So, you know what the worst part of being a public defender is sometimes? Dealing with DA's who have simply lost their way. I recently asked a DA to arrange a meeting with some witnesses and he says 'no'! They are 'too busy'. Like he can tell me no. It is trite law that there is no property in a witness. The Alaska Supreme Court said so most recently in Murtagh v. State 169 P.3d 602 (Alaska 2007). So fine. Too busy? We'll see about it. It is just a typical power play by the DA. That is all I can say. Privilege aside, I know many local DA's and Judges read this blog. Maybe even the DA in question. Hey are trying to convict a man of murder....this means he gets the highest level of defense work. Don't tell me that witnesses are 'too busy'. I hope when DA's or judges read this, they get a better sense of some of the crap we have to deal with. Here's a fu&^% clue for some DA's: read the law. Need that cite for Murtagh again? This is not funny or even fun. Ok. Who am I kidding. It is fun. God I love getting into the trenches. And I love being shoved there even more. God being a defense lawyer is fun sometimes. I love pumping myself up to do battle with the State. Win or lose, I love the feeling I get when I am alone. Preparing for trial. Listening to Tom Cochrane at full volume. Dreaming of my arguments.But if it gets too much, thank God for hockey. And beer.


max said…
How long do you have to practice or be a PD before you are assigned a Murder or other capital felony? Do you get a second chair?
Don't forget about certain scenes from Braveheart and Lord of the Rings, bitch!

josh said…
Having depos is great. I don't know why there is such a divide between civil discovery rules and criminal when it comes to depos - if they save money and encourage them in civil . . . . If people want to participate in bringing charges, especially serious ones, then they ought to be able to take a minute of their time to come and speak to an attorney under oath - and if they're scared to, or no longer want to, then the DA needs to think about the propriety of going ahead with the case.
Max, that depends on where you are. And in this case, although blurred, I am 'second chair'. This case is the highlight of my career so far. Wish I could talk about it. G: you are correct sir. Josh: either way, just as good.
Dan said…
I too love hockey and beer. Oh, and have never had a problem with witnesses speaking to defense counsel. Finally, Murtagh's a fantastic lawyer. I'd certainly recommend him to someone who ever got into trouble.

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