Friday, September 18, 2009

And How Was Your Day?

Whether you are a law student or a practicing lawyer, chances are you had one of those days that you will question whether you chose the right path in life. Those days where you feel you are secretly being taped for some reality show as you wait for Ashton Kutcher or the crew from Candid Camera to jump from the bushes. This was my actual day. My day started with an 8:00 AM naturalization interview with USCIS and a particularly nervous client from Yemen. For those of you who practice immigration law, you know that the immigration process can often be a one shot deal for your clients. You need to be on time. Being late can mean a denied application. This thought was running through my head as I sat in bumper to bumper traffic. With the use of my trusty GPS, I got off the highway and used side streets to get to immigration on time. (My apologies to the crossing guard and children of St. John Paul II elementary school who had to scatter out of the way as I mowed through the school crosswalk. I also apologize to little Becky for running over her solar system science fair project. In my defense, she shouldn’t have been on the sidewalk.) With minutes to spare, I made it on time to the immigration interview. My client was asked by the interviewer “have you ever been a terrorist” With a big smile, he answered "yes". Yes?! Of course, it did not help that he bore a striking resemblance to Saddam Hussein. "He’s just nervous", I offered. “Sir, when were you born?” 1776 he answered. I slumped my head on the desk. Leaving Hartford’s Federal Building I ran over to criminal court to meet a DUI client who's charges included crashing into a parked police cruiser. Despite his ill fated choice of cars to hit, I was still able to get my client into a diversionary program. As long as he finished his alcohol education classes, he would have a clean criminal history. Proud of myself, I presented the good news to my client. “I want to go to trial. I think we can beat this.” he proclaimed. “You crashed into a police car with the officer in it. Are you nuts?!” I asked incredously. I continued the case so I could talk some sense into my client. I then looked for another desk to bang my head against. After 20 minutes of banging my head, I rushed back to the office for a real estate closing. Running into the office, my client informed me he decided to call everything off because the seller had not mowed the grass prior to the sale. I smiled and asked my client to meet me in the hallway. Although my first instinct was to throw him into our office fish tank, I calmly suggested that it was in his best interest to continue with the closing and informed him of his contractual obligations. Successfully finishing the closing, I had a hodge podge of unscheduled appointments walk through the door. One guy wanted to deport his neighbor because the guy’s cat kept walking in his yard. Another wanted to sue her husband to pay the cable bill, but did not want to get a divorce. Everyone wanted "just five minutes" which translated means at least an hour. At 6 PM, I closed shop. Weeks before I had agreed to accompany a client to his court ordered MADD Victim Impact Panel. I had volunteered to interpret for him. Normally about one hour, this particular panel took three hours. I would miss dinner and the new episode of the Office. It was not the first impact panel I had attended with a client. Nevertheless, it always shocks me to see the large number of people present. I saw one of my old elementary school teachers and a priest. There were hundreds of people in line stretching outside the community center. Afterwards, I went up to one of the mother’s who lost a child. “I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you speaking. This is probably the fifth time I have heard you speak.” She looked at me in shock. “No. No. I am here as an interpreter for my client". After dropping off my client, I went back to the office to catch up on work. It was already dark when I heard several pops outside my window. Peering outside, I could see a Ford Explorer and a Nissan Maxima parked in front of a small crowd of people. I soon realized the “pops” were gun shots. There were eight of them. The two vehicles shut off their lights and went down separate streets. I joined the crowd outside. Despite several witnesses, no one would say anything. Of course one idiot piped up. “I saw what happened”, I said in a cracked voice. I gave my statement to the officer on duty. Not suprisingly, the next morning I had a flat tire. I sighed and got ready to do it all over again. At least I don’t have to take the bar exam.

1 comment:

falcon5588 said...

Wow! Rough day. No good deed goes unpunished. If it makes you feel any better, I now have to start worrying about the bar exam and the MPRE.

-Marek