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August 20, 2005

DC LSIC: Orientation Notes, Day 3

  1. You often get more discovery in civil cases than in criminal cases where your client could go away for a long time—or be killed.
  2. Discovery is always “upon request.” If you don't ask, you don't get, and you can't whine.
  3. Never underestimate the laziness of the U.S. Attorney's office—not the individuals, but as an entity.
  4. Investigation is the best thing to do and can be the best part of your job. You find out about all the best restaurants that nobody knows about and you meet all kinds of great people you would never normally meet.
  5. You must investigate everything. For example, Johnny St. Valentine Brown was a very very bad man who helped put thousands of people away for a very long time, but no one knew how bad he was until someone finally investigated his background.
  6. When you read the rule, and you follow it, then you're good.
  7. The truth may not set you free but hopefully it will set your client free, and if it not, Rule 16 will. [I can't find the D.C. rule online, but it's based on the Federal rule.]
  8. Student attorneys are eager and sincere and full of energy. We come before the jaded court that has seen everything and we are like little puppies. The judge is not gonna want to shoot the puppy.
  9. C-10, the misdemeanor arraignment court, does not smell great. It's in the basement, is poorly lit, and the sound quality sucks. Court proceedings are supposed to be public, but in C-10 they are conducted in such a way that it is basically impossible for the public to hear what is happening.
  10. The D.C. Superior Court is a model of bureaucratic complication. There are at least half a dozen different clerk's offices scattered from basement to fourth floor throughout the building. Perhaps I will learn some rhyme or reason for it all in time.
  11. The U.S. Attorney working in C-10 has a team of support staff to assist him or her. There is an entire area of the courtoom given over to the U.S. A's files and staff. It continues to surprise me that prosecutors have offices and staff in courthouses, then they go to courtrooms where everyone pretends the proceedings are “objective” or in some way neutral.

Posted August 20, 2005 06:06 AM | 3L lists

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#8 made me laugh -- and I'm not even a law student :)

Posted by: Anonymous at August 23, 2005 10:51 PM

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