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Difficult day in court

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

You know, it is hard for me to be in court. I am naturally reclusive, hate criticism, and am, at best, a mediocre planner.

However, as prosecuting attorney, I must, of course, not only appear in court, but plan and prosecute cases. This is not easy for me. In fact, I cannot imagine why I ever thought I could do this.

But, you see, I knew it was time for me to step out of my comfort zone. I was 50 years old, doing my last three years of home educating my girls, and I was looking forward to traveling with my husband to his work sites.

But, he had another suggestion: go to law school!! WHOA! Are you kidding? And how can I put this off? Are you sure? No one in either family was an attorney. And, I was 50 years old!

So, after some discussion, I decided to attend our local community college and ultimately earned my post-baccalaureate certificate in legal assisting. Of course, by then, I knew I did not want to be a legal assistant.

So, I applied to law school, and only one accepted me. I thought, for sure, that there was some age discrimination there, but, hey! Who cares?

So, I went to law school on the weekends (drove to Lansing, Michigan every weekend from central Ohio), graduated in 3 years, took the Ohio bar exam and passed it the first time. So, I was an attorney at age 53. Now what?

So, against everything that I thought I could do, I opened my own law office. I took in a partner for a short time (3 weeks), but then did everything on my own.

Eventually, about 14 months later, I was hired by the prosecutor that I had a number of trials with. Ever since that time, I have participated in roughly 20 hearings a week. Some are easier than the others. Some are just plain difficult. Not so much in terms of proving the case, but in terms of human relations. I actually had to tell a defense attorney today (he was simply doing what he had to do) to stop yelling - that yelling would not help anyone.

WHEW. I hated having to say that, on the record, to an esteemed member of the bar. Anyway, today was difficult, and I ended up in tears at one point during the day (not on the record of in front of the judge). But, wow.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • OWL_20
    You know, I always think of lawyers being loud and brash, I think you're breaking the mold. This blog is very motivating for someone who was able to retire at a younger age (military) and now looking for something new at age 51. So going back to school can be done! Thanks for the post!
    1772 days ago
    Way to go on telling the opposing counsel to stop yelling! He might be an esteemed member of the bar, but so are you!
    1772 days ago
    Glad to see that other prosecutors have been there too. We all have those days. But hang in there and make your self proud!! The best way to deal with jerks is a smile. It drives them nuts. emoticon
    1772 days ago
    Yup, I feel your pain (because I share your occupation . . . and history of latish return to school too!) It's a tough job but we have to do our best (can't do better than that!) and then move on. There are difficult days, and also the occasional moment when it really seems worth while, right?

    As I'm reading your blog I'm thinking "Well done!!" Some counsel just don't understand the importance of civility (as a litigation strategy AND because it's the right way to behave). You made your point.
    1772 days ago
  • -AMANDA79-
    I feel your pain. I have a custody trial at the end of the month. This has been a long time client and I truly believe in our case. If we lose, it isn't going to be pretty.
    1772 days ago
    What a woman -good job on sticking with it and getting your law degree and PRACTICING law. You know the old joke. emoticon
    1772 days ago
    I have empathy. Remember, dark clouds have silver linings.
    1772 days ago
    Ann - -

    Put all that behind you and be PROUD of your achievements.
    I know it is hard and there are those out there who will try
    to take advantage and make you doubt yourself
    every step of the way, but never give in to that.
    Never quit.

    I have never met you - but you know what?

    I am proud of you.
    1772 days ago
  • DEE1221
    emoticon for a difficult day.

    You have so much to be proud of. Don't let the jerks get you down!!
    1772 days ago
    Thanks for putting up with the hard stuff so you can help children in particular! Sorry today was so hard. emoticon
    1772 days ago
    Thanks for your comment on my blog today. It sounds like you had a difficult day. Luckily you have the insight to vent and move onward. Have a better day tomorrow.

    1772 days ago
    Well-- Ann, you are one marvelous lady, and attorney---!!
    Congratulations on your achievements. You, and your family must be very proud!
    1772 days ago
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