Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Making It Difficult for the Criminal Bar

I can only conclude that district attorneys want to make it as difficult as possible for their adversaries. For what other reason would they require that criminal defense attorneys copy by hand the offense reports, rather than providing a photocopy or an additional printed copy of the arresting officers’ accounts of the events surrounding the confrontation between citizen and law enforcement personnel? Most DA’s have an “open file” policy; that is, defense attorneys are allowed limited access to the DA file on a defendant (save for the little manila folder labeled “confidential.”) However, photocopying, or even photographing, is forbidden. I can understand that requiring the DA’s clerks* to photocopy offense reports for every offender’s attorney who wanted a report would consume a tremendous amount of person-hours. However, there are often multiple copies of every document in the DA file! Thus, making a copy of the offense report available to the defenders of the Constitution is not implausible. If the arresting officer would print just one additional copy of his or her grammatical error-ridden narrative, the alleged offender’s attorney could be provided with the chronicle of events surrounding the purported offense.

Five hundred open cases, four attorneys – I am beginning to feel the pressure.


* As an aside, a tobacco addiction and an unpleasant disposition are prerequisites to holding a position as a clerk for the District Attorney’s office.

3 Comments:

  • Ooh, I hope those clerks don't read your blog--they'll be making you write out the notes with your left hand and a patch over one eye.

    By Blogger English Professor, at 11:44 AM, April 02, 2006  

  • Ahhh... more systematic stupidity revealed. Where I work, the Feds don't let us accept elecronic media from external parties unless an enormous bureaucratic ritual has been performed (which I am quite sure has something to do with a sacrificial lamb.. it's buried somewhere in the appendices). Therefore, I can only accept 2500 page reports via mail or fax, but never via e-mail.

    By Blogger Ashley, at 1:32 PM, April 02, 2006  

  • They just want to keep your handwriting practice up...

    By Blogger jules, at 3:51 PM, April 02, 2006  

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