Back in the Saddle Again

  When I started this job, I did not handle any juvenile cases.  I missed the thrill of trials though. Call me crazy, but there is nothing I love better about my job than cross-examination and closing argument.  A few months ago I got asked to cover approximately one week a month in abuse/neglect hearings.  I was a bit leery. Juvenile code is a whole new section of the law.  I haven’t studied this much since law school, and the thoughts of law school still send me into hives and a full-blown panic attack.

Since starting juvenile matters, I’ve had a few minor hearings. This week, however, was my first full-blown, contested, trial.  Juvenile matters are a bit different because it is lil’ ol’ me versus three or four or six other attorneys. I represent Social Services, striving to protect the families and children. There is a Guardian Ad Litem attorney who fights for the children. We’re generally, but not always, on the same side.  Then each parent has an attorney. If they are below-average intelligence or incompetent or in jail, they also get a guardian ad litem attorney to help explain things to them.  If there are caretakers involved, they sometimes hire attorneys too. Throw in the fact that each child generally has a different father and you can easily be up against 6 attorneys.

So I ask my questions, and then the round robin begins. Each attorney starts questioning. In law school you are taught to always try to get the last word.  So each attorney tries to come up with some zinger and we go on. I started to get dizzy. 

There are moments of humor. At the first hearing, the defendant father had braids.  Not bad looking with long braided hair. At the next hearing, he had unbraided his hair and it was all wild.  It was the biggest afro I had ever seen. He didn’t even look like the same guy.  At this trial, he had put his hair into piggy tails but they were poofs. He looked like Mickey Mouse.  The balif made him sit behind one female attorney. From the clerk’s table, you could see this female attorney with these poofs sticking out from behind her head. It was hilarious.

Poof Daddy had tried to kill the mamma.  Stabbed her with a stiletto high heel. Reminiscent of Fatal Attraction – only he wanted to kill her and himself.  Never got around to killing himself and mamma somehow survived.  Mamma thought he was just “confused” and really wanted him released from jail so they could all live happily ever after again. Sorry, honey. It doesn’t work that way.  So your children will be living elsewhere.

Long and short of it – I won. Yeah for me.  I like to win.  Now to draft this order. I have 14 hand written pages of notes to decipher and transcribe.

I took a break to open my mail.  Ahh jail mail. I puffy heart jail mail.  Apparently I sent a summons to this guy requesting he appear in court to start paying child support. This is the response I received –

In case you can’t read it, it says “To whom it may concern! My wife and I have reconciled our marriage! So you can take this paper & shove it! I have always & will continue to support my child, physically, mentally and financially!”

Thanks for the laugh sir.  I needed that.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. lawyerchik1
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 13:12:14

    Congratulations on the win – although I’m gonna bet there should be a class in school that says, “if someone tries to kill you, they’re probably NOT going to let you live happily ever after!” Glad you can kick some butt!!


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