28 February 2010

Newton Police Department

Half of the Newton Police Department is irritated due to three NCO's being dismissed by the County Attorney on Thursday afternoon due to the fact that the County Attorney could not prove the defendant had been served. It was a busy afternoon in Judge Mott's Court on Thursday afternoon and after waiting almost two hours to testify, the Newton officers--six if I remember correctly--found they had waited for nought. I would also be correct in saying that "irritation" would be a mild description of the feelings expressed by the officers who had been waiting most of the afternoon.

12 February 2010

We are not a personable lot.

We are putting together an appendix on a criminal appeal. Or I should say, the staff is. A very tedious process much of which is unnecessary. For instance, putting the name of the person testifying on each page of the transcript is a labor intensive, boring job. Why would anyone reading the brief need to have the name of the person testifying on each page. Thanks to the Attorney General's Office, there are numerous pages. I think next time, if they want such a number of pages in the transcript, they should type the name of the person testifying and send them to us.

We have another issue with this particular appeal: pay. When I filled out the paper work authorizing me as a contract attorney--working for a pittance two years ago, I did not check the box saying I would take appeal work. I had forgotten that or else didn't think of it as an issue until the Public Defender's Office determined that because I had not also checked the appellate box they were not required to pay me for the work I have done on the appeal. The irony is that the issue on appeal is the ineffectiveness of trial counsel who is now the State Public Defender in charge of it all. I can only presume that I was given the appeal as the Appellate Public Defender handed it off on the basis of a conflict. I am alleging the Public Defender ineffective as he is refusing to pay me. This doesn't seem quite right even if you thought he might have a legitimate basis not to pay me in the first instance.

Attorneys, in general, are not known for being a personable lot and here are two reasons why.

10 February 2010

10 February 2010 Court Service

Not a busy day in Judge Mott's courtroom in Newton today. I think most yet trying to recover from icy roads and snow. I-80 had cars strewn from end to end with one semi on its side in a rather deep ditch. We had the usual sentencings, not guilty pleas, and continuances. Things are somewhat more relaxed except for the owi sentencings where Judge Mott engages in a one-sided query of why the defendant was endangering the public by driving while under the influence of alcohol. My client sentenced for a 3rd driving while barred received 60 days in the county jail which he was expecting and took quite well actually. He had made arrangements for his seven year old to transfer schools to live with a relative and was quite non plussed about the situation. Would be nice if most of the folks being sentenced took it half as well.

We did set some trials though--way out. Our county attorney's office has the opinion of its own docket that IT'S FULL and therefore we are setting trials into April and May. My only concern about setting out trials that long is that some, if not most, can't stay out of jail that long. Then, with the new charge, Judge Mott rescinds their bail and there they sit longer than if they would just plead and be done with it. Oh, well.