The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful: Love Letter to a D.C. Law Enforcement Officer
by Jamison Koehler on October 1, 2011
I have a beef with a D.C. law enforcement officer. I would be more specific, but I don’t want to embarrass my investigator. He has to work with the guy.
Dear Mr. Law Enforcement Officer:
I understand you have been giving my investigator the old run-around.
Before becoming a criminal defense attorney, I worked for the federal government. So I know a thing or two about bureaucracy. I know how people use bureaucratic leverage to increase their sense of self-importance. I know about bureaucratic foot-dragging and red-tape to mask incompetence.
Allow me to say this: No matter how many hoops you make us jump through, we will get what we need from you. We already have one court order. If we need to, we will go back and get another. Trust me on this: The judge will not be happy.
If you delay too long, the judge will grant our motion to continue the trial. Yes, that means my client will have to sit in custody a while longer. This may well be what you have in mind. You probably also think you are doing your part to make sure that another guilty person does not go free. But your delay also means more work for the judge, the court staff, and the prosecutor. You know all those government witnesses who have set aside time to come to court? They too will have to come back on another date. The prosecutor is going to be upset about that.
Finally, I will let you in on a little secret. Unlike my retained cases in which I charge a flat fee, this is a court-appointed case. This means that the government is paying both my investigator and me for the time we put in on this case. It is an hourly fee. The harder you make us work, the more we get paid. Our pay and your salary both come from the same pot: public funds. Think about that the next time you complain about cuts to your department’s funding.
Love and kisses. Your pal, Jamison Koehler