The Perils of Flying Solo
The grass is always greener when you look across the fence. I have been flying solo for too many years to count and it has had its many blessings but weeks like this are the ones that make you pause to reflect.
Return from the FACDL annual meeting which was, as always, very good and helps to recharge the batteries. A trial set in Jacksonville...oops! No go this week but maybe next.
Tuesday pre-trials, a couple of old cases finally closing out with negotiated dispositions and two DMV hearings - both set with out any consultation to my calendar, the first at 9 the second at 11.
Make it through chambers, go over plea agreements with all three clients and brief my client on the workings of the Kangaroo Court known as Administrative Review. Only problem, no hearing officer and no trooper! Try to placate my client and family for a few minutes and then find a JA who calls to find out they have continued the hearing with little or no consideration for my schedule or my client. And, by the way, forgot to call and advise they weren't going to make the courthouse but they did leave a message on voice mail at the office that wasn't scheduled to open until nine.
Meet with a prosecutor over a new case during the down time and return for the 11o'clock hearing. The same deputy who had previously requested a continuance just decided not showing was a better option. An entire morning wasted with little or no ability to accomplish anything positive for my client.
Grab lunch with two friends and, nightmare of all nightmares, break a tooth. Return to my office with an ache that makes life miserable only to find out a construction crew on property behind my office has severed the phone lines. No phones, fax or internet and a jury selection set for this morning, Wednesday. Get in to see my dentist - thank God - then back to pre-trial my client. Jury selection at 8 a.m.
Jury selection goes well, brief recess and opening statements at 10. New prosecutor who had not filed the case, knows little or nothing about it and probably her first trial. Senior lawyer there at her side she tells the jury about evidence never disclosed and statements never recorded or disclosed at any point. My motion for a mistrial was opposed by the senior lawyer and the Judge says he'll do the Richardson hearing. It lasted about thirty seconds before he began scolding the senior lawyer and said the mistrial was the only option.
Tomorrow brings a schedule full of appointments to make up for being out of town at the FACDL soiree and then in a trial and without phones on top of it. Makes you wish for two or three partners to spread the wealth along with the agony.
Despite the carping wouldn't trade it for the world. Love being a criminal defense lawyer, love sitting there next to a client fighting to keep his CDL and truck driving job so he can continue to support himself and family. The greatest job in the world - most of the time.