Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is? Does Anyone Really Care?

What a perfect end to the day today. I called a judge's assistant to ask about his procedure at arraignments. "Don't know, she said. "I've only been here 4 months."

The day began with 2 detectives at my client's door. They had a pick-up order for him. Said he failed to appear in court at his trial. Problem was I was at his trial, the prosecutor told me she was dismissing the case, and the judge told me I and my client could leave. After I left, the prosecutor forgot to announce the dismissal, the judge forgot he told me I could leave, and issued the arrest warrant for my client. After I begged and convinced the detectives not to take my client to jail, I went to court and listened to a new prosecutor tell me "I don't know why you would have been told the case would be dismissed." Two hours later a senior prosecutor found notes from the other prosecutor reflecting that the case was to be dismissed.

A few weeks ago I was on vacation and sent another lawyer to court to accept a diversionary program for my client. I didn't give him the emails and faxes evidencing that I had already accepted the diversion program, because I didn't expect the "other" prosecutor in court to deny that I ever accepted diversion and seek an arrest warrant for my client.

And this is the last few weeks.

Is it summer, laziness, little of both, or a trend?

I'll tell you what, it's pretty damn annoying. I never want to have a practice like civil lawyers where nothing is based on anyone's word, rather "confirmatory letters," but I'll tell you what, it looks like we may be headed that way.

Sad.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com