Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If Your Lawyer is in an Orange Jump Suit, You Might Have a Problem...

I went to Hell for three years.  Hell was disguised as the Campbell University School of Law and it was located in what can only be described as the armpit of Hell:  Buies Creek, North Carolina. 

Leave it to me to go to the only law school in our great State that continued to practice the Socratic Method of education. The Socratic Method really just boils down to being required stand in class by the sadistic professor where--for an hour--he questions you about completely tangential facts on one of the five hundred cases you were required to read the night before.  If a student isn't completely humiliated and confused by the end of the hour...well, the professor hadn't done his job.

I essentially missed out on three years of Thanksgiving because the rat bastard ass clowns at the school thought it would be really kicky to commence exams on the Saturday immediately following Thanksgiving Day.  I spent the majority of my Christmas Breaks sound asleep and/or in a coma for pushing my body and mind beyond the limits of what it could reasonably endure. 

We won't even talk about studying for the Bar Exam.

One would be well within their rights to question the sanity of a person who voluntary subjected themselves to the above.  As a matter of fact, I question my sanity daily and sometimes more than once a day.

Okay, so where in the great wide world are you going with this, Ashley?  Well, boys and belles, I want to give you a glimpse into my mindset when a client starts quoting a jailhouse lawyer to me.

Jailhouse lawyers.  Inmates and other Defendants who have been in the system so long that they think they have it licked.  They always give the appearance of being self-assured and relaxed...of course I would immediately question why an incarcerated person would look so at ease among the bars, pepper spray, jumpsuits, plastic flip-flops and gnarly peanut butter sandwiches.  I don't think I want somebody that used to the system giving me advice on how to get out, but it wouldn't be the first time I was accused of being picky.

True story:  During one of his many jail guest appearances, a habitual drunk driver takes a suggestion from an even more habitual drunk driver to keep a tin of sardines in his car at all times.  If the driver is pulled, the driver needs to shove as many of the nasty little things in his mouth as he can.  I can't say I was surprised to learn that the introduction of anchovies to a pickled stomach causes severe and immediate vomiting and, of course, barfing poses a problem for the Breathalyzer test. 

Okay, yeah, throwing up does pose a problem for a breath test, but I can assure you that throwing up tequila and sardines on a law enforcement officer poses a much more dire problem.  Futhermore, Genius Jones knowingly signed consent for a blood alcohol test, so it was pretty much all for naught no matter how you looked at it.

Ah, and let's not forget one of my favorite return customers of all time.  The Defendant was walking down the street when he finds a wallet on the ground.  Holy cats!  The wallet is full of money and credit cards!  What to do, what to do?  He did the only thing that made sense:  He spent the cash at Pure Gold and ran the credit cards to the limit and then turned in the wallet into the police as a concerned citizen. 

The aforementioned Defendant apparently had the Robert Shapiro of jailhouse lawyers.  They would both call me (collect from jail) daily expressing their dismay as to why I wasn't able to achieve a bond reduction for my client, particularly when my client was being a good citizen by returning [some] of the property..  Perhaps it was because of my client's well-documented tendency to leave the State when pending criminal charges became too much for him--but I'm just spitballing here...

Oh yes, and then there are the comparison shoppers.  My client bristles like a porcupine for getting an active sentence for trespassing when the Johnnie Cochran of Cellblock K got a slap on the wrist with unsupervised probation.  Well, for starters, Cochran was charged with Second Degree Trespass and you were charged with First Degree Trespass because you can't stop showing up at the bar where your ex-wife's new boyfriend works.  Also, perhaps...just perhaps...the judge took your twenty prior trespassing charges into account at sentencing and Mr. Cochrane had no priors.  Different ingredients go into each recipe.

Hey, it's a free country.  If you want to have a jailhouse lawyer represent you, go right ahead.  Just make sure that his release date is compatible.

1 comment:

  1. Clients used to seem surprised when, after they told me that their brother's neighbor's cousin's lawyer got her 3k/month in alimony, the house, and had the judge personally call the ex a bad man in open court - and they expected the same in their case (when their own spouse netted 4k on a good month), I'd tell them that if I were in their shoes, I'd go hire the other lawyer b/c there was no way in hell I was getting that for them.