Watch Me Take The Bar
Watch Me Take The Bar
This blog, originally started as a chronicle of my taking the bar, is now a look into the mind of an attorney in solo practice in Port Clinton, Ohio.
Monday, October 10, 2005


I swear, my last post was not synergy, but the Toledo Blade yesterday started a three-part series on juvenile domestic violence, which contained what I thought was the quote of the day, by Dan Pompa, the Lucas County Juvenile Court administrator, who is trying to evaluate how to deal with juvenile domestic violence:

"I don't think as a system we understand what [juvenile domestic violence] is and we don't yet understand the consequences of it. If you go over to adult courts, you understand the high impact of domestic violence. The prosecutors are sensitive to it. The judges are sensitive to it. You've got advocates sitting in the courtroom that are ready to jump up with the victims and say 'We'll lead you through.' You don't see any of that here."

To which, I have one word to say.



I spent a fair amount of my time over the weekend at the Oak Harbor Apple Festival, where I encountered several attorneys and a judge. All of them sympathized with what I am going through right now, waiting for the results. (Of course, I think all of them passed on the first pass through.)


Seriously? I'm going to be a basket case in about two weeks. I can just tell. I don't know if I even mentioned this on here, but when I flew to Florida, I proved Laura's theory that it's been a good thing I've been working like a dog. I was sitting there at whatever thousand feet, enjoying my iPod, and started thinking...seriously thinking...about passing, or, well, the alternative to passing, the bar exam.

That was a mistake. I nearly had what Eve-Marie would call a MMD (Major Melt Down) at 35,000 feet.

Literally, people. Rocking back and forth in my seat; squinting; breathing heavily.

And I'm not sure it's going to get better.


Frequent readers of this blog will recall that this summer, I had fun with a dog who lived across the street and had the delightful habit of waking me up around 5 to 5:30. Over the weekend, it occurred to me that it had been a while since he'd been heard from.

That was, of course, a mistake. I was up at 5:30, although I think it was a different dog.

I really hope I don't have to start harassing the Sylvania police department again.


It was not a good weekend to be a Buckeye fan.


However, it wasn't the peppiest of weekends for That Team Up North, either.


Before the bar exam, I found myself with this strange compulsion to check out what the experience was like for others. (Not so much the studying...the bar bloggers kept me up to date with that...but rather the experience of ACTUALLY taking the exam.)

Now, I find myself growing a compulsion to know what people are doing in the runup to finding out their results. I liked the comment someone made (I think on JDJive, although that site makes me worry about the future of the legal profession) that she goes from "smiling absentmindedly as I imagine how cool it will be to pass to moments of sheer desperation as I think about how horrible failing would be."

Yeah, I know how you feel. Same range here.

The majority opinion seems to be that the 24 hours before the bar may require sedation. A friend and I are trying to get together, and one of the evenings we're considering is the night before the bar results are released. I'm not sure I'll inflict myself in that state on anyone.

(Except, of course, on you, my loyal readers. ;-) )


And, I must say, I've stopped defending the Ohio Board of Bar Examiners. I had a number of friends/relatives who said to me immediately after the bar, "What in tarnation takes them so long?" (OK, actually, no one used the phrase "in tarnation," but it made it sound like I live in some 1893 retroville, so I thought it was cool.) I pointed out, calmly and rationally, that there were 1400 people who took the bar, and answered twelve essay questions, front and back of a page, so 2 x 12 x 1400 (you do the math, if the spirit moves you) plus the MPTs.

I am feeling decidedly less sympathetic now.


I said earlier I had one word to say about the comment I opened this entry with. Actually, I have more -- about 299 more. Here's the letter to the editor I'm emailing the Blade today:

I was interested to read the comments of Dan Pompa, Lucas County juvenile court administrator, in your recent story on juvenile domestic violence, that while he believes juvenile courts don't understand the consequences of domestic violence, adult courts do. He argued that prosecutors and judges are sensitive to it, and there are advocates ready to support victims.

I suppose Mr. Pompa shouldn't feel bad, because my experience is that often, adult courts don't get it. When prosecutors have a policy of prosecuting both sides in a "mutual combat" situation -- where the victim may have been taking steps to ensure she or her children weren't injured, that suggests more sensitivity is needed. We entrust police and prosecutors to make value judgments, not file charges against someone who was attacked.

When a magistrate makes comments from the bench that comments like "I'm going to kill you" were simply said in the heat of the moment and taken out of context, or a psychiatrist argues that communications are appropriate when only "one in four" are abusive, someone's not getting it.

We are fortunate to have domestic violence advocates who do a wonderful job. But, when a local police chief describes them as "nosy witches," after refusing to make an arrest in a case in which a woman was attacked with a ladder, one has to wonder if we couldn't provide them with more support.

Mr. Pompa should be congratulated for realizing this is a problem and attempting to address it; but he shouldn't feel that the juvenile justice system is alone in its failure to understand domestic violence. He (and anyone else interested in this problem) should watch the documentary "Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories" on how the system treats battered women and children on WBGU, October 20, at 10 PM.

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