An open letter to prosecutors: return phone calls!

Dear prosecutors:

I write to implore you to return phone calls. Some – a few – of you are diligent about calling defense attorneys back.

So you know, here is what we are dealing with on our end:

1. It’s highly unprofessional. Most local rules call for counsel to confer before court hearings.

2. When you don’t call me, I have no answer for my client. Eventually, he or she begins to question whether I’m even calling you. The attorney-client relationship begins to deteriorate. Plus, the client is in limbo and has to deal with the anxiety of the unknown.

3. When you don’t call me, I have to waste a lot of time and money to go to court for nothing. If you don’t communicate with me, we can’t resolve the issues, and we have to reset the hearing. I have to pay for dry cleaning, tolls, & gas just to get to the hearing, and paper & postage to notify the client of the next hearing, etc.

4. I usually get shafted in scheduling because I have to reset the hearing so you can “talk to my supervisor” or “contact the victim” or whatever it is that should have already been done. I’ve had to miss my children’s school events to go back to court for something that you could have done the first time.

5. Judges only give me so many court dates before setting the case for trial. I hate burning one because you did not call me and I only get to see you in court.

6. When you don’t call me back, and I have to call you repeatedly, you get mad. One prosecutor told me, “Joe, you call me more than some women!” So, I have to suck it up and be nice so you won’t take it out on my client.

So, starting today, I’m going to call you once, and follow-up once with a letter. Then I’m going to your supervisor (you’re going to have to anyway, so let’s cut out the middleman). I’ll also let fly the motions, and set forth my contact attempts to the judge.

Because, quite frankly, I’m damn tired of it, as are all defense attorneys.