Long time, no blog . . .
I have moved from juvenile court to adult felonies. I was really torn when I was asked to make the move. It was considered an advancement in the office, but I had really grown to love juvenile work. I missed being able to do jury trials (and having my clients have the RIGHT to a jury trial), but I knew I would miss the kids. So far, though, I am happy where I am. I have been back in front of a few juries with pretty good results so far.
I am still busier than ever--the life of a public defender. And things at my office are far from perfect. But, what has inspired me to get back into blogging is what is going on at my old office in Dallas. They are really suffering. They are being messed with in the extreme by the political forces in the county, and good, experienced public defenders are quitting because they don't believe they can meet their ethical obligations to their clients under the quota system that has been imposed there.
My thoughts go out to all my former colleagues there in Dallas, whether they have chosen to leave or are trying to stick it out. I don't know what I would do if I were still there. On one hand, I respect those who have quit because they do not believe that they can fulfill their ethical obligations to provide zealous representation under the overly burdensome caseload standards that have been imposed. On the other hand, I respect those who are staying because they know that good, ethical attorneys need to be there to represent the indigent accused. I wish them all the best and hope that changes will be coming. (For more information about the situation in Dallas, check out Grits for Breakfast. As per usual, he is all over the issue.)
Hopefully, it won't be another year before my next post!