Longtime and careful readers of the blog may remember when we commented on the efficient system the clerk's office has for retrieving files so that attorneys may review them. Who among us has not been in court and received a lecture from a Judge about how when s/he was a lawyer they always pulled every file they were handling from the clerk's office once a week?
At the time we reminded everyone of the procedure as it then existed:
1)Go to your local library and obtain a copy of War and Peace and Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
2) Go to the REGJB and proceed to the 9th floor and head to the attorneys room. If you're in luck, there are only two people ahead of you.
3) Open War and Peace.
4) By the time you are half way done, the clerk will have efficiently handled the two people ahead of you and pleasantly inquire how they can help you.
5) Give the clerk the case number of the file you wish to review. The clerk will type something into a computer, squint as if the reply is in ancient Korean, and leave.
6) Finish War and Peace and begin Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
7) The Clerk will return to inform you that the file is "out". Who knew that files had a better social life than most lawyers in the REGJB? These files get around, and probably the one place on earth they will not be is on the shelf in the clerk's office.
From a recent NY Times article: "Nato Forces stopped a Taliban convoy on the Kabul-Jalabadad Road today and found a cache of weapons and several felony files belonging to a division of criminal court in Miami presided over by a 'Judge Firtel'. Authorities were investigating how the Taliban obtained the weapons."
8) Rinse and repeat.
Now however, things have gotten weirder.
After several emails and complaints from alert readers, we have pieced together this information:
The powers that be have decided to put up a fresh coat of paint and some new furniture in the attorneys room of the REGJB. However, this has created some unknown force field which now prevents clerks who are assigned to that room from leaving to get files. Clerks not currently entrapped in the force field can enter and leave at will. But clerks in the attorney room cannot currently leave the room, necessitating aid in the form of supply drops by air from the aforementioned NATO troops who keep finding our files in Afghanistan.
This is 100% true: If you now go to the attorneys' room on the 9th floor you will be greeted by fresh paint and a helpful clerk, who will inform you that you can look at the files in the room, but you cannot request the files from the room. This is because of the aforementioned force field.
Here is how it goes:
Rumpole: I'd like to see a file please.
Clerk: Great. Just fill out this form, walk back down the hall to room 9000, wait in that long line with the rest of the sweating and lost masses, and hand in your file request form. Then the clerk will go get the file and you need to come back here to review it.
Clerk: Great. Just fill out this form...
Rumpole: I heard you. I just don't understand. Why can't you go get the files? I can see some right over your shoulder, right there, about twenty feet away?
Clerk: Sir! We have remodeled this room!
Rumpole: Yesssss......I can see that. But why can't you just go get the file like you used to do all these years? I have my books with me right here.
Clerk: We can't leave here to get the file. You have to go to room 9000 and the clerk there will get the file and bring it here.
Rumpole: So they can enter and leave the force field area, but you are stuck?
Clerk: By jove I think you've got it!
So there you have it folks. The new and improved system for reviewing felony files.
See You In Court, and on some long hopeless line on the 9th floor. I'm the guy reading War and Peace. Again.