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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 12:57am
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Was reading one of your posts. I too am a senior asst. 23 yrs in as of 5-15-05. Welcome to the board, although I may be newer here than you. What state are you in?
I am in 22nd District of Okla.
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Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 01:03am
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And I too am a presenter/trainer. I have done the state assoc., went to S.C. for NCDA, and have done a couple of Nat'l Highway Safety Train the Trainers...small world, eh?
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Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 01:34am
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Hey, I'm in Las Veags. Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney. I was our Capital Case Coordinator so I handled litigation on all death penalty cases. I now run the largest attorney team in our office.

I roped a fellow deputy, David Stanton, into joining and reffing this year. We are both having a blast.

I love the NAC back in South Carolina on the SC campus. I taught trial advocacy there for prosecutors from across the country. It was a blast too. I've taught at our state DA Association seminars and I do our own internal CLE classes on ethics, prosecutorial misconduct and trial advocacy. I also teach the LVMPD academy and I am involved in training our new deputies.

So it is interesting for me to be on the newbie end of the stick. And it is a lot of fun.

I try to do all the things I tell our new deputies to do: listen, get advice, dont think you know it all yet, try it and dont be afraid to fail and try it again. I tell them to find a reliable senior mentor to help them and to find a good person just a bit more experienced than them to ask them the quesitons they may be too embarassed to ask the senior guy.

I wish I had never mentioned the attorney thing though. People alwasy instinctively think you are saying you are better than them which, if you knew me, is the farthest thing from the truth. My dad was a corn farmer in Nebraska and if I grow up to be half the man he is I'll have achieved something.

Anyway, I have a mentor in Vegas who is a dialed up ref and also an attorney. It is nice to have another ref who is an attorney to talk to. 3 years of law school warps your mind. Only attorneys think about things in an attorney way. Not got, not bad. Just in a particular way. So he and I can really try to break things down in a legal analysis way in little steps. But often that is just more frustration than it is worth since the rules arent written by lawyers and many of the legal principles (like your "the specific takes precedence over the general") dont really apply. A good example is the 0/00 thread. In a legal document, you would say the language "0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 00, 10..." says without much doubt that the drafters intended 0 and 00 to be different numbers. But these rules are so jacked up. For example, it drives me nuts as a lawyer that the definitions are in chapter 4. the most important chapter. it should be chapter 1. But it is nice to have someone with the same warped mind as you.

But I often want a detailed discussion on the "why" of things that I think most people dont have the patience for.

Of course I turned my type A personality to reffing. I am absorbed by it. But the good thing is that my job has pretty much made any pressure from reffing non-existent. Closing in a murder trial with TV cameras or arguing in front of the state supreme court is more nerve-wracking than a bunch of yahoos yelling at me from the stands. I actually love it. It is all I can do to keep from smiling when they yell.

Nice to meet you and feel free to email me any time.

Clark
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Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 01:44am
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Wait, you did Nat'l Highway's Train the Trainers? That is some serious stuff.

I (briefly) ran our Vehicular Crimes Unit and did all the fatality cases after a real senior guy finally resigned. It came as a surprise and the elected DA put me there to run it for a few months until my normal team chief spot came open. But I worked with our Nevada Highway Patrol guys who got that training.

Nice work.

Clark
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Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 09:10am
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Talking

I tried to teach my daughter to be ethical, kind, and compassionate....... but she wanted to go to University of Houston Law School anyway.
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Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 09:56am
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Frank: And they no doubt ruined her! Unless of course, she followed the trail of newbie and myself and became a prosecutor. I spent 3 weeks at the U of H in July,1983. At the time it was the home of the National College of District Attorneys, and the career prosecutor course was held there. For some reason, the National College has relocated to South Carolina. I liked it in Houston, especially in the cougar in the building on campus...the humidity, however, was unbearable.

Newbie: Yeah, not much about being yelled at bothers me. We are a 3 county district, mostly rural. My county has 2 prosecutors, and we had about 500 felonies last year. Largest town in my county is about 18,000. My case load is all homicides, all narcotics, all sex crimes, and all crimes against children. I don't do any property crimes (praise the Lord). Was named Oklahoma's Asst DA of the year in 2004. I submit if you stay long enough, you gotta win something! Currently have five 1st degree murders. By the by, the site says your email is unavailable.
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Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 10:34am
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Quote:
Originally posted by bigzilla
Frank: And they no doubt ruined her! Unless of course, she followed the trail of newbie and myself and became a prosecutor. I spent 3 weeks at the U of H in July,1983. At the time it was the home of the National College of District Attorneys, and the career prosecutor course was held there. For some reason, the National College has relocated to South Carolina. I liked it in Houston, especially in the cougar in the building on campus...the humidity, however, was unbearable.

Newbie: Yeah, not much about being yelled at bothers me. We are a 3 county district, mostly rural. My county has 2 prosecutors, and we had about 500 felonies last year. Largest town in my county is about 18,000. My case load is all homicides, all narcotics, all sex crimes, and all crimes against children. I don't do any property crimes (praise the Lord). Was named Oklahoma's Asst DA of the year in 2004. I submit if you stay long enough, you gotta win something! Currently have five 1st degree murders. By the by, the site says your email is unavailable.
IMHO, crimes against children have to be some of the most difficult to handle. How can anyone harm a child? I have 2 sons and I have been very, very angry with them sometimes, but I just don't understand how anyone could molest/violate/harm a child.
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Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 12:55pm
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Those are both the most difficult and most rewarding cases you will ever handle as a DA. I was on our Sex Crimes unit for some time and I handled quite a few child molestation cases. They are difficult from an evidentiary stand point (unless you defendant is stupid enough to videotape himself molesting his 6 year old daughter, like a defendant I had in a case; truly unbelievable). They are heart wrenching and horrible. But when you get the ******* you feel better about it then when you convict a murderer. At least I do anyway. Some murder is at least understandable from a human emotional standpoint--people get mad, tempers flare, a gun is present. Like Chris Rock says: "If you havent contemplated murder, you've never been in love." Now I am not saying truly evil premeditated murder is understandable. But nothing about sex crimes on kids is understandable to me.

I am off specialty teams now and and heading my own team of attorneys, which is its own challenge. In fact, two of my guys are in a murder trial as of yesterday so I have to observe them and help them out.

Clark

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Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 12:57pm
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Frank-

I hope she has fun in law school and enjoys it. I loved it. Unfortunately, her mind will be irrevocably twisted by a legal education If you get her reffing she might even become interested in the difference between numbers 0 and 00.

Clark
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Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 01:17pm
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The prosecution of child victim cases for 23 years has unfortunately taken me to the point where nothing anyone does surprises me now. I have seen the sickest of the sick. Dblref can't understand it, and neither can I. I don't understand why anyone would do it...it just happens so much that I just prosecute it, without trying to understand it. I agree with you newbie..in most murders, you can figure out why the defendant did it, without agreeing with it or finding it to be a justification. With hurting a child, or molesting one, there is never a reason you can point to and say, yeah, he did it because...

When people ask me why I would ref when I have the job I have, I always say that I have enough of the criminals hating me, and wanted to have some of the law abiding citizens hate me too.
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Old Tue Feb 01, 2005, 01:21pm
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That is a good one! I'm stealing that.

Clark
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Old Wed Feb 02, 2005, 08:33am
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Quote:
Originally posted by bigzilla
With hurting a child, or molesting one, there is never a reason you can point to and say, yeah, he did it because...

Most criminals have been abused at some point in their lives, usually as children. But, if you are successful in prosecuting them and have them put in prison, their peers will take care of them better than the system ever could.

When people ask me why I would ref when I have the job I have, I always say that I have enough of the criminals hating me, and wanted to have some of the law abiding citizens hate me too.
Does that mean you are as lousy a prosecutor as you are a ref?
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Old Wed Feb 02, 2005, 04:39pm
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Come on, Willie. I think that one needed an "i'm kidding" smily face at the end of that one...
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Old Wed Feb 02, 2005, 05:50pm
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My daughter is finishing her second year. She works full-time and goes to class at night. So I occasioally see her on a weekend. But she got an A in professional ethics, so she is like an outcast in the class (HA HA). Of course I told her ethics for an attorney, and ethics for the rest of the citizenry are two different things, so she didn't feel so bad. She works for an oil & gas company, that subsudizes her tuition, and this semester she is taking Oil & Gas Law, so she is loving it.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old Wed Feb 02, 2005, 07:42pm
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Legal ethics is up there with military intelligence.

See, even laywers bust on lawyers.

Clark
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