A conversation I had. Another conversation I had.

men, talking, prosecutors, dirty, supervisor, no funBefore trial the Prosecutor’s supervisor walked into the room. Everyone knows the prosecuting deputy was new.  I knew her to be a good attorney, but by simply being in the room the supervisor was going to make the new prosecutor more nervous, I asked the supervisor “What, you come to see me in trial?”

“I came to make sure you don’t try to pull anything.”

I thought we were still joking, “Why, you couldn’t when we went to trial.” Smile, smirk.

“You just got lucky.” Was her honest reply.

It’s never the facts of the case. It’s never the quality of the argument or the work. It’s just “luck”.  And they’re the ones with the jailhouse keys.  They’re the ones charged to protect you when you’re in danger.

She stayed for about half of her young prosecutor’s case in chief, and then left. Never saying a word, never making a suggestion. Never being helpful at all. Shook the prosecutor up so much, one witness took the time of a 6 person trial.

A dentist once explained to me how to do a root canal. How they take the top of the tooth, go in, get all the “gunk” out, fill it back up with “filler” and then put a cap on top so it looks good as new.  I went home and performed my own root canal.  It didn’t go so well.

I give a lot of free advice on the phone. A lot. That’s just the way I am. Generally people are thankful and want to hire me. I say a lot of “What I’ll try and do is this…. What we’ll work on together is that….”

Well, one particular seemed relatively easy, and it was referred from a friend, so I gave the girl a discounted rate. But she wanted to sleep on it. Turns out, overnight she called the attorney on the other side and tried to work out an agreement based on what she gleaned from our conversation. When I called her up and asked if I needed to be in court with her, she said she wanted to do it herself “I’m just that kind of girl.”

I’ll never forget that.

Anytime a person calls me and starts with “Don’t worry, I know I’ll win” I get nervous.

This is because the case becomes a “no-win” for me.  If they won, they were going to win anyway.  If they lose, it is my fault.  And often it portrays an attitude that just doesn’t play in front of a judge or jury.

As you predicted,  her case didn’t go so well.

I went to the dentist and asked him to fix my root canal.  I told him, “I already did half the work, you don’t even have to do as much, I already took the tooth off and got rid of most of the inside”.  He didn’t give me half-price, he charged me eight times as much.

She called me back after the hearing and asked if she could hire me. I quoted her eight times the price.  There was a fundamental misunderstanding of how the system works.

You may feel like you’re getting a root canal, it may even be sore for a week or more.  But we’re trying to stop infection here.  You’re allowed to do it yourself, but sometimes, when stakes is high, you might want someone in your corner.  Someone who’s been there before.

What kind of girl are you?

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