I often get emails with convoluted stories that appear to have nothing to do with criminal defense. For instance, the sender will discuss her sick dad, her faith, and her wicked stepmother. There will be no obvious relevance to my line of work, but when I call, I will invariably speak with an individual charged with embezzling funds from her dad’s savings account and assaulting his new wife but who couldn’t have possibly done it because she’s a pillar of the mega-church she attends whenever she isn’t in the custody of the department of corrections for various financial and violent crimes.
I’m making up the example, obviously, but reality isn’t all that different a lot of the time. One recent message and the ensuing conversation left me really confused, though.
The email that started the exchange suggested that the person was very spiritual and knew a wretched person who was unkind to her friends. I figured there would be an assault case filed against the sender or her friends with the wretched person as the listed victim. I was sure there’d be a restraining order or some hope of getting one at the very least. In the email, she made all kinds of pleas for me to listen to her side and demanded my immediate response.
The phone call went something like this (and by something like this I mean it shares no facts with the call aside from the general idea of the conversation and her faith):
HER: I love Jesus. He is amazing. I know this awful person who has been calling my friends names, though. I hate her, but I would never act on it because that is not His way.
HER: That’s it. This person is just bad.
ME: Well, do you need a lawyer for something?
HER: No, I just don’t think she is a good person. And I love Jesus.
ME: So you don’t want me to do something?
HER: No. I thought you should know.
HER: Yes. She really is the worst, but Jesus is the best.
ME: So you really just called to tell me that? There’s no case or potential case about anyone or anything?
HER: No. You should just know how bad she is. And I am very religious.
ME: Okay. Well, it was nice talking with you.
HER: God bless you.
From that, I learned that sometimes people just want to talk. To me. For no apparent reason.