Blogs by Lisa Adams
Life on the fly
4/19/2008 6:38:31 PM
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Ok, ok...so being a lawyer again is weird. Not only because I spent so dang long in public service; but because I forgot the key rule I learned literally on the first day of law school: you take your clients as you find them. I would love to be able to say how often during my life I encountered wonderful people who were so different...but when someone is confronted with legal problems, their world has been turned upside-down and I have to be an interpreter of sorts; the one who tries to help them through their legal problem while listening to the very personal effects these problems have on their once "normal" life. And it's hard to do.
Sometimes, no, all the time, I think this legal system needs a complete revamp. I have no idea how that would be accomplished; and however it would be accomplished, it would be slow going.
Frankly I think a better form of punishment for most criminals (non-violent offenders that is) would be to send them to a tax law class because BELIEVE ME that sucks. It's awful. Just looking at the IRC hard bound edition makes me want to run screaming into the night, eh?
There has been a movement toward sentencing "reform" but the inherent problem with that concept is that you are reforming something that was poorly formed to begin with...and not very well thought out. Yeah, yeah, talk to me about the hundreds of years of Anglo-Saxon "law and order" and I will ask what relevance is it to a society with an exploding population today? Back then, a big city might house 5,000 people...not 500-million.
Were you aware that reservations for Native people were originally conceived as prison camps? Nice, huh?. After all, the whole "penal colony" had worked...that was Australia...you know, that land down under. One BIG ass prison camp. Wow.
So what are the alternatives? Hell if I know. Sure, there are some people who do not need to be out on the street. I have met a few of them during the course of my career. But not all "criminals" deserve to be housed in a penitentiary. So by treating the offenders the same, you create a homogenously-unjust system lacking checks and balances to examine the fairness of the punishment and whether it actually suits the crime. Still....I hope for change.
Last night I did something I haven't done, literally, in years: I went to a nice restaurant for dinner. A NICE restaurant. I had tiger prawns with risotto; avocado; a tomato coulis; and grilled vegetables. I had forgotten how nice such things can be. Coffee served in a french press au table. Nice....very nice. And I wondered how this change happened so quickly. How I transitioned from a life governed by time clocks and vacation hours earned to one where a person's freedom literally hangs on words I write on paper. How?
Yet here was this lovely plate full of colorful things and I could not help but laugh at just how out of it I had become. I must have looked like the village idiot. Every bite was so wonderful; so new. I never wanted to "get used to it" because then, perhaps, the novelty will fade and the colors turn not so bright....nah, I will always enjoy a nice restaurant when I can afford it.
It was so weird. During my drive to and from work each day, I listen to music and think - write stories; sing along; until a client calls and...wow - I'm really a lawyer again...for real. Go figure. It still freaks me out.
Oh yes and driveway o'doom became mud pit o'misery for a day or two - but now the winds are up - mistral in force - and something's coming just over the horizon. What will it be? Who knows. The fun is in not knowing and finding out.
Oooh and how could I forget - it's FLOOR day - as is tomorrow. putting in new bathroom floor. Adventureland. Ha. You'll read about that manana.
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Parking Nazis at Large - Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Life on the fly - Saturday, April 19, 2008
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