No Justice, No Peace

My time at the Justice Department is at an end. Today I turned in my security badge, said my goodbyes, and left One St. Andrews Plaza for the last time in what will likely be a long while. I've really enjoyed my time at the US Attorney's office and have been melancholy the whole afternoon.

Since I no longer work at Justice, and since all of the matters I worked on, handily, have wrapped up to a significant degree, I can speak a little bit about what I've been doing the last six weeks.

My first task upon arriving at Justice was to work on some research to bolster the case for extradition of a large arms dealer and terrorist financier. I had only minimal involvement in that matter, as another intern took over for me after the first day.

The biggest thing I worked on was the trial of M. "H." S.-E., a Colombian cocain baron who was extradited about a year ago. According to the Government's opening statement, backed up by S.-E.'s own words, H. was responsible for importing between 5 and 7 tons of cocaine from Colombia into the US and laundering between 10 and 12 million dollars of drug proceeds back. Every week. I got to see the entire trial start to finish and helped with drafting a few of the pre-trial motions, as well as assisting with research during the trial. The trial took only a week, thanks to our extremely speedy judge, and H. S. was convicted on all three counts with which he was charged.

The other major matter I worked on was a huge appellate brief. You remember that big embassy bombing that happened in Africa back in 1998? Well, the Department of Justice tried and convicted a bunch of the parties involved. The parties appealed, and a couple of weeks ago the reply brief came due. I was involved in cite-checking portions of it. Cite-checking is the process of reading through a legal document and meticulously checking all of the citations to ensure that they're formatted correctly and properly represent the source that they're citing. It's a slow and not very fun process, but it's worthwhile as you wind up finding a lot of errors that could, if they were allowed to remain in the brief, make the Government look bad. "That's dumb!" you are saying to yourselves, "There are probably, like, a dozen people on the entire planet who actually care about proper citation format in legal documents!" This is true. Unfortunately, those dozen people who care about proper citation are the people who become clerks and judges on appellate courts. To paraphrase Leon Trotsky, "You may not care about the proper formatting of your legal citations and their fidelity to the sources cited, but the proper formatting of your legal citations and their fiedllity to the sources cited cares about you!" If I recall correctly, the final brief we submitted was a little over 800 pages. That's a lot of citations to check.

I also helped out a bit, in a peripheral way, on some other matters. I listened to a recording of a wire tap and checked it against our transcript of it to ensure the transcript's accuracy, and I helped with some random research and drafting issues that cropped up.

I really enjoyed my time with Justice, but that's behind me now. Monday I begin work at The Firm. Hopefully Big Law will prove as interesting and satisfying as government work.

February 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29      

Contact Zach


Webcomics of Which I am a Fan

Sites I Read Daily: Politics

Sites I Read Daily: Video Gaming

Sites I Read Daily: General Miscellany

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Zach published on June 22, 2007 11:19 PM.

Chem Law was the previous entry in this blog.

I Don't Want to Set the World On Fire is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 5.04