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Cases never go away

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Once upon a time–or as Quevedo would say, Erase una vez-I practiced criminal defense law in Miami, Florida. The other day I received a telephone call that a Peter L. had been trying to reach me. I was his lawyer, the message went. This seemed odd to me, I didn’t really remember the name.

I had a friendly astrologer (you know who you are) who is also a trained paralegal make the call for me. I had represented Mr. L. in a federal case in 1986. He robbed a bank in Ft. Lauderdale with a machine gun while vacationing. At the time of the crime, he was in his early 20’s. The result of this adventure was a lengthy prison term. Mr. L. was economically disadvantaged;and back then the idea of rehabilitation had not been thoroughly abandoned by the federal prison system. To protect society (I mean, after all, robbing a bank with a machine gun is a little extreme) a prison term with parole eligibility seemed a good idea at the time. I might mention that parole has been abolished, but since Mr. L was placed on parole while it still existed, he is an inhabitant, in a way, of a system that no longer exists. Now 48, Mr. L was calling me to have his parole terminated.

Twenty-two years later.

He had no difficulty finding me, which I think is humorous, since people who owe me money always have a hard time. My ex-wife’s attorney-the pool’s in but the patio ain’t dry-once sent a registered letter to Saudi Arabia to my former law firm. He claimed it cost him $100 in costs and three hours’ work. There is no registered mail to Saudi Arabia. But a machine-gun wielding bank robber had no problem finding my address in Miami. At a much lower cost, apparently, since poor Mr. L. is indigent. And you wonder why legal bills are so high.

Written by mokane

November 1, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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