Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Following Directions

I've had the case for a while now, so I'm very familiar with the facts, as well as with the family involved.  These are serious charges and it's important that my client not come off looking like a common hood.  He's a quiet, normally respectful kid, with good grades.  He just made a stupid decision and is being asked to pay the piper now.

I escort the client, a juvenile, into my office to talk about the court hearing coming up the next day.  This one's a big deal, since it is on appeal.  He retained us after the first hearing ended in a finding of guilt.  There is no appealing this one if he is found guilty again.

We sit at my conference table, and though I'm trying to avoid it, I can't stop staring at my client.  Finally, I say to him, "You will NOT come to court like that tomorrow morning."

He has dyed his hair black, which stands out in stark contrast to his pale skin.  He has also styled his hair into these points neatly arranged in a grid all over his head.  He must have used gallons of hair spray and gel.

"What's wrong with my hair?"

"You look like Pinhead."

"I'm just different, that's all."

"Yes you are.  And tomorrow, you will have your hair styled normally, you will dress conservatively, and you will look normal."

He shrugs and says, "Ok."

I arrive at court the next morning and see him with his dad at the end of the hall.  From this distance, I don't see any wild hairstyles.  He's dressed in baggy jeans, but at least has a shirt and tie on.  Hair, check.  Clothing, check.

I walk up to greet them and...

Wait a minute, hold on...

"Umm...thanks for styling your hair.  But what's that on your eyes?!" I ask.

'It's just contacts."

He has these contacts called white-out contacts.

I tell him, "You look creepy!  I'd rather the judge concentrate on what I have to say, but with those contacts, he's going to spend the whole time trying to figure you out!"

"Yeah, but, you didn't say anything about contacts.  You just said to have a normal hairdo and conservative clothing.  I did that."

"Well, you sure did exactly what I asked.  Let's go inside."

We finally get called before the judge and I introduce my clients.  The judge nods and begins to take notes.

Then he stops, looks up, leans slightly forward and stares at my client.  "Is something wrong with your eyes?"  His face turns into a scowl.

"Hmmm," I thought, "this will not end well."

It didn't.


Carteach0 said...

Self destruction comes in all styles. Now the young man can feel free to blame a biased judge for his problems, rather than the true source, himself.

Did it MY way said...

Play the fool....Pay the price.

Some people never learn.

See Ya.

Lawyer said...

The sad thing is that the kid's mom couldn't figure out what was wrong either. This case was not fun. Frustrating and maddening.

Anonymous said...

Common sense AIN'T so common!

Your client just made another stupid decision. Aargh! He has not learned that "being different" is acceptable among artists and not by others.

I hope he learns fast.

Ulises from CA.

Lawyer said...

Ulises - that's so true. Sometimes I complain about it, but really, in the end it translates into jub security for me, so I guess we need each other.