Monday, October 12, 2009

An ADA's case load

The weekend before an important arson trial, a friend asked me: "So is that your only case, or do you have a couple more that you have to put on hold?"

I looked for some water so I could do a spit-take. My only case? What is this, civil law?!

My court currently has about 360 pending cases. As I've explained before, we have four prosecutors in each court, which means that I have roughly 120 cases on my docket right now.

Sound like a lot? It is. And if you think the wheels of justice grind slowly, you can blame me. Anyway, my friend also asked what kind of cases I have, what the breakdown is. I honestly don't know, not to any degree of scientific certainty, but I'll hazard a guess. My docket may not be typical of the DA's Office, just because I do all my court's DWI-related offenses, whereas in most courts those are shared around. But here's a guess as to how my docket shapes up:

DWI:* 20%
Aggravated assault: 15%
Drugs: 30%
Burglary: 8%
Theft: 10%
Robbery: 7%
Assault on peace officer/public official: 2%
Arson: 1%
Sexual assault: 1%
Murder (I have two of these right now): 1%

Yes, I know this adds up to 95%, but I'm a lawyer, not a mathematician.

*A DWI conviction is a felony when it's your third (or more) or if you are found guilty of DWI when you have a child passenger.

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