There’s a lot about the practice of law and the reality of law that just isn’t taught in law school. In fact, not only do they not teach it in law school, but you don’t learn anything about the reality of the cases when reading opinions.
The famed “Burger King” case involving personal jurisdiction from Civil Procedure–we learn that the defendant purposefully availed himself to Florida, but who won the case? We never know any of this stuff, nor do we really find out. If a case gets remanded for a new trial or new trial on a given issue, we never really know the outcome, we only find out who won the appeal.
This summer I am doing an internship at the Public Defender’s office in Cecil County, approximately 12-minute commute from where I live. Here I get into the real dirt of things, but I still have questions. I am taking Constitutional Criminal Procedure this summer, and am currently reading a recent case Florida v. Jardines. The court upheld that a search of the premises was in violation of the 4th amendment, so it gets suppressed. The case involves a guy who was allegedly growing and trafficking marijuana. I presume that the plants in question were confiscated, and I can assume that other processed product and cash was also confiscated. His lawyers motioned for suppression of the evidence, eventually won, and SCOTUS upheld the decision. So does he get his stuff back?
These are the crazy questions that go through my mind when reading these things. I guess it’s my fault for looking too deep into the cases or trying to find the actual situation that happened behind the case.
Oh well, should be a fun semester, full of hands-on practical learning.