May 22, 2008

Passing A Milepost

I covered an appearance for a colleague yesterday in court. I don't normally do criminal defense work but this was just a misdemeanor arraignment so it was going to be an in and out sort of appearance, one where the bulk of the time would be spent waiting for the court's attention. I got things worked out with the D.A. to continue the arraignment so my colleague's client could get the problem worked out (he's charged with being an unlicensed contractor and what the D.A. wants to see is him getting a license).

The D.A. impressed me. She had about twenty files, but seemed to know all of them without reference to the content's files. She was quick-witted and knew what she was looking for out of the defense in each case. She told another defense attorney "Your client owes me twenty AA's." (Whatever an "AA" is. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings?) "He's only done four. If he gives me twenty more, we're good." She just knew this. The negotiations were very fast, very direct, and utterly unemotional -- just like what you see on Law & Order.

And something of a milestone event happened for me. When the judge took the bench, she was smiling and laughing with her staff, and I thought, wow! She's attractive, remarkably so. She seemed to be about my age and did not seem to be wearing a wedding ring. If I were single, I'd definitely want to date her. Of course, I'm not single so that's the end of the matter and I got done what needed to get done. But I'm not blind.

The idea that a smart, attractive single woman of about my age was intriguing enough that I looked her up later to see when she was appointed to the bench, in part because I was curious about her and in part because I wondered what it was in her background that got her elevated. The Governor's press release appointing her says that she's only about four years older than me, was a U.S. Attorney for several years (which means she's really smart and a very sharp lawyer; I've noticed that the U.S. Attorney's office hires only attorneys of a uniformly high caliber), was just appointed to the bench last year, and is apparently being re-nominated for the Sacramento County Superior Court. Since she's already a judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, this would be effectively a lateral transfer and the great likelihood is that there is some sort of personal reason for her to want to move to Sacramento while still pursuing her career. That gives me hope for my own career.

She was appointed to the Sacramento court the same day that Governor Schwarzenegger appointed a civil litigator to the bench in San Luis Obispo, which is now the third civil litigator I've seen the Governator has appointed to the bench in the not quite six years he's been in a position to do so -- which would be about double the rate of his predecessors in appointing non-prosecutors to judicial positions. So that gives me hope.


Orange Phantom said...

Do you ever watch Boston Legal?

Burt Likko said...

Nope; I've never seen a single episode. I understand that William Shatner is quite good in it.