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Sunday, April 20, 2014


A Good Court Clerk can be of Awesome Assistance

“Hello let me speak to Sarah Cartwell please.”

“Hang on; I’ll see if I can find her.”

“Alright I’ll wait.”

Sarah enters and says; “Who is this, it better be important for I was weeding my garden.”

“Sarah this is Judge Paine and I was just checking to see if you were still alive and in your right mind.”

“Yeah I reckon I still got it together. What’s on your mind Judge for I know you didn’t call just to be friendly.”

“Listen, Sarah how long were you my law clerk?”

“Well Judge you know as well as I do, I clerked for you almost as long as you sat on the bench.  You hired me temporary at first but after a month you decided to keep me on till you retired. It was exactly twenty four years three months and twenty days if you really want to know. You have something on your mind so spit it out…”

Judge Paine said, “Maybe you heard I have been called back to the bench for a short while and I need a little more help… more than the Bailiff can do. He has his own duties and I have been imposing on him.  

The question is how would you like to get back in the saddle for a little while. I will make sure they pay you well and give you a free hand in helping me.”

“What will it entail?”

“Well you know all of the stuff you used to do. Conducting legal research; preparing memoranda; preparing draft orders and opinions; you know all the things I don’t have time to do.”

She said. “That sounds like a full time job, it’s gonna interfere with my social life.”

“Well from what I hear you are just doing that stuff to keep from being bored anyway.”

“Yes, that might be the case but you get into it after a while.”

“I also heard there are some old Romeo’s after you.”

“Yeah, I have to admit I am being wooed a bit and it has stirred me up a little. I suppose I’m not over the hill just yet.”

“Well getting back to what we were talking about, are you available?”

“I suppose if you really need me I am.”

“Fine that’s settled. Come in tomorrow and check my schedule and keep me on track.”

“Okay I’ll be there by eight thirty.”

“Let’s see I have a meeting with some soon to be graduates from law school in an hour. Then I have a preliminary hearing on a robbery case. I had better get to the meeting with the hot shot soon to be lawyers it will be a very short lecture and then a few questions and I’m done.”

Go for the Money, Know your Judge
and be Prepared
“Well gentlemen I’m suppose to give you some advice that will help you with your career. The most important thing to know and do is go for the money.

Now don’t laugh, this is the number one thing to keep in mind. If you haven’t hooked up with the money people, you know an aggressive firm, then get to it. All the other stuff like serving the public is secondary.

The next thing is to get to know everything about the judge you are to appear before. That knowledge will help you play the judge and get the best result from your case. If you know how he will act on the points you are going to make then you can keep from alienating him. You will go farther if he is on your side and that is where you want him.

Then there is the final thing and that is always go prepared for most cases are lost due to poor preparation.

This is what being a lawyer is all about. Go for the money; know the Judge, and full preparation. Now I have given you the A, B, Cs it’s up to you whether you follow through or not. I wish I had time to hear all of your interesting questions but I have a case to hear shortly and I haven’t had lunch yet.”

The afternoon case involved a robbery where the suspect was apprehended. The Bailiff told Judge Paine it was time and he said. “Call things to order I’m ready to get this done with.”

When the Judge was seated he addressed the attorneys and said, “This is to be an evidentiary hearing and I have read your briefs. Do you have anything else to add before I render my decision?”


“Well good I like it when you have covered all the points in the brief. Without going point by point there is enough evidence to hold the suspect over to trial. As soon as a judge is appointed to hear the case you will be notified as to when the trial setting conference will be held.
Make sure you attend it and the defense should know if the defendant wants a court trial or a jury. Come prepared and don’t waste the courts time.”

When Judge Paine arrived the next morning he said, “Sarah, let’s go eat and you can fill me in on what you have figured out so far.”

“Well so far I can see that you are getting the stuff the other Judges don’t want to handle. The cases are those that will not get any press and help their careers advance.

You have one today that no one wants to try because it has to do with one of the country club set. The son of one of the most prominent families has been caught dealing drugs.

The family lawyer has let it be known that the Judge that handles it better go easy on the boy or else.”

“Or else what?”

“That is as far as he went but all the Judges seem to have got the message so they kicked it down to you. They figure you; being retired would be able to handle it without being intimidated and it would let them off the hook.”

“So I’m to take all the fall out and they go Scott free… interesting. Sarah, get me the D.A. on the phone; by the way who is handling it”

“Joseph, John Joseph an assistant D. A. is the one and he has had a lot of pressure from the D.A. himself for he is a friend of the boy’s father. They want him to drop the charges and wipe it from the books.

Joseph has been also getting demands from some of the local groups not to give him special treatment because of his father’s influence in the community. He finally went ahead and charged him and is going to let the court take the blame for what to outcome is.”

“Oh, this sounds like fun. Well they have brought it to the right place, where are the briefs.”

“Where do you think, they are on your desk along with some research I’ve done. I’ve just got here so it isn’t as complete as it should be.”

“What time is the hearing set for?”

“In thirty minutes at ten thirty. If I were you I would postpone it for a month and see if the D.A. would make a deal for probation during that time and you would only have to okay the deal.”

“That sounds like a good idea. Call both parties and let them know what I’m going to do so they are forewarned.”

The court room was full of the boy’s friends to see what was going to happen. The Bailiff called the court room to order as Paine took the bench.

Judge Paine said, “Are the attorneys present?”

They both answered present your honor.

“Approach the bench. My clerk advised you of what I’m going to do?”

They both nodded yes.

“Okay return to your seats.” He then said. “This case is postponed until the first of next month at nine thirty. Is this agreeable to both parties?”

They both agreed.

“So ordered, then I will hear the next case. Meanwhile the defendant will remain in custody, and bail will be set at that time.”

Later that day one of the Judges came up to Paine and said, “You sure got out of that mess.”

Paine said, “Yeah, thanks to my clerk for she engineered the whole thing.”

“You have stirred up a hornet’s nest by not setting bail.”

“Not really they can assign another Judge to the case and they can release him on his own recognizance if they so desire.”

“Paine you sure know how to play the game.”

To be continued


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