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Courts, Clerks and the Banana Principle

This is an illustration blog. It seems the best way to convey what I am seeing more and more with courts and court clerks in Adams, Douglas and Broomfield County.

Imagine walking into a court clerk's office on the third floor of the courthouse. Behind the clerk who is sitting at her desk, is a banana in the window sill. That banana is important to the case for some reason in this illustration - let's say it is evidence of a crime. No doubt the clerk is busy, but so is everyone in the legal field.

I ask the clerk for the banana, so we can use it as evidence in one of the courts. Here is where the illustration applies: she tells me that she is busy - too busy to turn around and hand me the banana. She tells me there is a policy on this issue. She tells me I need to get the banana myself, but won't let me behind her desk. Instead, she tells me I must go downstairs, walk around the courthouse, identify her window, get a ladder or lift of some kind, and then open her window, retrieve the banana, and then bring it around the building and up the stairs to her.

We have many experiences with courts, court personnel and district attorneys where they won't lend basic assistance in accomplishing essential tasks. Some clerks and da's are great and will bend over backwards to help, but more and more they require us to get the banana ourselves when they could do it very quickly. Court clerks know they are the only show in town, that we must be respectful to them or they will complain to the judge, and that they can get away with being rude.

A real life example may be helpful:  Just last week I had a court clerk tell me in person that we needed to email her with a court date she could have received there at the clerk's window. Yet she would not handle it at the window even though I was standing right there. Next, she would not give me her email address. She said I needed to call the DA and have the DA email her. This process cost me unnecessary time and the DA more time - but it saved the clerk a small amount of time - just like getting the banana.

When dealing with serious felony cases like First Degree Burlary, Theft and Sexual Assault, we must not offend courts, a DA or court clerk in Denver, Jefferson or Arapahoe County. If we press a matter with them and insist they do the right thing, they will make sure to punish us and our client. So, we must be polite, smile and say "sure, we'll do it that way," even when "that way" involves walking around the building, climbing a ladder, and retrieving the banana.

We are here for you. After over twenty years working with clerks and District Attorneys, we know what is in your best interest.  We will not hesitate to go around the building to get you the best result. Put those 20+ years of experience to work for you by calling us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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