then Dec 28th, and then January 2nd, was finally happening! So, all my boxes of files, and all my furniture was packed up and put on the moving trucks for the trip around the corner. The computer was left sitting on the floor waiting for some further action. So, I left the office on Tuesday excited to get to the new office on Wed. morning. Ha ha.

Wed. morning I stopped by the old office because I remembered I had left a jacket and tie hanging on the back of my door. Lucky I went there first because I got word that the new building was not done (?!?). So, all my files and furniture was gone, and in my office was a sad looking disassembled computer and a phone, both sitting on the floor. So, with no office to use, and no files, how can you get work done? You can't. You can't even go to the jail to talk to people, because all the information for their cases is neatly packed away in the mover's possession.

This morning I almost went to the new building, but thought better of it. I went to the old office where there was nothing left (report to work so you can sit around and watch the dust collect on what used to be a productive workspace), and we had a meeting to start the day. Good news: The new office is almost ready; bad news: I'm on a trial calendar, and the computers etc. won't be moved and set up until next week! But I am to report to the new office in the morning when my floor should be done.

If you work for the government, initiative and hard work are always punished. That's just the way the county wants it. I tried to move my computer myself. I tried to do the right thing for my clients and prepare my new office for workable space. So, I picked up my computer and carried it out to my car in preparation to bring it with me first thing in the morning. Apparently, moving a computer is next on the "BAD" list right below murder, right above arson. I somehow started a shit-storm. Administrators were calling, people were saying, "Hey THEY'RE looking for you." You'd think that I had killed ten children.

So, I am now directed to move the computer back to my old office where it will sit on the floor, wait for the movers, sit in their truck, move one block, then get moved into the new building to a conference room where it will be left in the computer farm for delivery to my new office some time in 2009.

Ahhhh, government work.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What causes a New Year Hangover?

Yeah, that was some awesome tiramisu.....

We had a black tie party at Drew's house. Everyone wore some variation on a "tie." So I wore a tuxedo, Ryan had a three piece suit from Valu Village, Drew had a tux too. It was very classy, it was very fun. Very funny too. There are a few video clips floating around with lots of screaming, many food fights, and a little wrestling on the booze soaked floors. My tux shirt was a mess (toxic, contagious, stained MESS) the next day. Yuk. I felt sorry for my dry-cleaner guy since he's always so nice and remembers my name. Too bad he got my stinky multi-colored shirt.

OH, I almost forgot: Check out the sweet sideburns on that guy!! (Which guy? Me.) You may not know this, but I am a big fan of ironic facial hair. So, given a week when I did not have to be in court, I decided it would be very funny to shave only my chin. Julie hated me, but it was worth it for the amusement that I caused myself. Yes, mostly just myself.

Monday, January 01, 2007

oh crap

I'm not looking forward to tomorrow's hangover.....