21 August 2010


Was in Marion County Friday for a sentencing. Judge Joy was the judge. He retires at the end of the month and indicates he will not go on senior status. The clerk's office had cookies and a couple of signs up in the library announcing the retirement. I had a sentencing on a theft case (embezzlement). The Marion County Attorney did not object to the deferred judgment. Judge Joy did want enough of a record to support a deferred, but seemed amenable to it once the County Attorney indicated he would support it.

You really don't get a deferred though, without the client doing the work for it. The attorney can grease the wheels with the judge and the county attorney, but it is the client that needs to do the work and present his or her case to the judge in a manner that indicates it will be successful. An attorney asking for a deferred for a client that doesn't deserve it or won't make it reduces an attorney's credibility. You don't ask for sentencing concessions that you know the judge will not give nor think appropriate. I think a key to practicing in court representing criminal defendants is the credibility of the defense attorney pleading for the client. Don't ask for things that you know you won't get. Give an honest assessment of your client and fashion a plea or request that is appropriate to the circumstances. If you know you client is going to prison, don't ask for probation, ask for less time than the judge might give him.

Other than Marion County, the time Friday was working on briefs. We have several matters in the Court of Appeals that all are due about the same time. Will probably need some extra time on the proof brief due the 27th.