Thursday, September 29, 2005

I hate waiting

Serenity tomorrow!

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Six more days! If you haven't seen the Firefly series yet, go beg, borrow, or steal the DVD's and start cramming!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Peers of the land

Today we finished selecting a jury in the matter of the People v. Roger Ramirez. It took several days; longer, in fact, than expected thanks to an incident that rendered the jail into lock down for most of Wednesday afternoon. What this incident was I never knew, but with the jail under lockdown the defendant couldn't be transported to the courthouse (which, as it happens, is right next door and actually connected via a series of tunnels). But eventually Mr. Ramirez was able to come, much to everyone's relief. Well, except his I suppose.

Selecting a jury is an interesting procedure. You start with an unknown mob of people and, through questions and observation try to ascertain which people would be most receptive to your particular assertions. Sometimes it's easy; you don't want people who hate dogs to be on a jury involving a dog attack. But more often, it's a bizarre amalgamation of stereotypes and amature psychology.

For my own part, I mainly sat at the defense table and scribbled notes. My supervisor wanted me to keep my own list of jurors that I thought we should keep, and those I thought we should keep. Happily, our lists ended up being fairly similar, and he even kicked the people who'd met my reject list but weren't on his. Of course, part of his receptiveness to my suggestion was the fact that we had twenty pre-emptory challenges.

Pre-emptory challenges are bascially vetos on prospective jurors. Twenty is a lot, and there was almost no way that we'd have used them all, so my boss lost nothing by sending a few challenges my way. Still, I'd like to think my decisions were based on cause, at least insofar as cause exists in this esoteric proces.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Mondays and Murderers

On Monday I start my first trial, the People of the state of California v. Roger Ramirez. To be sure, I'm not an attorney, simply just an intern. Still, it will be my first experience with the judicial system, aside form an errant ticket or two, and though I won't be making an appearence on behalf of Mr. Ramirez, I will be at the defense table and I'll be helping with just about every aspect of the trial, including jury selection. All in all, it should be pretty interesting. At least, insofar as work goes.

The only downside is that I have to buy a suit. I have an old one, from when I was a kid, but it not only doesn't fit, but I haven't exactly exhibit particularly dilligent efforts in its care. I actually like suits quite a bit, though I expect their allure will diminish in proportion to how often I wear (and spill stuff on) them.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pointless Factoid XIII

The phrase "under God" was added to the pledge in 1954, which, as some of you may know, was during the height of the cold war. The troubling assertion that a particular religious belief is higher than the republic aside, it was originally added as little more than a sally towards those "godless communists".

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I'm not dead yet

Well, my previous pronouncement of recovery proved to be premature. Nevertheless, all signs now reliably point to my ultimate victory over whatever microscopic host has chosen to invade my body.

Unfortunately, when God stops punching you in the face, he usually begins kicking you in the crotch. In this case, my inevitable return to health unfortunately heralds a the resumption of my scholastic responsibilities.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Less sick than before


(Okay, these two posts don't exactly set high marks for elegance or insight, but for someone with no health insurance, they're not bad)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005