So last night was my first attempt at a trial in law school. Yeah, it was fake I know. But, the adrenaline, the fear, the humiliation, and the defeat were totally real. I’ve been feeling really down about it since last night and I cannot get over all of the little things that I keep replaying in my mind. I think about the trial and my chest clenches and my stomach acid turns. But life goes on and my externship at 8am awaits. However, much to my surprise, without even knowing how terrible I felt about last night, many attorneys have told me some hilarious and terrifying stories about their first trials. So here there are. For days when I think that I can’t do this, or I don’t belong here. You take a deep breath and you move on. This job isn’t for everyone. But it is for me.
- At my first trial, I was crossing a witness on the stand. And the cross went so bad, that I cried during the cross. Like tears streaming while I’m continuously asking questions. Crying- in the middle of trial.
Deputy DA, misdemeanors
- At my third trial, I talked to the eye witnesses of the burglary. I interviewed them multiple times, a cute little Asian couple. I asked them if they could testify. They said yes. I asked them if they could identify who the burglar was in court. I asked them this several times. The wife enthusiastically agreed that she could, while the husband could not. We’re in trial and I put her on the stand. I ask her if she saw the burglar- she says yes. I ask her if she sees him in the courtroom and if so identify him please. She asks to put on her glasses, does so, and then proceeds to point her finger along the row of jurors. She nods and says- “Juror number 5, I am 100% sure.” Juror number 5 was a big burley white mid 40’s male. The defendant was a slimmer Mexican mid 30’s male. The judge laughed so hard and said Never in his 25 years of practicing has he seen something like this. When I got back to the office everyone applauded as I came down the hallway, and I went to my office and cried.
Deputy DA, homicide unit
- At my first trial as a law clerk, I was a 2L interning at the LA DA’s office. It was my first prelim hearing and I wanted to move a vanilla extract bottle into evidence. So I opened the evidence baggie up, to take the vanilla bottle out, and was consequently almost tackled by the bailiff. I didn’t know that 1) this is not how you move something into evidence. And 2) there are some things that cannot be removed from an evidence bag. Like a bottle of vanilla extract which had been filled with PCP. PCP is absorbed through the skin. Mind you, I had no idea, and I was about two seconds away from taking a trip on PCP and ruining the only hard evidence in the trial. The courtroom momentarily went completely nuts. The judge lost it and chopped me up, while everyone else laughed.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge
- My very first trial, the prosecution was directing a witness and I knew there was an objection happening. I knew it, but I couldn’t think of which one, so I just jumped up and yelled “Objection- BLOOD!!” Who says that?
3L law student, mock trial competitor/ PD intern
- It was just the very beginning of the trial and the defendant had been very vocal the entire time about everything. He yelled at the judge to F off, yelled at me to F off, he was spitting, -just very animated about everything. And it got to the point where he was asked if he had anything to add. And the defendant just replied “Yeah, I do, I’ll show you my evidence. You wanna see my evidence? Huh? I’ll show you my evidence!!” He then proceeded to pull out a giant piece of his own feces and shoved it towards the judge and yelled “This is my evidence!” Shortly thereafter, the bailiff tackled him and took him down, but not before he smeared his poop all over my counsel table and lunged at me with it. He didn’t get me, but it was pretty much everywhere after that. The PD representing him was pretty shook up and she was in tears. We took a recess, it was cleaned off, and then the defendant was brought in, in double chains, a spit mask, etc.
Deputy DA, general felonies
This is not normal for me and I never do this, but this talk is one that was sent to me and really really got to me. I love, respect, and am inspired by Scott. I think about him almost every other day. This is an excerpt from a talk that was sent to me.
….Now, this was not an easy thing to do. Service is sometimes harder for those we do not know or for those not like us. But we can overcome shyness and fear by developing a generous spirit so that we are inclusive of others. Sometimes we serve strangers merely by making them feel welcome. I have the opportunity of working with elderly men and women. Many times those in the geriatric age group do not want to see me, a young physical therapist, come to their homes to give them challenging exercises that will help them heal and recover. And more often than not, they tell me and show me how they really feel about it. It gets a little bit draining to be kind to those who are not kind to you, especially when you are only trying to help them. One solution that has worked for me is to imagine that they are my own grandma or grandpa and that softens my heart. I find that this works for people who cut me off on the freeway or those who may say an unkind word towards me. If I can just see them as they really are, it opens my eyes and melts my anger.
In closing, I want to tell you a story of a single adult from this region, the Imperial Valley who did change the world with his life of service. 3 years ago my brother, Scott Pace, was sitting at this very same conference, in the very same pews; he was on his R&R from a double tour of duty in Iraq. It was because of my brother’s marital status that he was “volunteered” to serve a double back to back tour in Iraq, as he didn’t have a family to go home to.
In 2001, Scott had left BYU to enter West Point and join the Army. He had just returned home from a mission in Argentina and changed his life’s course to dedicate himself to selfless service in the United States Army. For the next 10 years, his life was not his own, but dictated by the Army’s placement and needs. He still found time to serve, even on someone else’s schedule. He followed these four examples of service pretty perfectly.
He was one to wake up early on a Saturday morning and drive hours to see his young cousins play in a volleyball game. One weekend when he was visiting our other brother in Washington, D.C. during a blizzard that had been nicknamed Snowmaggedon, he shoveled our brother’s driveway but didn’t stop there, he shoveled the entire street multiple times throughout the day, so the neighbors could get out of their own driveways.
Once in the middle of the night while he was in flight school in Alabama, a friend called him who’d been living in Mississippi. She called crying and told him she’d just broken off her engagement and she needed to leave immediately. Scott got out of bed, drove 12 hours one way to pick her up and take her home, just because she needed help.
On his last tour of duty in Afghanistan, he had the opportunity to share the gospel with his flight doctor; who when she returned home to the States five months ago, was baptized along with her 12 year old daughter. He served the church in any capacity that he was called, and even when he was not called. He was there to lend a helping hand when needed, even if that meant something as small as waiting for an activity to clear out and help sweep the floor and fold up the chairs after a church dance.
And lastly, he served strangers. A few months ago, Scott was talking to my dad and stated how if the terrorists would stop causing conflicts and firefights he would be more than happy to leave them alone and be left alone. He truly was tormented by the thought of being in a war where it meant the loss of lives, even those of his enemy. He didn’t see them that way, they weren’t enemies. He saw them all for who they really were, children of God.
On June 6, 2012, Scott was flying his helicopter on a surveillance mission, when he heard on the radio that the Taliban were en route to kill the provincial governor, take over the government offices and ambush the infantry who were coming to assist the governor. He was headed back to the FOB for fuel, but turned around and raced over to help his brothers in the infantry. He had the ground soldiers stay clear to avoid any friendly fire on his soldiers. Then Scott and another helicopter engaged the terrorists. On his fourth pass as he was flying overhead, the Taliban shot his aircraft down and he and his fellow co-pilot (a young father of 2) were killed. Scott died saving lives of his fellow infantry men and fellow Afghanis. I can think of no greater love than this.
Scott was a single adult, just like everyone here, he had just turned 33 years old three days before his death. His belongings have been returned to my family and we recently found one of his journal entries where he wrote, “I believe my mission in life is to help other people”. He is a humble man and you would never know of his many accomplishments or positions he held if you met him today. Hundreds of people attended his funeral, because he had touched them just by smiling or listening and sharing in their lives. He is a great man and one of the best examples of service that I have ever known, BUT he is just like you and me, and we all have the same opportunities that he had to serve and influence others, in our own way, in our own lives.
You will never know the influence your love and service will have on other people. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
You may be just one person, one individual, but you can Lift where you stand and change your sphere of influence in this world
I have hope, you know.
it’s tucked in my back pocket. sure, among other things that I have collected through the years, a tiny bead of wisdom, a chip of anger - though each time i look at it, it gets smaller and smaller. I have a decent amount of experience shoved in there, metal screws of love, a few threads of heartbreak and sadness. and i am so happy to report i have sand in my back pocket. way to much freaking sand. that makes me happy. I love the beach. i have happy sand in my pocket.
and that’s all that’s in there…… that I’ve discovered anyway.
ive come to discover my tumblr has a weird purpose in my life. I use it to share random thoughts, and pictures, and things that make me happy-true. Buuuuuut i write a lot of observations about things that i think are “problems” (the world according to dayna….. wait wait, “Dayna Explains It All”…. anybody watch the show, gah, i wish the 90’s were still around, great times….) anyway, write a lot about problems in the world, but present no solutions. I think i learned to do this in college. Seriously being a soft science major is all about identifying and defining problems but accepting that the world and people are so maleable that there is no real solution to be found. we just found a problem.
why is it considered “cool” to be ADD. And don’t rush me, I’m aware that the words “ADD” and “cool” have probably never had a warm fuzzy moment in a sentence… verbally that is. But the way that people throw out phrases “I get bored SO easily” or “Oh I totally have ADD” or even those few individuals (and you know who you are, I sincerely hope you’re hanging your head in complete shame right now) who proclaim ADD as a mental handicap and use it as an advantage for educational advances, say it all with such dismissiveness, such superiority. it is cool to be handicapped? I feel like the non-verbals that accompany those proclamations are so telling me I should be envious if i don’t have ADD. I should want ADD. I should hope to be cool enough to have a short attention span.
It’s 2012 people, WE’RE ALL ADD. seriously, it’s part of being part of the technology generation. we expect things to be instant, quick, short and sweet, fast, and a lot of it. instant noodles! 30 minute dinners! hair dried in 8 minutes or less! 10 minute car washes! let’s face it, more is better, and less is inconvenient and annoying. we want 5 different messages coming at us at all times. i want to be on my iphone (talking), listening to music in the back round, and surfing the 3 different internet sites at once. HELLO. we’ve somehow managed to evolve into all having an attention deficit disorder. oxymoron right? how do we progress into mental regression. In order to enable ourselves to do more, see more, experience more, eat more, do more we have severely compromised and disabled some abilities.
don’t worry im just as guilty. I managed to type this sentence while reading a text from my sister and listening to music on itunes. (shout out to mac for making this all possible!!….. I mean…. bad mac! bad, bad mac!! (#thingsidontmean, #macordie)
anyhooter, whats to be done about this nation’s new found short attention spans? of course feed the beast and we all get ipads and complain about how netflix is SOOOOO slow (even though it’s an amazing program that lets you watch just about three million different movies or tv shows. sorry netflix.)
At 23 years old, a mixtape from that special boy still makes me melt. beautiful things in life. our playlist.
- Black and Yellow
- Make it better - The Knocks
- Whatever you like- Rome Cover
- For once in my life- Tony Bennet
- Till Kingdom Come- Coldplay
- Your Love is my Drug- Ke$ha
- Island in the Sun- Weezer
- Ain’t No Sunshine- Bill Withers
- Night Shift- O.A.R.
- Don’t You Evah- Spoon
- Deliverance- Bubba Sparx
- Life is Life- Jonah and the Whale
- Honey Bee- Zee Avi
- Sing it Out Loud- the Golden Age
- Emmaline- Ben Folds
- Sleepyhead- Vitamin String Quartet Cover
throw in an MJ song and this just might be the coolest mix ever.
there will be a day and a time when i will have more than $2 in my bank account after i pay rent, and no stack of collection notices.
if i just endure. and keep trucking along. and working my hardest. that day will come.
i am fighting too many people. don’t make me fight you and defend myself too.
i am mormon. please accept that is my choice. and i promise in return i will never ever put you in a position that forces you to believe whatever i believe, do whatever i do, see whatever i see, unless you choose to.
can’t that be enough?
i need you behind me on this one. because standing on this side all by myself is incredibly lonely…. but i’ve made my choice and now I’m asking you to make yours.