U.S. Attorney Confidence
By: Lee Kent Hempfling
I read a lot of enemy propaganda. I noticed the literal lack of argument in defense of Alberto Gonzales from those sources and have watched the weak-kneed, follow the piper into line. The clapping of boot heels is deafening.
With all the forum talk and news conversation regarding allegations of vote fraud and fired United States Attorneys; and that in both houses of Congress, and their media handlers’ current delema to concoct a face saving story line, for the impending no-confidence vote in the Senate: I thought it might be a good idea to take the moment and explain just what the job of the attorney is. Of course it will not at all resemble the job of an attorney, but attorneys will either find meaning in it, or they will not, and in doing so will prove what the explanation is. The first part of it is good and not so good.
A good prosecutor: be that criminal or civil or pro se in either, presents the case to the court. A good defender with the same conditions, presents the response to the court. Lawyers who shine in their profession seem to do that instinctively, when it is actually nothing more than a correct focus. Lawyers who lose a lot, or those who abuse the system and the law, seem to instinctively be unable to read responses.
A pro se petitioner, one who is filing the case him or herself presents the case. No strategy, no concept of the environment and therefore a good chance the case, will not please the court. If it does, the pro se petitioner has either lucked out in presentation and served a judge who finds great legal interest in the case, the case will enter a period of ballroom dancing. Each party feeling out the other, challenging the issues, with the lawyer identifying the court’s issues and the pro se litigant expounding theirs.
If both parties addressed the court, (and that would include the rules the court operates with) the issues would be focused in the mind of the judge, as the court is the receiving party of pleadings; and no matter how over-burdensome the pro se litigant’s writings may be, the original legal interest in the case would prevail.
A good Defender: when the defender is also a lawyer, the court will be addressed throughout the trial. Pro se litigants have that stacked against them when entering a court proceeding. It doesn’t help to acquire a sudden shake in the knee, but when the focus returns to the court and stops being the awe of the court a pro se can indeed survive the experience.
The second part of it is the main point of any attorney: gain control of the proceeding. If that happens, the limits of the rules can be toyed with. It is the same process every competitive endeavor endures. Whichever side blinks first, loses. To ‘blink’ would be to react. It is very easy to identify and once it happens the control over the proceeding falls to the party that can focus the case on the reason for that reaction. It will turn pro se litigants to emotional mush and inexperienced opposite party attorneys into a harsh lesson.
Throughout the proceeding, the party that blinks will lose. It is actually quite thrilling, nearly a roller coaster ride knowing you have control over the safety of the trip, just as long as actions are met with actions and reactions are the weakness of the ‘other guy’. Negotiating contracts, employment agreements, raises, parking spaces are all examples of the same process. Dominance arises most powerful when it begins with a slip of self control. The party without it, in any degree less than zero will bow. Talent in negotiating comes from being able to identify the slightest slip of self control. It could be a lip jerk in a personal meeting, or a slight degree of anger in a written document, even if that anger was cloaked disdain and a greater fear.
As many times as I have heard the complaints of ‘activist judges’, I have wondered why attorneys in office were addressing the court in their quest to explain away issues. It just seemed to me that a judge can only rule on what is before the bench, so if a judge ruled in a way that was not supported by the government’s argument, then that argument was a failure. The ruling would be the result of incompetent prosecution, not an activist judge. I also found it rather comical that when the attorney in court wins a ruling, the opposing side of the losing ’cause’ will blame the court, instead of firing their own attorneys. That must make for a very interesting job as United States Attorney. The other attorneys get to play the court, while the US’A’ has to defend his or her playing the issues and facts. Then, when the US’A’ loses to the ’cause’ attorney, the cause gets to claim it won and their adversary gets to blame the court. It seems like a thankless job.
The third part of the attorney is the degree to which he or she listens to the responses they receive. Most people just talk, especially the slow people who would rather blurt out a ‘reaction’, no matter how small it may be. The secret to being a good radio announcer is listening. Most announcers don’t bother. They are too far ‘into’ the delivery to care about hearing it happen. It also helps to read all of the evidence, like the court does. Whether that inability to hear what is being said, instead of just the words used to say them is instinctive, simple laziness or caused by a greater lack of maturity leaves many pro se litigants in the losing column. I would suspect it does likewise for attorneys.
So I sort of wonder if one of the potential reasons United States Attorneys were asked to resign or were fired, was that perhaps some of those people were to some degree, that much past the line of the lack of self control. Just because you win a lot of Mario Karts doesn’t mean you would, if your competition was any better. (And no, that is NOT a reference to my wife Suesie. She wins Mario Karts exactly because she is superior to it, more than I ever could be.)
In a position as important as the person responsible to carry out government legal actions as the position of United States Attorney, is; some of the ‘fired’ ones have shown themselves to be exactly without the proper level of self control; to keep their emotions out of their jobs and their mouths shut in sensitive prosecution.
Lee Kent Hempfling is the author of “The Brain Is A Wonderful Thing” and “Modern Mysticism” and a human who writes about humans and other creations at http://www.enticy.org and tracks logic in science at http://www.logicwatch.com. The latest book is part three of West WithOut Heaven entitled, “Monkey See, Monkey Do” and explains awareness, consciousness and free-will. Parts one and two, like part three are free to the public in pdf download. No royalties of any kind are taken by the author.