I’m not afraid of my clients. I’m just not. I think I am great at my job because I am very comfortable around my clients. Some think too comfortable. But I digress.
I went to the jail on Monday, February 20. I usually go during the day but I had to go see a client before our trial on Tuesday so I made a Monday after work jail visit. Since we are required to do jail visits I decided to see all client sin that jail as to avoid another trip up there.
The client I had to make the trip there for is a nice guy. He’s been my client since I started. So we’ve established a great relationship.
When I signed into the jail it took a while for me to go back and see my clients as it was family visitation so I waited a minute.
I finally went back. I was escorted by a Deputy to a hallway and into a room. I have never been in that room. I didn’t even know about this space. The room has one door (enter/exit) and about 3 glass cubicles. So you can see the other attorneys talk to their clients. My client (trial guy) was waiting for me in the first cubicle, nearest to the door. I sat and talked with him. He left. Client #2 came, we have a good relationship too, he’s also been my client since I started working there. Client #2 left.
And the story begins . . .
Client #3 comes in. This is my first time meeting him. I had his file which is pretty empty considering his charges aren’t filed. He has open felonies (possession cocaine, possession drug paraphernalia, robbery by snatching). I am a misdemeanor attorney so I am only helping him with the Loitering and Prowling unfiled charge.
So we are talking. He’s telling me something. But I’m looking at his hands. I’m not really paying attention to what he’s saying, but I’m thinking to myself, “Those scars on his hands are weird.” I’m trying to think about the many ways he got those smalls scars on his knuckles.
Someone from my office is also in the room with a client. A while later the other person leaves.
Client #3 sees them leave. Client #3 turns back and realizes no one else is in the room.
It’s just me and him.
That freaked me out.
When Client #3 turns back to me he licks his lips and smirks.
I am thinking about an exit plan at this stage.
He’s getting weirder by the second. At a point he leans forward and then I pick up my stuff and say let’s talk outside.
I walk down the hallway and the deputies are at the end of the hallway. I am relieved to get out there without this man attempting to violate me.
I walked out that jail in shock. I’ve never stood that close to danger. I am certain that if I had not taken quick action, this story could have ended differently. This man has mental issues and I recognized those flags immediately.
What I learned:
Believe in your intuition. It’s never wrong. Be observant. And create an exit plan. Execute your exit plan by any means necessary.