21 December 2004

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To the Jail

Sometimes weird things just happen:

I walk into the front door of the local jail. The deputy looks up and hits the door button, the door buzzes open, and I walk into the front office of the jail. As I walk into the office the deputy is on the phone. Suddenly the deputy says, "OK", slams the phone down, grabs his keys, runs past me, lets himself out of the office by key, and runs full tilt out the front door of the jail. I'm left standing all by my lonesome in the front office of the jail for at least 10 minutes.

An older lady walks up to the office's front window and hits the button on the speaker box, trying to talk to me. She doesn't realize the button is just there as a buzzer to let someone know there's a person at the window and that I can't hear a word she's saying as long as she holds the button down because it is causing a constant, loud buzzing. I try to wave at her to get her to take her finger off the button but it doesn't work. Finally, after a minute or so of watching her lips move while this annoying buzzing continues, I walk up to the window and yell at her to take her finger off the button. As soon as she does that we can even hear each other without the intercom and I tell her I 'm waiting for the deputy just like she is.

A few minutes later a major in the sheriff's department comes up to the outside door. He can't get in because he doesn't have the key. So he motions to me and after a couple tries I get the button to open the door. The he asks me if I was helped before the deputy left. I tell him "no" and he looks at the computer and log books. I think he's trying to figure out exactly what he's supposed to do to get me in to my clients.

At that moment the deputy comes walking back in huffing and puffing. The major asks, "Was that him?" The deputy replies, "Yes." Then the major leaves and the deputy processes me in. He won't tell me what was going on and I didn't see anything in the news about any jailbreaks - I'm still clueless about what was happening.

Still, for about ten minutes yesterday I was the person who was sitting in the office which controls the front door of the jail. Me, all by my self - a Defense attorney in control of the front door of the jail.


Blonde Justice said...

You mean you didn't help anyone bust lose? And you call yourself a zealous advocate...

Ken Lammers said...

Sadly, in Virginia I am not longer supposed to be a zealous advocate. Instead I am to exercise "reasonable diligence." Rule 1.3 They took zealous out because people were being zealous (or overzealous dependingon your point of view). Now we are supposed to be kinder, more "collaberative" members of the Bar. Rule 1.3 comment 1a.

Beyond all that there were still at least two locked doors between me and any of my clients (sad when you know that much about the jail). As well, there is the moral dilemma (sp?): I know my clients are innocent and being held unjustly but there are a lot of guilty people in there as well. Should I let my clients go free knowing that a lot of the others are going to run with them?