Friday, May 7, 2010

The DA - defense lawyer interaction

Following on from Friday's discussion . . . that somehow turned into one about changing light bulbs. . . I thought I might use the metaphor to show how prosecutors and defense lawyers typically interact.

Imagine a plea negotiation taking place in court, fierce whispers by counsel table. (About the light bulb, remember.)

ADA: So, I looked at everything, I know all the facts.
Defense Lawyer: Good, so you'll agree that the case should be dismissed.
ADA: Dismissed? Dude, the light bulb clearly needs changing, beyond a reasonable doubt.
DL: That's not what my client says.
Big surprise. Lemme guess, he says he's innocent and the light bulb works fine.
Right, and you can't prove otherwise.
I have two cops who responded to the 911 call. They saw the bulb was out.
Maybe it was just off.
They checked the filament. Burnt out.
Oh, right, like they're experts.
They bagged it as evidence and our forensics people looked at it.
Burnt out.
Needed changing?
Needed changing.
Maybe it burnt itself out.
Fingerprints on the light switch.
My client's?
You know it. His light, his bulb, his switch.
Maybe he was just trying the switch, you know, after it burnt out. Maybe he couldn't figure out why the bulb wouldn't work.
Oh, so now you're saying he's mentally incompetent?
No, but you should cut him a break because he is kinda slow.
I thought you said he was innocent?
He is. But if he's not, you should cut him a break.
Okay, but he has to pay for a new light bulb. Environmentally-friendly one.
Jeez, for real? He's not made of money.
He's paying your fee, he can afford a light bulb.
That's why he can't afford a light bulb.
Fine, then he gets probation and has to do community service.
How many hours?
How long will it take him to change a light bulb?
Just one?
A dozen at least. At my house.
He'll need a ladder. But that's cool, he knows where to get those cheap.
Cheap? Wait, he's not going to use stolen . . . .
No, no, not stolen. They fell off the back of a truck.
Well, that's okay then.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments posted to this blog are NOT the opinion of the Travis County D.A.'s office, under any circumstances. They are only the personal, non-representative opinion of D.A. Confidential if posted under his name.
I welcome all comments, as long as they are expressed with politeness and respect. I will delete all comments that I deem to be personal attacks, or that are posted merely to antagonize or insult.