Becoming a Criminal On My Way to Defend My Client!

Does this look like the face of a criminal?!

me after court

Oh I fear it is! I had to turnstile-jump this morning on my way to this lovely place:

Appellate Division courthouse

… which is the Appellate Division courthouse in Brooklyn Heights, where I had an oral argument. I didn’t mean to commit a crime! I was running late on my way to court because I was hysterically researching cases on Westlaw this morning before I left — I always do far far far too much research and am pretty ridiculously overprepared for court. I’m always so afraid the judges are going to ask me something about some obscure case and I’m going to look stupid. Not that overpreparation is bad, but it does sometimes get me a little behind on my caseload. And, when you have about one of these a month, spending several days obsessing over case law and trial transcripts and penal codes and sentencing guidelines can really put you a good, full case behind…

Anyway, so I was researching hysterically, not realizing the time, until it was about 9:00 — an hour before I have to be in court. Calendar call (which every attorney with a case on for argument has to attend in order to tell the presiding judge how much time s/he is requesting to argue their appeal) is strictly at 10, and if you’re late, you’re in big trouble. So, I grabbed my argument outline, the mass of cases and trial transcripts I wouldn’t need (since I basically had all of them memorized), and, shoving an extra pair of hose into my briefcase, fled my apartment for the 2/3 train.

When I went to go through the turnstile, there was a man entering before me, and I guess his Metrocard didn’t go through and the machine told him he needed to slide it through again. But since I was in such a hysterical rush, I’d already swiped mine. So, when he walked through, it was on my card. Since I have a monthly, I couldn’t swipe it again for another 15 minutes (for non-NYers, that’s the MTA’s means of preventing people from buying one monthly pass and then letting all their friends and family ride on it as well). Of course I didn’t have 15 minutes to spare. Normally, I’d just explain to the agent in the booth what had happened and they’d let me through, but for some crazy reason there was no agent in the booth this morning. I searched for another one, but couldn’t find any. Angry that I was actually going to have to buy a single ticket, I whipped out my wallet only to find I had no small bills. I started crying out, asking anyone within earshot if they had change, but no one could be bothered to help the poor, hysterical, screaming besuited lawyer. So, I did the only thing I could do: jumped the damn turnstile! Actually, I didn’t jump; I slid underneath. And as I went, I waved about my Metrocard just in case any officers were spying from behind some “janitors’ cabin” and came after me. Nothing happened, other than a few odd looks from commuters. I’m just afraid they have some surveillance camera and I’m going to get a summons in the mail! Or worse, served at my place of work … Well, I have a damn good excuse. It’s just kind of ironic: the criminal defending a convict!

Anyway, I had a lesson with Jacob tonight, after not seeing him, or the studio, in over two weeks. My back knee bent badly while he tried to take me down into a split in our opening trick. Uh, so out of practice! And, the DVDs from our October student / teacher showcase are in. I bought two — one for me and one for Dad for Christmas 🙂 Oh, I don’t know if I want to look though!


One Comment

  1. Hahah, you sound just like me, even when I jay walk I get paranoid that a cop saw me and is going to cart me off to jail! I don’t blame you though, every time I’ve swiped my metrocard I always have to do it twice–it gets frustrating!

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