Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How did that happen?

So, I've been doing this job since 12/14/1994. I was sworn in as a lawyer the day before, so this is the one and only job I've had as a practicing lawyer.

I remember my first few months in the office; like all baby lawyers, I was negotiating a huge learning curve; trying to learn how to be a PD at the same time I was learning how to be a lawyer. I remember how all of the jargon seemed incomprehensible to me, and having to speak to a judge on the record was such a nervewracking experience. I would watch experienced lawyers work, and I would marvel at their ease with how they handled their caseload.

I remember watching felony lawyers appear in court; they would banter with their judge, exchange pleasantries, and then handle their cases with what appeared to be a total familiarity with their surroundings. I would watch them, and think to myself, "I'll never get there".

And yet, here it is; all of these years later, and even walking into a new courtroom for the first time doesn't faze me. It's all the same, really; you first walk in and look for the bailiff, to let them know that you are an attorney, and that you have cases there. Then, the clerk; to hand over a business card and introduce yourself, providing your bar number so that they can input you into their computer system. Then, the reporter; hand a card to them, so that they'll know how to spell your name. Then, I go the DA; tell them who I am, and that I'm the new PD. They ask where I'm coming from. And, this time, when I tell them I'm coming from Norwalk Felonies, the DA's, both new and inexperienced, are a little awed; just by virtue of telling them where I've come from; they know I'm one of those: the experienced felony lawyer who's totally familiar with the surroundings.

Somehow, I became one of those guys that I stared at all those years ago. How the hell did that happen? And where the hell did the time go?

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