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.