Wednesday, June 27, 2012

They Told Me I Was Special

There comes a time in every prosecutor's life when they must hear this.  For me, it came from the big boss himself.  The one who does the hiring and firing.  And compliments like these are not to be overlooked.

"Hey, do you wanna be a special prosecutor in (blank) county?"

What that means ladies and gentleman is that an adjoining county has a conflict in a criminal case.  Due to the conflict, the judge in that county ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor.  So because my name was pulled from a hat or I was in my office at the right time, I am now a special prosecutor in a different county.

It is a very interesting case that was reversed by the appellate division after the first trial partially because the police obtained a DNA sample from the defendant by using a taser.  (Apprarently that's wrong?)  I wish I could say more, but I risk crossing one of the two rules I operate under.  All I can say is that one of the attorneys on the defense side for the first trial is now a prosecutor in that county.  The appearance of a conflict was too much for the court to overcome.

I'll be spending many a day making the long trek North and trying a case in front of a judge I've never appeared in front of.  I'm certain the judge will have quirky rules that I'll run afoul of within minutes of entering the courtroom.

It will be a unique experience.  The courtrooms I opereate in now are located in the same building as my office.  My travel involves just an elevator trip down.  Looks like I'll get to experience the life of a defense attorney and civil attorney, who must lug all their boxes and exhibits to court each day.

I'll keep you posted as things develop and give a full recap of the case once it's over.  Unfortuantely, the trial isn't scheduled until October.  Patience is a virtue, they say.

How do you refuse a compliment like this?  These are the compliments that come through work.  Do a good job and your reward is more work, higher profile cases, and more at stake for a loss, all for the same pay.  It's the joys of a public servant.  Still want to be a prosecutor?

I'll never forget telling my brother, the police detective, about my first promotion.  I was joining a supervisory role over new ADAs.  This was his quote:  "So, they are moving you from your own office to one you will now share with three others.  You'll have more work and longer hours.  Are you sure they didn't say demotion?"


  1. Funny. It's quite true though that the better you are at something, the more challenges you'll have thrown at you! Good for you and good luck! Perhaps when all is said and done you'll be able to do a post on your special prosecutor experience.

  2. Sounds like a privilege to me. Do a good job lets your adjoining office look good, gives you more prestige in the state, etc. Besides lugging around files, we civil and defense attorneys also have to integrate those quirky court-specific rules.

  3. I expect to be learning many court specific rules. Probably by violating them first.