Monday, March 26, 2007

chock full of crazy

Perhaps I am tempting the fates by saying so, but today has been chock full of crazy.  I think I'm done.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Manny being Manny.

Blonde Justice sent me this link - Manny Ramirez is selling his grill on eBay.  Check it out, if only for the pictures alone (he took pictures of himself with the grill!  It's legit!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

right track, wrong solution

Maryland shut down its correctional facility in Jessup because of the unacceptable number of attacks, on inmates and on corrections employees.  Maryland also shut down several youth facilities (Bowling Brook, Hickey) recently because they, too, were plagued with problems.
The solution?  Ship them out of state, out of sight, and out of the communities that they will be re-entering.  I strongly disagree with this.  Just in case you were wondering what I thought, Maryland.  I disagree with you.
I think the argument is strongest in regards to juveniles, but is relevant to adults as well.  With the kids in particular, it seems like a bad idea to take them away from their families and from their community to incarcerate them (I'm sorry, I mean "rehabilitate" them).  If the facility is a good one, offering educational services and training programs and mental health / behavioral modification counseling, then how is it beneficial to give kids resources that they cannot continue when they're released? 
And why is a prison in Kentucky or Massachusetts any better than a prison in Maryland?  Chances are, it's not too much better, and really all you're doing is moving the 'trouble' out of sight, out of mind.  You're moving people away from where anyone could advocate for them if they are being beaten, or are unsafe, or not receiving basic care.
I think the solution is more like what is happening in Texas - identify people who would do better by participating in services in the community (non-violent crimes in particular - drug possession, or even dealing), and provide services, instead of incarcerating them.  And stop 'outsourcing' inmates to other states. 

Friday, March 16, 2007

Letting go.

Finding out that we won't have to see each other again is a little bit of a relief, because it means you have to let me go.  I need you to let me go, because I can't let go on my own completely, not yet.  I'm trying.  But you're the only one who makes me feel like I'm beautiful, that I'm funny, and fun, and smart, and fascinating.  There's something so remarkable about finding someone, accidentally, who knows you like no one else does.  On my own I feel uncertain, unsteady, unwanted, uninteresting.  But you - you see me, and think that what you see is worth something.  Soon, after we stop seeing each other, I can stop needing you.  The connection will be cut.  I'll be lonely and uncertain for a while, but then I'll remember what it's like to just rely on myself again.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

false confession article

NYTimes:  DNA exonerates a man was arrested at the age of 16, confessed after 6 hours of interrogation, and did 16 years in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Seriously.  I'm so bored.  My life is so dull that on Sunday night when I was trying to fall asleep, I had nothing to think about.  Nothing.  At all.  I had to get up, turn on a light, and mindlessly surf the internet for something to DO until I made myself sleepy.
I'm trying to eat healthy and be healthy, so I'm trying not to waste my time, well, wasted, and trying not to eat crap foods.  I'm trying to be better about my spending habits and stop spending more than I make.    However, my life is even more boring than it was before, because at least then I was bored while drunk and eating melted cheese.  My house is clean.  My laundry is done.  I'm reading a book on the Supreme Court.  I have a few trips planned but I'm so bored that I'm not even excited about those things anymore.  Yeah, so I go somewhere else and do nothing for a while.  Awesome.  For almost a year now I've been waiting for something to inspire me and kickstart my life, but it's just not happening.

Monday, March 12, 2007

shout-out my peeps.

There are two attorneys who have been my mentors in my first 18 months of attorneyhood. They both have different styles and each have decades of experience. They have been my supervisors in the sense that I've sought their assistance, almost exclusively, in developing my trial advocacy skills and trial strategy. One is a quietly sarcastic, somewhat brusque-mannered, tell it like you need to hear it kind of guy. The other is a mild-mannered former hippie / activist, big hearted, kind, nurturing, big-picture type of guy. When I come to a crossroads on a case, I'll speak with both of them in hopes that one will agree with the path I was inclined to take. And several times, that's been the case - one says go, the other says stop, and I get to pick the one I thought was right all along. They are both excellent trial attorneys and excellent teachers, and we have all since parted ways.

Despite the fact that we've parted, I started working on a trial this week and they are the first people I contacted to help me work through some tricky strategy decisions. Both of them have been happy to make the time to speak to me. Tonight I needed a brainstorming session ASAP, so in the middle of his evening at home one of my mentors took half an hour to brainstorm with me and help me work out some perplexing issues that I've been having a hard time resolving on my own.

I love that I have them to turn to for guidance and support, for some nurturing and nudging in the right direction, and best of all, I like that now I can do more of the brainstorming and the decision making and hear them tell me that I'm on the right track. I love that they are still so open to supporting me and offering me their help. Having them as my mentors, two people who are such good teachers, great attorneys, with differing perspectives, is such a blessing. Every day I am thankful that I have these people I respect and care for, who respect and look after me.

My advice to new attorneys: Find these mentors. Get out and about in your office, meet the attorneys who are there, take every opportunity to brainstorm with as many attorneys you can assemble in a room at one time. You'll find the ones who are a good fit for you, and finding these mentors will forever enrich your life, even after you go your separate ways.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

leading people astray since 2004

Permit me to respond to your searches, Part 3.
Help for a burnt out law student:   Take a long weekend.  Skip a class or two, get out of town, visit people who knew you before law school, read the paper or a book or do something else that you just don't have the time for in law school.  You have to do it.  Get out of town.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

why I love being an attorney

1) I had an altercation with a client in the hallway of the courthouse today. After I spoke with her, her parents spoke with me separately, discussing their concerns regarding her legal interests and mental health. The entire time I was speaking to her parents, I was doing all I could not to openly gawk at the necklace that my client's father was wearing. He was wearing the largest gold figurine of a woman receiving oral sex from a man that I have ever seen. It's probably the only gold configuration of people having oral sex that I've ever seen, but it was larger than I would have imagined such a thing would be, if you had described it to me. And it was hanging from his neck on a chain.
2) I was speaking with a client about a domestic argument that escalated into threats being thrown back and forth, and while explaining what happened he said, "You know, it was like, [insert client singing first few sentences of female pop song here]. Like that." Please imagine yourself in my shoes, my suit, my briefcase, my courthouse, in this conversation, and having your male client unexpectedly belt out a pop song as a way of describing how he came to be arrested. Quite accurate, but unexpected nonetheless.
This is the best freakin' job in the world.