Thursday, May 23, 2013

Because I Envy Gideon and Carol and Sarah and Blondie and the Squawk

Boswell quoted Dr. Johnson as saying that "No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Call me a blockhead.

I certainly don't write this blog for the money (zip, though I manage to get a free book now and then and I've been invited to put on my journalist hat, go to Madrid next month, and cover the World Conference on the Death Penalty - at my own expense; I'm not going; on the other hand, I've laid out more than I ever should have had to defending myself against Rakofsky) or the marketing (god knows) or for the glory (I just spent two days at an NACDL conference and not one person said, "Love your blog").

This blawg is a hobby.

Which is why, from time to time, it lies fallow. It's not that I can't think of things to write. In the four years and four days since I started this thing (Happy Blawgiversary to me! Happy Blawgiversary to me!), I've put up 968 posts and started then abandoned for one reason or another probably 100 or more others. And though about lots more than that.

But like I say, it's a hobby. In the Work/blog balance, blog's not even a factor. And then there's life. I'd rather spend time with my wife or my kids (they're adults now which is a different dynamic then when they were young, but I still cherish the time I spend with them) or my friends or my dog (who occasionally sits in my lap while I try to reach the keyboard over her and see what's on the fucking screen) than I would carrying on about how the government just fessed up that its drones have killed not one American as they have been claiming but four. Or about the search of the AP's phone records in an effort to suppress speech or how Jody Arias first said she wanted to be killed and then took it back.

Or how Gary Abernathy, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Times-Gazette, the only paid subscription paper in Highland County, Ohio, is concerned about the wimpy jurors who struggle and deliberate and debate and and then convict (or sometimes acquit) people who he finds obviously guilty. See, there was this drug dealer.
But even after all the evidence was laid out in a neatly wrapped package, the jury waffled. After about four hours of deliberation, they informed Judge Rocky Coss that they were stalemated. Coss ordered them to keep trying, and after another hour or so, they finally voted to convict.
But OHMYFUCKINGGOD the jury had to waste four whole hours. And they weren't just instantly convinced. And Casey Anthony was found not guilty f'rgodssake.

And that was last week and I haven't written about it.

Because when you're getting set to hang up your shingle (or take it down, I suppose), the one that says "Law Office of Jeffrey M. Gamso," well, life is complicated.

Hang on. No, I'm not retiring. Not riding off into the sunset. (Come back, Shane!) Instead, I'm finally getting around to doing something that, had life taken a slightly different turn, I'd have done years ago. I'm out of private practice (though I'm finishing up the cases I have). As of this morning, I'm an Assistant Public Defender in the appellate section of the Cuyahoga County Public Defender's Office. (That's Cleveland and environs for you folks who live where the river never caught fire - but that was a long time ago.)

I'm now one with, as the title of this post indicates, Gideon and Carol and Sarah and Blonde Justice and Norm deGuerre and Skelly (who may really have stopped blogging) and the Squawk and the other blogging PDs out there.

Proud to join you.


  1. Welcome! You were always here anyway.

  2. Congratulations on the new gig. You're in great company. The PD world became slightly less lonely and thankless today. I hope you will be blessed with everything you need to do your job.

  3. I was at the NACDL conference last weekend and saw you there. I thought about coming over to tell you that I love your blog and re-read certain posts whenever I need to get myself all riled up, but I'm an appellate PD and therefore way to socially awkward to just go introducing myself to my blogging heroes.

  4. Congrats on the move! I have great admiration and respect for our appellate lawyers, as well as a healthy dose of fear. Knowing you're there looking out for every single error on my part makes me a better lawyer.

  5. Thank you all (and those who sent notes separately, I should add.

    As Gid says, I've been a PD for years. I just didn't have the business cards. (Actually, I still don't, but you get the point.)

    And Anonymous: Next time, come up and say hello. I won't bite, just shuffle my feet a bit and look down in embarrassment.

  6. We accept you! One of us! One of us!

  7. Jeff: As someone who writes for pay, aggressively markets and uses social media to attract clients, I am struck dumb with something like envy. Enjoy your exit from the rat race. Norm