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Posts Tagged ‘Law’

Ah, those darling damsels in distress.

Go-to-Jail

I can’t get enough of them. Then there are days when I wish they’d think first. Just for once! 🙂

When I do work as a public defender, many of the people I represent are girls between the ages of 12 and 17.

juvenile-court

Some are kids who were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Others are kids who make rotten choices when it comes to friends.

NRP-car

Some girls are devastated having spent a night in jail.

Some think it’s cool that they’ve spent some time in a juvenile detention centre.

juvie-bars

And for a few sad cases, they don’t mind being in custody because the group home they’re housed in is a heck of a lot better than life at home. These girls are in no hurry to leave.

On the odd occasion, a brush with the law does the job and the kids straighten themselves up. Too few. Too far between.

For all of their nonsense, I really do enjoy helping these young people. I just wish they’d smarten up.

aa-kendo-kanji-red

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I don’t know exactly what it is but there is something about 2013 in that I am hearing more and more horror stories involving ex-spouses.

pod-girl

A very dear friend of mine calls ex-husbands ‘wusbands!’ I love that expression!

psycho-bitch-1(Friend: “My ex is crazy. No really. I’m serious. She’s actually crazy!”)

Whether it’s husbands complaining about ex-wives or vice versa, there sure seems to me a lot more of it than usual.
reverse

Whether the people are just splitting up, in the middle of the divorce process or even if the divorce is finalized and they are still dealing with the ex for custody and access reasons, the complaints are oddly similar.  “They’re unreasonable.  They’re crazy. They’re evil!”

genitals-wallet(Thanks to Robin Williams for that joke!)

I don’t know why I’m hearing more of the “my ex is Evil Incarnate” shtick lately but such complaints are definitely on the rise!

I hope this is just an abnormal blip and not the Way of the Future.

aa-kendo-kanji-red

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Those who are familiar with my professional life know that I defend the downtrodden and, in particular, rescue Damsels in Distress.

By Damsels in Distress, I mean young ladies primarily but not exclusively between the ages of 12 and 29 who have gotten involved with the wrong end of the criminal justice system.

They need assistance. They need legal advice. They need someone to come to their aid when they are being tormented by The Forces of Evil (i.e. police, prosecutors, probation officers, etc.)

courthouse-1(Our local courthouse – Damsel in Distress central!)

And sometimes, they need lunch, bless their little cotton socks.

On more than a few occasions, I have had the opportunity to have them join me when I visit the local cafe (i.e. ‘my office’).

For the first time, two have agreed to grace the pages of my blog.

Two of my favourite Damsels in Distress are BD and JT.

DiD 002a(At my ‘office’: BD – pouting somewhat, and JT – somewhat content)

I have to say right off the bat that neither of these charming young ladies has a criminal record. They were neither convicted nor found guilty of committing any kind of offence whatsoever. They did get into a wee bit of trouble but the matter against them was withdrawn.

Neither are they what I would call ‘regulars’ or ‘frequent flyers’ in our court system.

They are, in short, a couple of sweetie-pies.

DiD 001b(BD perks up after learning she’ll not be at one of Her Majesty’s guest houses)

BD and JT are the kinds of girls who sometimes find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Luckily for them, when something in their lives goes horribly wrong, they can (and do) contact me to help them out.

And it’s absolutely my pleasure to do so!

aa-kendo-kanji-red

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As a public defender, there are people I represent… and people I don’t usually get to represent.

I don’t often get to advise the 1%, for example. The Upper Crust doesn’t go slumming down in my part of the courthouse, let’s say.

These are the people for whom I do not act.

Donald Trump

Honestly. It’s rare that a multi-millionaire comes to a public defender and asks for help.

It has happened to me, actually, but not often.

A millionaire caught bringing things into the country without declaring them gets charged under customs and excise legislation. He has a ton of money. He’s going to plead guilty anyway. He can afford the fine. And he doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a lawyer for getting the same result he would receive with a public defender.

bank-vault

That’s chutzpah. And that is the exception.

Mostly, these types exist high above my level of operation. They are aloof. They are indifferent, by and large, to what goes on beneath them.

Sadly, it is precisely this type of person who can make my life hell for me because when he gets into politics, he tends to enact short-sighted (and boneheaded) criminal legislation.

Monopoly-Man-Rich-Guy

These provisions aren’t intended to get criminals and keep them in jail. They are intended to get votes and keep politicians in office.

But other than that, I have no contact on a professional level with that element of society.

aa-kendo-kanji-red

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Back home after spending five fun-filled days in Toronto.

Attended the semi-annual plenary session of the County & District Law Presidents Association (CDLPA). Interesting and informative. I also got to reconnect with colleagues from across the province. Especially fun were the representatives from my neck o’ the woods, specifically Hamilton, Haldimand, Norfolk and Welland counties.

In addition to the regular CDLPA work over three days, I did manage to get some free time, during which my dearly beloved friend SG and I strolled around the University of Toronto campus [1], taking advantage of the lovely late fall weather.

It was particularly enjoyable for me as I was able to share with her certain spots on campus that had special meaning for me over the years. Those locations were shown in their best light considering that even in the middle of November, the autumn leaves were still falling. Just perfect.

After the conference, I headed north and spent the weekend in The Heart of the Old World [2], spending Shabbes (the Jewish Sabbath) with friends. SG and I had Friday night dinner at our Rabbi’s house and Shabbes lunch the next day at the home our dear friends.

I got to spend Sunday afternoon and evening with my daughter, Exhibit One, who was not feeling well. SG and I sprang into action, cooking chicken soup (aka Jewish penicillin) and generally pampering the poor sick darling. Dropped my daughter off at her apartment in Toronto and came back last night quickly and easily without any traffic jams or unnecessary delays.

All in all, a wonderful time professionally, romantically, emotionally and spiritually.

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[1] I’ve written about this particular part of the downtown campus of the University of Toronto in a previous blog article, Premature Waking: In My Solitude.

[2] I’ve also written about this particular part of Jewish Toronto in a previous blog article, The Heart of the Old World: My Toronto Jewish Neighbourhood.

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