The other day we were glumly printing out a closing letter to a client: “Court of Appeals denied leave . . . end of the line. . . wishing you the best for the future,” when we noticed something new on the company stationery. Marching across the page in large black letters was: “JUSTICE IN EVERY BOROUGH!”
How tactless is that? The last time our client heard about “justice” was in the prosecutor’s summation. Or worse, when the “victim” got up at sentencing and demanded “justice.” And since the judge obligingly handed out a generous dose of it, our guy’s not in jail, he’s in a “justice hub.”
Here’s who else has “Justice” in their motto:
Manhattan DA: “Moving Justice Forward” (like testing all those old rape kits so they can indict your client’s DNA).
Bronx DA: “Pursuing Justice with Integrity” (for a change).
Brooklyn DA: “Justice 2020” (next year).
Staten Island DA: “To Pursue Justice for Victims” (unless the accused is a cop).
Queens DA: still trying to figure it out.
We think there’s something screwy when a public defender has a motto indistinguishable from a DA’s office. If we’re going to have a slogan, it should say what we do! Here are some suggestions:
THE RIGHT TO BE PROSECUTED WITH A FACIALLY SUFFICIENT, JURISDICTIONALLY VALID ACCUSATORY INSTRUMENT IN EVERY BOROUGH!
THE RIGHT TO HAVE THE TRIAL JUDGE READ THE JURY NOTES TO THE LAWYERS IN EVERY BOROUGH!
CHALLENGING THE VOLUNTARINESS OF APPEAL WAIVERS IN EVERY BOROUGH!
SADLY INFORMING CLIENTS THAT WE’VE LOST THEIR APPEAL AND IT’S NOT WORTH DOING A HABEAS BECAUSE THEIR CASE PRESENTS NO ISSUES CONTRARY TO OR AN UNREASONABLE APPLICATION OF CLEARLY ESTABLISHED FEDERAL LAW AS DETERMINED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES IN EVERY BOROUGH!
Or how about this:
PROUDLY GETTING IN THE WAY OF JUSTICE!