Thursday, December 01, 2005

Letting the Door Hit My Ass

I started this blog to combat burn-out. I missed the writing I had done before becoming an attorney (really before going to law school). I figured that ranting would give me the outlet I needed to vent my frustration and to turn my creativity back on.

I was quickly at a loss for appropriate posts, strangely enough. There were plenty moments of absurdity to recount, but I did not want to post anything that might identify myself or violate any privileges. My one lone post, posted a week or so after the event, with anything specific about it scraped away, was all I managed.

I did use my page to check daily the links I have listed. What I have read on those pages has given me some inspiration and enjoyment.

But nothing has helped get my mind back in the game the way I needed. I am leaving the public defender's office in the next few weeks. Burn-out has been a major factor. I have been doing this for a few years and have tried several felony cases, but I need to get out. It is not that I no longer care; I have been drained by caring.

I have also been drained by the caseload. No surprise there in this field. But I feel I can no longer tolerate not being able to do the kind of work I know I am capable of because I do not have the time in the day to do it. Even though I know I do a good job for my clients, I cannot live with the constant guilt and stress of feeling I should be doing even more.

The only work I really want to do is be a public defender. The only way I feel I can do it at this point is under conditions that do not exist that are not available.

Friday, July 22, 2005

TV Eye

Funny how the media just appears in the courtroom on a case in which they have never shown any interest, just when you are asking the judge for something important, like bond reduction hearings or motions for probation.

My client this week had no prior felonies and just a minimal misdemeanor record. He was peripherally and minimally involved in a co-defendant's crime spree.

Despite the prosecutor's objection to probation, I completely expected this judge to grant probation.

Surprisingly, there was a local news station camera in the courtroom. My client's case has been pending in circuit court for a year and a half with zero media coverage. Hmm, I wonder how that happened.

Now one of my nicest clients, who just wanted to resolve his case even though I though he could do better at trial, is in prison (at least on list for transfer). I was not in front of the only one or two judges not afraid to do the right thing on TV.