Criminal Discourse: Who’s on 6?

A surprised Jessica Adley, criminal defence counsel,
finding herself staged and photographed
by fellow criminal defence counsel Paolo Giancaterino,
February 17, 2012.

Reproduced with permission of Jessica Adley and Paolo Giancaterino.

Among those at the law firm, every day there are several lawyers in the criminal courts. They have so much to balance, in circumstances where Blackberry communication becomes essential. I can’t get to this court because I am delayed in court down the hall; can you advise the other proceedings? The pressures of time and client demands are beyond anything most people experience in a normal working day. Rare is the time that there is only one matter to address. This is why a primary role of their assistants is scheduling.

As with many extremely high-pressure occupations, the break is humour, since they absolutely cannot break personally; too many people depending on them to be together, all the time, in every context.

Earlier yesterday, an incident occurred that caused the ice to break, once again, and where all communication is shared. Here is a selection of the correspondence; “6” is a courtroom in the Ottawa courthouse:

From: A

Subject: I just got paged in 6

Can someone pls go for me? I’m walking into a setllement conf

From: B

The reason for the page:

You took C’s Criminal Code. She needs it back.

Why am I not surprised?

From: A

OK, simmer down, everyone. She passed it to me the other day and then forgot to grab it. Fair enough- I forgot too. But we don’t need to get all uppity about it!

I refuse to admit I am a klepto.

From: B

I’d love to illustrate how you fit the classic profile of a kleptomaniac, but you took my 3rd edition of Psychological Diagnosis in Criminal Law book and haven’t “returned” it yet.

From: D

To be fair, she also abandons stuff all over the place, too- it evens out.

From: E

That’s true- she left her purse in remand court on her first day as an articling student 😉

That’s how they do it; break the ice, deal with whatever degree of chaos, and move on. Most people, myself included, simply can’t do this, day after day. To me, there’s a Dennis Miller world here, somewhere:

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About brucelarochelle

Practising Lawyer and Part-Time University Instructor (Accounting, Commercial Law, Organizational Behaviour); Part-Time Federal Tribunal Member. Non-practising Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant).
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