Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In the local paper today, we learned that several cats in the area have been killed and mutilated. These pet killings are clearly not the act of predator animals but some fairly twisted predator human. A blade has been involved and the cats have been placed in their owners' yards. The only pets involved so far have been cats, but I couldn't help but shudder at the thought of anyone doing that to my beloved little girl. (I think she thinks Mommy's gone a little nuts tonight as I've been petting her and talking to her while getting a little teary-eyed.)

As a criminal defense attorney, whenever I hear about crimes in the area, I immediately think, "wonder who's gonna get that case?" Will it be me? A co-worker? So when I read about this today, it occurred to me that if the guy gets caught, it will likely come to my office. But I wouldn't get it because I only do the really, really bad cases with dead human bodies. My gut reaction is, "Thank goodness I wouldn't have to get that case!"

I think an animal killing case might just be the worst kind of case. I can handle your basic property crimes and batteries. Rapes don't bother me. I even enjoy child sex cases. (What can I say? They generally have the best legal issues.) Drug cases drive me nuts, but only because they bore me. Murder cases are just fine. But I don't really want to have to deal with dead Fido or Fluffy. I just don't want to get immersed in those facts or have to think too much about something like that happening. And I really don't want to have to see those photos.

If I got assigned an animal cruelty case, of course I would do the case. And I would represent the guy to the best of my abilities, with as much zeal as I put into any case. But I think it would be a hard case for me to handle on an emotional level. When I was safely in private somewhere that no one could see me, I would probably choke up thinking about the poor, innocent little furbaby who really, really didn't deserve its fate.

I think all attorneys have some kind of case that would be hardest for them to deal with. So other defense attorneys reading this, what kind of case would you least like to get stuck with?


Meryl said...

Yeah, you know my answer. Give me your rapists, murderers, batterers and (dare I say it) diddlers, but no abused puppies or kitties for me.

However, although I agree that drug cases are boring, I think I would limit that to drug sentencing cases. A drug case with a good suppression issue isn't so bad.

GGT said...

The only kinds of cases that really bother me are domestic battery cases...and not because of the case itself, even, but more because generally, those clients have issues with women and, as a female attorney, having to deal with them as a client can be an utterly trying experience.

I was really bothered by that article in the paper too. I gave Glenn another lecture about not letting my kitty outside. I'm glad Frank is an indoor cat. People who torture animals are just practicing for much worse crimes later on.

Lee said...

I hate cases in which parents hurt their children, whether sexually or otherwise. And since there is still a good deal of tough guy left in me, if I get the dad, I usually have to set aside my initial instinct to try to beat the shit out of him. Vic Mackey and I are a lot alike in this.

I can also say from misdemeanor days that the worst client ever is, without a doubt, packrats charged with housing code violations.

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