"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Wheels of Justice

I have just under 5 minutes to write and post this. Any editing will come later.

My clients' families have got to be furious with me for not returning their calls since late last Friday. I checked late Friday messages on Monday morning because of company over the weekend. Yesterday, I had three court appearances that should have taken, at the most, 20 minutes of actual court time. Adding in an hour or so wait time and an extra hour of driving time and that leaves a lot of the day to return calls. The first hearing was just a request for a continuance. No one was opposing it. We only needed to pick a new date. The second case was entering a guilty plea on a CHINS (child in need of supervision) case. The third case was just to continue it out three weeks - it was just a status review. That's it.

Nothing went smoothly, yesterday. One prosecutor with a well grounded reputation for not being able to manage her docket, effectively. Two substitute judges. Three long winded attorneys not used to family court. Four attorneys who were running late. Mixed with the unfortunate situation of getting placed behind three lengthy trials when they should have squeezed the little 5 minute cases in ahead of them. I was in court from 9:00 a.m. until after 4:00 p.m. No lunch, snack or caffeine of any kind, and only one bathroom break that I had to demand. My head was killing me and by the time I could check my messages (no decent cell reception at the courthouse), I learned that all hell had broken loose over the weekend. Kids arrested, parents acting like dogs fighting over a bone on custody exchanges, "he looked at me funny," messages and a couple who just wanted me to call them back so they would know that I got the message that they called me. I made several calls but then called it a day. Today is about the same although I really SHOULD be in court most of the day. Hopefully, I will be able to return some of those calls this afternoon. It will probably be tomorrow.

This post took a little extra time because I had to answer the phone to let someone know that I did get their message that they called yesterday. God love 'em, they didn't have anything to say but wanted to know if I got their message and didn't want to miss a return call in case I called back. Bless them - normally I really appreciate that but today...

Sorry people.

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