Ok. I got to work this morning figuring (well, I do try to plan once in awhile) that if I got there early, I would be done early.
I know better.
Judges run their courtrooms the way that they want to run their courtrooms. It has a logic that is peculiar to each judge. Thus the saying that it is good for business to know the judge. It has nothing to do with getting a favor granted. It has to do with getting your case called at all!
Anyway, I am sitting in the courtroom waiting. Minding my own business when I hear the voice from on high.
"Mrs. (he always says Missus-never Mzzzz or Miss. Although the latter would really be stretching it.) Mueller, can you look at this discovery and see if you can take this case."
Not a question. Not a statement. An order.
"Be glad to, your honor." (I did NOT smirk. I swear it.)
I don't look at the person that might become my client. I don't do anything but read the charge and the attached police reports.
I take the inch and a half stack of paper and begin reading. Carefully, thoughtfully. I am looking for a reference to the defendant that I might be representing.
By now, I know it is a murder case. (YESSSSSSSS!)(See former blogs for my predilections in this area)
After about an inch or so, I begin flipping pages. Yada, yada, yada. It takes me a half an hour to get to my potential client.
What I learned then almost broke my heart. My potential client is severely mentally challenged. (in the words of the police report.) For the first time, I look at my client. He cannot understand what is happening to him.
I didn't read the rest. I stood up. I addressed the court.
"Your Honor, I will represent this man."
It is my privilege. It is my business.