f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 19, 2008

have you ever been punched by a client?

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,lawyer news or ethics,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 8:57 am

boxer smf Schenectady attorney Brian Mercy evoked tears of joy earlier this week from a client who had been in jail since last August, but was released from a drug charge when the vehicle search was held to be warrantless and illegal. But, Brian wasn’t quite so lucky yesterday with another jail-house dwelling client. According to the print edition of today’s Schenectady Daily Gazette (“Man punches attorney during court appearance,” April 19, 2008, p. B2):

“A man facing a jail assault charge apparently didn’t like the plea offered to him Friday.

“Charles Ardley, 21 [street name “Murder”], who was being held at the Schenectady County jail since last fall, responded by punching his attorney in the face, officials said.

‘He got mouthy with the judge and reached over and punched me in the side of the head,’ said attorney Brian Mercy, who was not injured. ‘I saw it coming.’

. . . “Mercy, who is no longer representing Ardley, said his former client was expected to be charged with contempt and harassment.

“The offer was apparently withdrawn.”

Although I’ve on occasion been tempted to slap a client or two upside the head (a couple divorce mediation husbands come to mind), I’ve never been punched, slapped or even pushed by a client. I have had a couple scary parents of my Law Guardian clients make not-at-all subtle threats when they did not like my opinion as to who should get custody or more visitation, or whether foster care was necessary. [These guys usually had biceps larger than my head.]

What about you, Mr. or Ms. Lawyer? Have you ever been punched or assaulted by a client? Are criminal lawyers more at risk than matrimonial lawyers or estate planners? Let us know with a Comment or a blurb at your weblog.

update (2 PM EDT): Hat tip to Ed of BlawgReview for sending me a YouTube Link to “Lawyer Punched in Face in Court,” on which Dustin Wadsworth shows a clip of a public defender being punched by his robbery-suspect client in a court room in Georgetown, KY. (ABC2Newscast, Feb. 6, 2008). This lawyer (not identified) got walloped.

afterglow (April 21, 2008): Thanks to all the blawgers who have pointed to this posting from their weblogs, including Holden at What About Clients, Gideon at A Public Defender, Kevin at Real Lawyers Have Blogs, and David at Above the Law.

If this post interested you, you might want to take a look at “poorly framed in Schenectady,” where I ask whether a local public defender should have refused to present an obviously-bogus alibi (which included using a photo from a picture frame in pointing to an imaginary perpetrator). If you are the defensive-lawyer type, it might make you want to punch someone (i.e., me).

boxer gray . . . . . . boxer gray flip

with a black eye halo
around the moon

….. by George Swede from Almost Unseen

empty punchbowl
husband and wife
avoid the mistletoe

…… by dagosan

all fools day
my daughter gets in first
with a pinch and punch

…….. by Matt Morden – The Heron’s Nest (June 2001)

new year’s morning
like every other
we punch the clock

………………… ed markowski

the slap of a beaver tail
at twilight

. . . by Alice Frampton – The Heron’s Nest (Sept. 2005)

singing a song
and slapping his butt…
with a fan

from his hole
the snake pokes his head…
the cat slaps it

swat! swat!
the escaping fly buzzes
with laughter

… by Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue




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