Sometimes life is about perspective. So it’s Friday and I am finally done with a long week. It is amazing how many Judges actually worked this week.
Tuesday, I had 9 cases set in the morning. All with the same Judge, but still spent 3 1/2 hours in her courtroom. Got some nice deals in the process and ended up continuing a few cases. Crazy morning. That was followed by a suppression hearing in the Hugo Black Federal Courthouse that lasted from 1:30 until almost 3:00. Just enough time to drive to school and pick up my son and drive him home before heading back to the office and then night court. Finished up my day with a municipal court probation revocation that lasted until 7:00. Both client and lawyer were happy to exit the building.
I travelled to Limestone County on Wednesday. That meant leaving my house at 5:00 am for the 2 hour drive to Athens, Alabama. Judge had specially set my case at 8:00 am so that my expert witness would not have to sit around all morning waiting for my client’s hearing. I was also told this would allow us to get the hearing in before he started his regular docket at 9:00. Amazing how quite a courthouse can be when the only people in the building are you and the Sheriff’s deputies working security at the front door.
Well, needless to say, my client was brought into court with 15 other orange clad inmates from the county jail at 8:10 followed by the Judge and DA. The DA (very nice guy), seeing my expert in court decided that he would need to get an expert also and moved to continue the hearing. Beautiful day for a drive to Athens, huh.
Thursday started off to be a slow day that included the office Christmas party. Looking forward to a nice meal with a few adult beverages. That was, until I got that call from federal court advising me that a client had been arrested on a supervised release violation and was set for a hearing at 3:30 that afternoon. I figured the hearing would last 15 minutes since it was just an initial appearance on the revocation. Little did I know that I would not leave the federal building until after 5:15 following a rather unusual spur of the moment detention hearing. No court reporter, no pre-trial services report and no opportunity to get witnesses in court to support our request for bond. Talk about flying by the seat of your pants. Unfortunately, my client did not get to leave the courthouse with me.
Friday was supposed to be easy. The Friday before Christmas. Only a couple of traffic cases to handle in Birmingham Municipal Court. What should have taken 30 minutes to handle, lasted over 2 hours. By the time that I left I was ready for lunch and the weekend to begin.
So, what was today? The end of a long week or the beginning of a much needed vacation?
My vote – the beginning of a much needed vacation. No court next week. Christmas. Family. Time to kick back and give thanks for the year that was and start thinking about the year that will be. But not until I spend a week relaxing and enjoying my family.
Talk with you again next year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.