23 December 2004

People's Opinion of Lawyers

I spend Tuesday night and Wednesday morning trying to find the correct form for a habeas corpus ad subjiciendum for Virginia. I am all over the web and through all my books but all I can find are forms from other States and the federal system. Finally, I give up and go to the courthouse to check the law library.

I'm dressed in a dark blue-gray sweatshirt and an old pair of jeans which are about 5" too long and scrunch up down by the shoes (I had had no intention of going to the courthouse that day). As I come in the deputy razzes me, telling me that I "look like a defendant." I joke a little with him but think nothing of it and head to the library.

After another 45 minutes I am absolutely frustrated. I can find copies of the federal form and West Virginia's form but all I can find which is Virginia specific is a book which has a small section talking - in vague terms - about Virginia habeas. The librarian comes out and asks what I'm looking for. I tell her and she offers to help but I decline saying that I've pretty much looked everywhere from WestLaw to the internet to all the books I can find. After she goes back to her office I pull another book off the shelf and start looking through it.

At this point a lady who was sitting at the next table walks up: "You gotta keep looking. I know what it's like to be frustrated. I get frustrated when I can't find things too but I sit and think up another way and then I find stuff. I always look up things myself - you can't trust the shysters."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

BTW - Later in the day a couple people on the Virginia Association of Criminal Defenfe Lawyers mailing list pointed me in the right direction. It was right in front of me all day long and I just kept lookin in other places. Hate it when that happens.