Monday, September 17, 2007

I think I am qualified...

I handle difficult clients all the time.

A lot of them don't take my advice. Most of them do things that they later swear they never did (especially when it prejudices their case and I have warned them about it constantly... but I'm not bitter).

And I've been doing it at probably a tenth the price some others have been doing it.

I figure if other people can do it and make some money off of it, then why shouldn't I?

So here's my offer to Britney: I can be your lawyer. You can ignore my advice, do inane things which will cause the court to rule against you at the custody hearings and all at a reasonable price for as long as you want. All you need to do is make sure that the retainer check does not bounce and the Angry Bell will be happy to beginning appearing on your behalf.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two Weeks, Two Trials

That is the truth and I am tired.

For the record, both were losses for my clients. Overall, that leaves my record at 1 - 3. If this were baseball, you could break down my record in a couple of ways. Such as:

Number of jury trials: 2

Number of bench trials: 2

Number of jury trials where the client testified: 1

Number of bench trials where the client testified: 1

Number of witnesses cross-examined: 6

Number of juries picked: 2

Number of times effective voir dire questions were
asked: 1

Number of sidebars: 4

Number of sidebars per jury trial: 2

Number of jury questions: 3

Number of jury trials where the client showed up: 1

Number of trials where the client did not show up: 2

Number of trials where the client could have shown
up, but chose not to show up: 1

Number of trials where the client could not have
shown up: 1

Number of cases that settled after being sent out
to a trial department: 21 (I think, this is an estimate)

Number of cases dismissed by opposition after being
sent out to trial department: 3

Number of cases I think clients accepted bad deals
on rather than continuing through after being sent
to a trial department: 3

Number of voir dire sessions where I wanted to
strangle people for believing that the right to trial
is an antiquated notion: 1

I will put up more about the two trials in the next few days (really!). The short version is that both cases were unlawful detainer matters which I inherited at the last minute because the clients were unrepresented going into the day of trial after they received help from various pro bono groups in the area. Needless to say, with little in the way of discovery.

Discovery is a crutch anyways. (Alright, maybe thats just a little bit of rationalization there).

Lessons were learned. Skills were gained.

But the bottom line is this: losing still sucks.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Didn't See Anyone and if I did, I wont say anything...

Posting has been a little light here for a while, mostly because I was gearing up for a few trials. Anyways, I thought I would throw this up in honor of wacky testimony that can come up during a trial. This particular bit came to me via one of the listservs I am on.

Q. And no women that you can recall enter or exit? I mean the frequency you have of entering into that unit is the fifty-year-old man and the seven or eight year old boy, then B standing at the door and I am assuming between the frequency of Mr. BZ standing at the door and the seven or eight year old and the fifty-year-old man entering or exiting, you never saw one female ever. Would that be fair to say?
A. For a period of time, I can't say that I never saw one female ever for five months.

Q. Let's talk about the period from April of 2000 to September of 2000.

A. For that period of time, I can't tell you that I never saw one female walking in and out that building.

Q. But there was no female of any frequency coming to the house; is that correct?

A. Not with any great frequency.

Q. Would you see a female like maybe once or twice?

A. That's possible. I can't recall for sure.

Q. Do you know what the females looked like?

A. What?

Q. Do you know what they looked like?

A. I don't remember.

Q. Anything in particular? Anything particular that made them remarkable or outstanding or significant?

A. No.

Q. What color was their hair?

A. I don't remember anybody specific.

Q. But would you remember like a tall blonde, a short redhead?

Q. Do you remember the color of the hair of the women that came into the the house.

A. I am just saying I won't say I never saw a woman enter or exit that place during those months. But I am not saying I can think of anybody specific.

Q. When you saw the women enter, was there anything specific

about them like the color of their hair?

A. No.

Q. I mean if someone said describe the woman who came in who went to the house, you would just say it's a woman and that's it?

THE COURT: I take it your testimony is, you are not saying there was a woman entering?

THE WITNESS: I am not saying there was any woman entered.

I am saying that I won't say that I never saw one.

THE COURT: So the woman you won't say you never saw, you can't describe?


LANDLORD’S ATTORNEY: The woman you won't say you can't describe.

THE COURT: Won't say you never saw.

LANDLORD’S ATTORNEY: The woman you won't say you never saw?

THE COURT: You can't describe.

LANDLORD’S ATTORNEY: You won't say you never saw. I am trying to get this straight.

THE COURT: If you speak Spanish, you can do that real easy.

LANDLORD’S ATTORNEY: Q. How about this. Would there be more than

one person who you won't say you never saw? How about that?

A. I don't speak Spanish.

Q. Touche. But what makes you think there was any women you saw?

A. I am just saying -- all I am saying is --

Q. Yeah?

A. -- that during those months, I saw some people with frequency, and I won't say that nobody else ever went through that door, whether or not I saw them.