About the Law
---- — April brings flowers, chirping birds and, of course, April Fool’s Day. Regular readers know it brings my annual “Fools in the Law” column.
Observers called Salem police, reporting a woman who appeared intoxicated trying to drive out of a parking lot. When police arrived, part of the scene that developed took place when one of the woman’s young sons in the back seat handed the police officer an open bottle of wine, explaining, “I think this is why Mommy is so sleepy.”
A city prosecutor in New Orleans was chatting with police officers in court when a marijuana cigarette allegedly fell out of his pocket onto the floor. Witnesses apparently described a comical picture of the scene, saying two police officers glanced at the “joint” on the ground, then at each other before making arguably the easiest arrest in the history of police work. Icing the cake, the prosecutor’s wife was running for New Orleans City Council and was “forced to apologize for him.”
Most people understand if they find themselves in court it’s a good idea to show respect to the judge. Not so much an 18-year-old Florida woman facing a bail hearing on drug charges. She could have walked on $5,000 bond. She laughed, telling the judge “adios,” prompting reconsideration and an increase to $10,000. She flipped off the judge and blurted an expletive, which brought yet another review and 30 days behind bars. If you think I make this stuff up, Google: “Fla woman jailed after flipping off judge during court hearing.”
A North Dakota lawyer has been suspended from practice for charging a client for six hours of time to prepare his legal bill. Charging the client to prepare the bill was bad enough. But, an additional hour was billed for the lawyer’s time looking for the file.
The Slidell (La.) Sheriff’s Department must not have a great deal on the priority list. A 33-year-old man walked into the sheriff’s department headquarters and requested a file. While he was waiting, security cameras caught the man swiping three ballpoint pens from the reception area. He was arrested and charged with theft. (Tip: Go to the bank.)
A personal story: I walked into one of the buildings in Boston’s financial district with a client and was directed to the “security” desk. The man in front of us, dressed in a business suit, was held up because his name was “not on the list.” No one answered the line where he was going.
After a prolonged delay, a call finally came down. He was OK. I stepped up. I was “not on the list.” Correspondence confirming our mediation was no good. The stern young man on the desk looked behind me, asking, “Are you with someone?” My client, an attractive woman in her 20s with blonde hair, stepped forward, identifying herself as my client. We were waved on to the elevator with no further questions.
Andrew Myers of Derry has law offices in Derry and North Andover. He is a member of the American Association for Justice and the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.