A Pirate’s Life for Me


H.L. Mencken wrote:

Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.

That’s a pretty good description of my mood when I have a trial going on: the Jolly Roger is flying from the mainmast and I’m knee-deep in gore. It’s not a bad feeling.

There’s something wonderfully antisocial about trying a criminal case — for a few hours / days / weeks very little matters other than the opinions of the twelve people in the jury box.

Today I was set for trial in a kilo case (that’s shorthand for a drug case involving a kilogram or more of cocaine) in state court. The facts weren’t good, but my client was willing to take a shot at trial . . . until, with a jury panel in the hall, the State finally made a plea offer that my client could accept.

Getting out of trial, while it’s often a relief, is almost always a bit of a letdown as well.

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