Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What exactly do you want me to say????

Yesterday I had to go to court. It is a pretty normal part of my life these days. Since I am not an attorney or a CSB worker, I usually just sit there, observe and take notes. When I am with some of the magistrates they will ask me what my role is and what I am working on with the client. I mentioned before that I was subpoenaed and that is a little different. In that case I was actually already off the case but I was going to be the star witness for the prosecution - against my ex-client. That stresses me out. But it worked out and I never even had to testify. There is one particular magistrate that while I am in her court I just observe. She does not ask me questions and I (although it is SO difficult for me) I just sit there and keep my mouth shut. She is a stern woman - the CSB workers call her mean. I happen to really appreciate her. She expects everyone to do their job with excellence. I like that in her. When the workers or parents fall short she does not hide her frustrations. I love that she has high standards and enjoy being in her courtroom. So, yesterday I had this hearing to attend. It wasn't a regularly scheduled one - my clients attorney filed a motion for a change in placement back to her home based on a bunch of different reasons. Originally when I spoke with the attorney there was a problem with something that was directly ordered in court last time. So, that is how this whole thing started. In the mean time some other issues were brought up and I was so interested in how this thing was going to play out. I told the case worker - I get to just sit back and be a fly on the wall..... Famous last words. We get in the court room and before I knew what the heck was going on I was being CALLED as a witness. That means I get sworn in and the attorneys (there were four of them in the room) get to take turns asking me questions. I was totally unprepared because I was planning on just sitting back and listening. I think some of the attorney's are confused about what my program does and when you are on the witness stand you do not get to say what you want to say....instead they ask you questions and you have to answer just that question.....Man it was horrible. I am sitting up there so nervous. I had to state my name....spell it....give my qualifications....I say I have a BA in psychology....the attorney says "and you are licensed in the state of Ohio?" I tell her no....she says, "you don't have a social work license?" NO...how can I be more clear....thanks for pointing it out.....grrrrr....frustating....she really made me feel like a fraud of some sort. Oh well. One of the attorney's made me mad. He tried to make it look like I wasn't doing my job. Me? What do I have to do with this? Anyhoo....the magistrate didn't get annoyed with me or anything so that was good. I hate that I was caught off guard. There is this one attorney that I always work with and he seemed to ask me the right questions - ones that I had put together and complete answers for.....

What a crazy day - I don't have to go to court again until next week. Same magistrate. Wish me luck!

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