Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Time to Winterize!

For those of you new to Ithaca, NY and the Southern tier as it is affectionately is called... it gets downright cold rounds here... and the time to start prepping is not when the cold hits but way before. Yeah I know its only September but it is hitting the 40s now. 

I have almost all my cars ready with snow tires, winter wiper blades, and ice scrapers. My wife and I took out our winter boxes, stowed the summer shorts, and bade farewell to our short sleeve shirts.  It feels great to be well prepared. I have never failed a test I prepared for. 

That said, I live my life as I run my practice, lots of advance time to know my cases, to be set to file timely motions, and to size up situations way before game time. Yes, the game of DWI defense is played way before Court begins. Sports are much the same way. The teams that practice, visualize, set goals, run hard defenses, and learn new offenses in the off season come to their games at a different level.

It is truly what you do "out" of Court that determines how well you do when you are "in" Court. I overheard a fellow lawyer laughing at a long DWI questionnaire that I had a client fill out. He said, "all these questions are nonsense." Non-sense to those who do not understand their purpose. Nothing makes sense to those ignorant of the game. Is it nonsense to know if your client has arthritis, a torn meniscus, or is 50 pounds overweight? Is it nonsense to know if your client was wearing flip flops when taking the "tests"?

A part of my cross examination would sound something like this:

These are standardized tests, correct?
They have to be instructed in a specific manner, correct?
You have to follow the NHTSA guidelines? (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
This is so any officer in NYS follows the same guidelines and same protocol?
Now are these tests standardized for those wearing flip flops?
Now are these tests standardized for those people with arthritis?
Now are these tests standardized for people who are 50 pounds overweight?
Now you will agree with me when I say that doing these tests in flip flops is not an ideal test condition?
You will agree with me that doing this test on a gravel road either in her barefeet or with flip flops would not be an ideal test condition?
But that was the choice that you gave my client?
Either she was to do this test in barefoot or with flip flops?
Did you take that into consideration when grading this test?

Details matter, and details count if you know how to make them matter and how to make them count. Training in the art and science of cross is only a small part of what a DWI trial attorney must do. Imagine showing up to Court nice and comfortable because you are well prepared to fight your case, have winter tires on your car, and thermal undies. To me that is heavenly bliss. 

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