Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gimme money or give me grief

I was talking to a friend from law school yesterday about how hard it is to decide what to charge people, and he pointed out that it was the people he gave a price break to who were the biggest pains in his ass. I realized the same thing happens to me. Then it hit me - that's why lawyers charge so much! If you charge enough, people shut the hell up. Try to help them? You're their bitch. That's fucked up, isn't it? I'm coming to the conclusion that appreciation just isn't human nature.

Of course, I do court appointed work, meaning I send in applications for $150 to the state and the client pays nothing. How do I get treated? Let's just see. I actually cussed an appointed client out a couple of weeks ago and yes, he deserved it. He'd apparently been running from a bad check to a used car dealership for about four years and they finally caught up with him. Rather than pay even 1/3 of it, the guy, who was a total dick, insisted that he didn't write the check. I pointed out the circumstantial evidence and the common sense questions, such as "If your ex wife bought the car, how are you going to explain coming home to a new car in the driveway and not asking how it got there, getting any of the letters or calls about the bounced check or seeing a big ass "INSUFFICIENT FUNDS" on your bank statement, which is right here?" No go. It was the first time I felt sleazy; I had to try to get this guy off and really didn't want to.

I felt bad for the car sales people, and my job required pointing out that if they didn't have anyone who remembered taking the check, the guy couldn't be convicted. The guy got pissy that he had to wait an hour for the sales guy to get there and said if this wasn't fixed today, he was getting a lawyer. I ignored him. Later I tried to explain where everyone was coming from, which was a big mistake. I knew if I didn't handle this nicely, I'd get stuck in a really shitty trial. He said he'd get a lawyer again to uh, uh, . . . "Appeal?" I said, thinking "beat some fucking decency into you, you arrogant peice of shit?" I explained appeals. The D.A. and I hung out over lunch with these people trying to work something out and while she was on the phone, he started threatening to get a lawyer again. I turned around and said "I am your fucking lawyer, and I'm here on my lunch break busting my ass to save yours, so why don't you just shut the fuck up?" He shut the fuck up, I got his charges dismissed and hope to hell someone beats the crap out of him sometime soon.

And now for another day of getting abused for helping people. No good deed goes unpunished. I'm doubling my fees today and this week, I ain't getting kicked around.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What 20 years will do, if you're lucky

Girlfriend bandit, new neighbor bandits and yours truly have been doing some yard work, including building boxes and planting vegetables. Also, I bought a new jigsaw today. Let's see - can I say anything more fucking lesbian? I'm eating tempeh. There's an old cat on the couch. I should go buy an Indigo Girls CD, put it on and see if all the men on the planet disappear. Only I don't like the Indigo Girls.

New neighbor bandits are hippie chicks, young, newly in love, who like bartering and forming community, whatever that means. I think it has something to do with mowing our yard and planting some stuff here, since they live in an apartment. I told one of them today about some serious hell that broke loose this week, involving an elected official, a hijacked courtroom, suspicious motives and a day of frantic research that promises to drag on for ugly weeks ahead. She said that pain bodies attract pain bodies and there's lots of tough life experiences coming into courtrooms, which draw more bad experiences and feelings. I looked at her blankly and, with all my heart, said "what?" Speaking of bodies, she also said the other day that all bodies are beautiful. I've been to the beach. I disagree. There are some fucked up looking motherfuckers who are definitely not beautiful.

I envy them a little, though. All those positive thoughts! The idea that people are beautiful, and all good, and that it is never necessary to just beat the shit out of someone. I remember feeling a little like that, a few times in my twenties, when the drugs were right. I also know a few people over 40 who are like this, but they limit their interaction with the outside world quite a bit, and seem almost ready to float away when I try to talk to them. "Hello? Ya in there? You should listen to some Usher." I want to say. I don't, though. I just let them ramble about peace rallies and reading labels to make sure there isn't anything animal based in the vitamins or whatever. They clearly don't want to know any better, or they would.

So, I'm more than happy to share some zucchini space with these chicks, and remember what it was like to not have been robbed, ripped off, cheated on, arrested,to have comforted a molested child, punched a drunk asshole at a party, cussed out a crackhead, seen the worst and the best of humanity in myself, loved and hated, lied, fought, cried, and gotten puking drunk over a girl who wasn't worth it. In other words, to have lived. More power to them, but may they get to 40 a little worse for the wear, yet still willing to believe in themselves, humanity and each other. We should all be so lucky.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Picking a Jury

Your lawyer's mind during jury selection:

Why is everybody white? Fuck! That guy has his arms all folded. Is that bad body language or is he just getting comfortable? Ok, just ask the questions. Shit, she's lying. I know she knows that other guy on the jury, I saw them talking in the hall. Why do people lie? Being on a jury sucks. It's 12 people not smart enough to get out of it. Yet, people lie to get on one. Why? Because they think my guy is guilty and want to convict him, I bet. This shit was in the papers,after all.

Shit, I don't know. This is such a crap shoot. That dude looks pretty reasonable. Hey, he drives trucks! Bet he's hired a hooker before. That should help. That lady beside him looks like she has a broomstick up her ass, though. Heh heh maybe she should hire the truck driver. Dammit, the D.A. got rid of the trailer chick! Argh! It's OK, it's OK. How is it that crackheads, tramps and theives get tried by conservative white people? Fuck it, just ask the question. Whoa, those four people just admitted they think if someone gets arrested they must be guilty. Get the fuck out of here. I think she's asleep. Wish I were still asleep. That dude's shirt has a fish on it.