Monday, October 05, 2009

U.S. v. Estrada-Eliverio (9th Cir. - Oct. 5, 2009)

There's only one published opinion from the Ninth Circuit today. And, sadly, I knew what it was generally about purely from reading the caption.

It's a criminal case. It's from San Diego. It's against a guy with a hispanic surname. From those three facts you already know that it's probably a border crimes case; most likely, being arrested for being in the United States illegally after being deported. As indeed it is.

There are a plethora of downsides to that reality, even wholly apart from the resources that are disbursed and the impact on the lives of the relevant individuals. More subtle consequences also flow. For example, due in part to the complexity and diversity of the cases, most U.S. Attorney offices are (1) held in fairly high esteem, and (2) enable even low-level attorneys to be exposed to some pretty interesting stuff. To a degree, that's still true down here in San Diego. But my sense is that it's less the case than in some other places. In large part because so much of the docket and workload is devoted to routine, easy cases. Like this one. It's the AUSA version of doing document review for a large law firm. More fun, of course, since it's (1) an actual trial, and (2) you're working with people instead of boxes. But it still gets pretty routine fairly quickly.

Such is life down here in San Diego. At least we've got nice beaches.