31 July 2004

Bits and Pieces

A collection of little things which have happened recently:

I've been growing a beard over the last month or so and it was looking pretty scraggly for a while. About two weeks ago I go in the back door of the local courthouse (used by lawyers, police, and employees) and walk thru the Sheriff's area on my way to the elevator leading to the courts. There's a work detail from the jail moving a bunch of furniture from the rooms into the hall (who knows why). After I pass two of the prisoners one turns to the other and ask, "Who's that?" The second, without even hesitating, replies, "He's a narc."

I finally watched the Kings of Comedy DVD I bought a while back. If you watch the deleted scenes D.L. Hughley talks what it's like to visit someone in jail.

Last week I left my office door open as I went across the hall to visit the WC. When I came back the psychiatrist who has the office a the bottom of the stairs had just walked in. She looks up at my medals and asks if I was really in military intelligence. Then she looks at my W&L Law diploma between the portraits of Washington and Lee. Next she looks at the statue I have sitting in top of my file cabinet, gets a strange look on her face, and asks about the guy standing on a gargoyle. I explain that it's St. Michael defeating the Devil and she sort of dismisses it. She looks at the wall behind my desk and asks "What are those?" I explain that they are war hammers and that they are kind of a play on my name. She takes a final look around the office: "This office is just so . . . Male."

I'm talking to a fellow Defense attorney. He's of Italian descent and I ask him if he is a member of some Italian-American group I saw on C-Span. He tells me he gets their e-mails but won't join because he cannot go to meetings. When I ask him why not he answers: "Because if you are Italian and you go to meetings with other Italians you end up on a bunch of film over at the FBI."

I rented a car for a few days while my Saab was being brought up to spec so that it is legal to drive in Virginia. When I return the car a couple of employees are kind enough to give me a ride back to my office. Half way there one of them says "Hey, you're the guy who's representing the girl who stole our car in March." And, sure enough, I am. They're not upset; they think it's funny. This is happening to me more often. The judges know where my office is so if someone has a charge in Midlothian they will assign the case to me. Of course, the people who start turning out to be complaining witnesses are the clerks at the gas station I use, the employees at the rental agency, the girl who cuts my hair, etc. So far no one's been too upset about it which is of no little importance when the lady standing behind you with scissors realizes who you are.

I'm sitting in court last Friday talking to the prosecutor while we wait for the clerk to call all the kids accused of striking the guards with intent to injure. As a joke, he looks up the Virginian anti-terrorist statute to see if it could apply to these kids. It could. The basic test is whether the act was done to influence a government official. Fighting with a guard because they won't let you have salad could be seen as trying to get them to allow you to eat more. You'd have to read the statute broadly (and have a friendly judge) but it's definitely a charge a prosecutor could make with a straight face.

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