Dream of: 20 August 1993 "Criminal Representation"

A man and his wife came to visit me to see if I would represent them in a criminal case which was pending against them. Apparently the criminal action had begun in a court in another county, but the couple would be able to have the case transferred to the county where I was. They seemed decent but poor. I decided to try to help them, but I didn't intend to go to court myself -- I knew another attorney who would do that. I called the attorney and he said he would charge them $1,000. I told them and they agreed. I thought to myself I was also going to charge them $500, but I never mentioned to them the amount which I intended to charge.

***

We were all in the courtroom. The attorney and the husband and wife were standing in front of the judge, who was seated on the bench. Although I didn't understand fully what was transpiring, after a hearing, the judge finally ruled that both husband and wife were acquitted of the charges.

The hearing concluded, I walked over to talk with them. I was thinking to myself I needed to get the $1,000 and the $500 from them. Before I could do so, however, they handed me the petition from the case and asked me what the charges had been. I looked at the petition and immediately saw on the first paragraph that Carolina and I had also been named as two of the defendants. Having not actually read the petition before, I was startled by what I now saw. Besides my concern about being a defendant myself, I thought there was some kind of rule against a lawyer representing someone in which the lawyer was also a party. I concluded I might not be able to obtain the $500 from them.

So I didn't even mention the $500. Instead I concentrated on trying to understand what the charges were. I was also concerned because the hearing had been held without my taking part. I should have read the petition before the hearing. Now I would have difficulty going back before the judge for a second hearing.

Upon further reflection, however, I realized I hadn't actually been served with a copy of the petition. Thus I had a good reason for not being at the hearing, because the case would not actually be commenced against me until I was served with the petition. Nevertheless I was still concerned that I hadn't bothered to read the petition and that I had probably lost the money.

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