The grind

Did my jury orientation yesterday preparatory to voir dire. For the lecture part, I sat in a chair in front of the panel as I was slightly out of breath. Was able to walk around the courtroom with the prospective jurors as I conducted the courtroom “tour” I always give during orientation. (See here and here for a brief description of my “walk about.”)

At the last moment, and while I was doing the orientation, the defendant decided to plead guilty before Magistrate Judge Zwart. (She is such a great help.) Trial cancelled and jurors excused with my thanks. I was relieved. Summoning the energy to try this little criminal case loomed larger than expected. Get my second infusion of the second cycle in a few hours, may have to rethink my stamina when it comes to daily work. We shall see.



6 responses

  1. Yes, rethink your stamina. Listen to your body. You are not whom you were, but you still want to BE. As for the plea before trial, and forgive me for not knowing what I used to pride myself in knowing, but does the defendant still receive points for pleading? The entire system you and I spent our lives supporting is so bogus. Bad lawyering brought this on. Wasted time and effort, assuming the lawyers who prepared for trial didn’t know in advance of the certainty of the deal. Biggest shame is that the plea is arrived at because the jury is at the door. What held up this deal, if you don’t mind me asking? Was it that the defendant didn’t believe a witness would show up? Was it that the latest pre-trial discovery showed something that the defendant didn’t know the Government knew? Did the defendant have an exam to take in order to graduate from school or a baby to deliver. Pardon my sarcasm and lack of skill in making a thoughful argument, but the system be broken. Don’t you let it break you more than you already are.

  2. Don’t push yourself too hard. Remember, a lot of people want you on the bench long after your cancer is gone. Do what you are comfortable doing. And, for your own peace of mind, don’t do what you don’t think you can do, even if it’s presiding over a little trial. You don’t want to spend years second guessing yourself after your health is back.
    And, darn it, get well soonest.

  3. You should also be careful mixing closely with the general public when your immune system is flattened. Be on the lookout for any signs of infection, and inform your docs if you do note any.

  4. Walk about? You’re being chemoed. This sounds like an additional duty for your Court Deputy: wheel chair races around the court.

    On the other hand, you’re a sitting Federal judge. You need to take the “sitting” bit to heart. Your Court Deputy can draft some clerks (especially those students doing work-study) to bear you about in the style to which a Federal judge should become accustomed.

  5. Judge:
    The wheels of justice turn slowly…but they turn. So your stamina may not have been what it used to be. So what? This case is disposed of & you have one less case to worry about (and a greater insight into your physical condition than would otherwise be the case). I consider that a double victory.
    Every victory, no matter how small, is still a victory.
    As I said earlier, cancer is gonna’ regret messing with you.

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