It’s always interesting to step into someone else’s case, if even for a morning, and see how different things can be. This morning I hopped in and helped a friend who needed coverage on a couple of criminal cases. While I’ve sat through arraignments of my clients before for minor offenses, these were more serious matters and I had to spend some time last night making sure I remembered some of my training.
In general, the atmosphere seemed even more relaxed than many of the civil appearances I make and the judge really plowed through the calendar in an efficient manner. While the cases I covered went by quickly and without incident, it was interesting to watch some of the advocacy by other attorneys on behalf of their allegedly wrongfully arrested clients.
As with civil cases, each attorney had a different demeanor and approach, from the calm and confident to the wild and passionate who seem to be putting on a show for some unidentified media reporter.
So it was a far more interesting morning than I originally had planned, but with all of their specialized rules and procedures, I think I’ll leave the more substantive legal work to the criminal defense attorneys.