Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Martini Day

The Scene: 4:55pm in a courtroom in 'da hood.

The Judge: "Off the record, five minutes before five o'clock. You all earned your paychecks today, not that you don't work hard every day."

Me: "Today was crazy."

Defense Counsel: "I think we all earned a glass or two of wine in addition to our checks."

The Judge: "Your entitled to your choice Ms. Defense Counsel, but I think today deserves a martini."

Who am I to not follow a judge's order? This past afternoon really does require a martini (or other vodka-based drink) for recovery. I'm typing this with a glass in hand.

Mondays and Wednesdays are always pre-trial days. A typical pre-trial day entails prepping files in the morning and court appearances after lunch until 3:30 or so. Maybe 4pm if it's an unusually busy day. Then it's back to the office for filing, phone calls, e-mails, etc.

Here was today: 17 cases on afternoon calendar in the courtroom, nine of which belong to me. My first case up was a local high profile case. Between the media attention and the need for delicate handling of the victim, I'm always edgy when this case comes up on calendar. We get through that okay, with some tears from both sides but no outbursts.

Then came the case that really took it out of me. It's rare that I completely lose it with opposing counsel. I have a pretty strong reputation for being fair, reasonable and easy to work with. But trying to discuss a case with this one old man PITA left me wanting to kick him. It should have been an easy case; the Probation Dept. had already drafted a pre-plea report. But old man PITA still wanted to dispute every single standard term on there, interrupting me at every possible turn as I tried to talk to the other, more normal defense attorneys on all those other cases. He even tried to argue with me about "making the minor a ward of the court," when the document clearly stated that the proposed plea would NOT make the minor a ward. It was like living a bad thread on The Nest. I didn't know what to do except stop talking to old man PITA and request a conference on the case with the judge. As we waited our turn, old man PITA still took it upon himself to mumble crap into my ear. Fortunately, the judge is a smart man. He quickly figured out what (or who) the problem was and reined in old man PITA. The only problem was that by the time old man PITA was out of my hair, it was already past 3:30 and I still had six cases to call. Oy.

I didn't leave the office until well past 5pm. I know that firm lawyers will have no sympathy for me on this point, but one of the perks of my job is the fact that I generally never have to stay past 5pm. When I stay past five, it's a sign that it's been a bad day.

So now you know why I am already halfway through an elderflower gimlet. I first had this drink at Nopa, but I think I have created a decent at-home approximation:

For one serving, pour 2 parts vodka, 1 part lime juice and 1 part elderflower liqueur over ice into a martini shaker. Shake well, pour into a chilled glass and garnish with lime.


WeezerMonkey said...

I have sympathy for you!
[clinking glass]

10yearstogether said...

Wow that gimlet sounds good! Poo Poo to PITA old man but HOORAY for still getting out at a reasonable hour. Signed, A lawyer that refuses to stay past 530pm.

amber said...

yup, sounds like a martini day alright.

hope today is better.

A Feminist Gold Digger said...


Signed, a person who works for attorneys and NEVER leaves at 5.

Grace said...

I found this entry very interesting. Maybe it's because I'm not in the legal field, lol.

I've come across a few new cocktail recipes in the past few days and they may inspire me to start drinking again. Ha.

Insomniac said...

Wow - you're a bad ass lawyer like the ones on the tv. Cool!