One of my favorite lines from the Coen brothers film No Country for Old Men is when Tommy Lee Jones’ character, a Texas sheriff rapidly approaching retirement, says “The evil you see these days, its hard to even take its measure.” I know exactly what he was talking about.
I occasionally correspond with an English solicitor who told me that while William and Kate were tying the knot, he was stuck being assigned counsel to two Lithuanians charged with “coming prepared” (in Ohio, it would be called “possession of criminal tools”) and a drunken woman who says that three cops were lying when they swore under oath that she had kicked one of them. My only advice in those two cases were: 1. See if the court would be amenable to the two Lithuanian chaps buying one-way tickets back to Vilnius (in Alaska, that’s what’s known as a “blue-ticket special”), as for the drunken, would-be place-kicker, you might want to ask if she’s ever heard of Alcoholics Anonymous (who knows, there’s a one in 10,000 chance she might look into it and get positive results).
This past week, I found myself fervently wishing that I could trade cases with my distinguished English colleague at the bar. I was appointed guardian ad litum for someone I’ll refer to only as a young lady from Kenya. She is in her mid-teens, and sometime ago, she fell into the hands of human traffickers. I have visited her at the psychiatric ward of Ohio State’s medical center and learned that she has refused to take medication. This is not surprising because, apparently, her former kidnappers used to drug her before subjecting her to abuse.
I make a living on the basis of my use of the English language, but I have a really hard time expressing the horror of what I’ve had to face and my frustration that I can’t do more to help my client. Right now, YLK has very serious difficulty trusting anyone, much less anyone who has a Y chromosome; I’m going to talk with a magistrate to see if I can withdraw to see if she can receive a female guardian at litum. On the other hand, YLK does not like meeting new people, so who’s to say what the best course of action is? I firmly wish I could establish enough rapport with my client that I could persuade her to cooperate with the police and FBI, and perhaps, in some far future date, I will. I’d also offer the opinion that anyone complicit in human trafficking deserves to be locked up in a maximum security prison until the sun burns out.