Attorneys love them.
I assume it’s because it makes their job easier and they get paid the same regardless of the outcome. I’ve posted before about working smarter instead of harder, so I get it.
Here’s the thing, though.
When approaching an officer in traffic court about your client and beginning to ramp up your “Hey, would you be amenable to…” speech? Maybe stop real quick and ask yourself three quick questions.
- Is there a reason my client got two traffic citations within five minutes of one another?
- Is there a possibility my client was a huge prick to the officer?
- Based on the answers to my first two questions, am I wasting my ever-loving time asking the officer if he’d be interested in a plea deal?
The answer to the first question is yes. If your client got two traffic citations within mere minutes of one another, I assure you there is a reason for it.
And if the answer to Question 1 is yes, you can bet your sweet backside the answer to Question 2 will also be in the affirmative.
My assumption is that if you made it through law school and you are licensed to practice in the state of California, you are not a complete moron. Following that logic, if the first two answers are yes, what do you think the answer to #3 will be?
I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you are batting 1.000 right now. Well done.
I had occasion a few months back to cite a gentleman (and I’m using a very liberal interpretation of that word) for two separate violations. The first was for speeding (54 in a 35). He was displeased at the result of his actions.
The second was for violating a pedestrian’s right-of-way as he made a right turn. See, he was too caught up in yelling at me to watch for the juvenile crossing the street in front of him.
Of course, he didn’t have the balls to show up in court himself, so he hired an attorney to represent him. The attorney made the error of submitting an informal request for all kinds of bullshit documents that have nothing to do with the case on the Friday before the trial (which was Monday morning). I was off-duty at the time.
When the attorney approached me in court, I told him he was welcome to whatever paperwork I had with me (my copy/notes of the citations), but if he wanted anything further, he’d have to subpoena them. He said he understood.
Then, he made the mistake of not running through the aforementioned three questions.
He asked me if I’d be okay dismissing one cite or reducing the speed.
I nearly laughed in his face.
Ordinarily, I don’t mind working something out with an attorney, if I feel justice has been served. What I told this attorney though was his client was an absolute jerk (though, I think we all know that wasn’t the word I was thinking) and there was no way on God’s green Earth I’d be offering him any kind of deal.
The guy kind of chuckled. As if I was messing with him.
I just stared at him.
At some point, one could see the light go on and he realized he had no wiggle room. He asked if I’d be okay with a continuance to allow him to try to get the paperwork he was looking for.
No skin of my nose. The more work this guy does for his asshat client, the more it’ll cost him.
The Wheels of Justice indeed.
Featured Image courtesy of Flickr and Jere Keys.