Seaton: Ten Questions Every Criminal Defense Lawyer Should Ask On The First Date

Dating is really hard, especially when you’re a criminal defense lawyer. We’re usually busy saving lives and keeping people out of jail, so there’s precious little time to find the man/woman/non-binary-gender-fluid person of your dreams.

People outside the trenches are having problems with dating too. It’s such a problem that people are writing advice articles about it from all perspectives. Don’t fret! It’s time criminal defense lawyers got their own dating tips. After all, we’re called counselors for a reason.

1) Do you pay your bills on time or up front and in full?

If the answer to this question is anything but “yes,” stop the date and leave them with the bill. We’ve all gotten stiffed by a client at some point, and if your date can’t be bothered to keep up with their (using the non-gendered plural but meant as singular pronoun) bills, it means they can’t be trusted to manage money responsibly in a relationship. As you leave the table, quietly curse all those who argued with you over $5 on a final bill.

2) Which do you believe is more important: due process or listening to and believing victims of sexual misconduct?

If the answer is the latter, run the hell away yelling “I NEVER KNEW THIS PERSON!” First off, your date doesn’t know the difference between hand-holding and rape if they even use the term “sexual misconduct.” Second, getting in a relationship with a person like that means you’re getting disbarred as soon as they’re brave enough to come forward with allegations of their own.

3) Did Betsy DeVos do the right thing by rescinding the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter?

If the answer is “No,” end the date. First, you’re probably going to get accused of rape by your date should that magical evening blossom into a relationship, and you’ll face jail time and disbarment. Second, your date is probably one of those people who believes that ridiculous “one-in -five women get raped in college” statistic. No one needs to go through a relationship with someone that nutty.

4) Do you think people who can’t afford reasonable attorney fees are getting shafted by the system?

If the answer is “yes,” then you’ve got a keeper on your hands. This person knows how badly state legislatures shaft the poor accused with crimes to keep a “tough on crime” and “fiscally responsible” look. Hell, they might even know who Clarence Earl Gideon is. Pay for the dinner and look forward to a second date with this charmer.

5) What are you doing to dismantle the patriarchy and demolish misogyny in your everyday life?

If your date gives you an odd look, say “Just kidding,” and move on. You’re both professionals too busy dealing with reality to come up with a long-winded answer to this question.

6) Should “hate speech” be penalized?

If your date answers “yes,” call them a rude name, stop the date, and leave them with the check. They are fundamentally ignorant of the First Amendment and are clueless as to what “free speech” actually means. You don’t need to date someone that stupid.

7) Do you think the legal system suffers from implicit racial bias?

Regardless of the answer to this question, keep going on the date. And if they say yes, then it’s probably a sign of intelligence. They might even be reading Judge Bennett’s scholarly work.

8) What’s the first thing you say to cops?

If they answer anything other than “I’m not speaking to you until I have a lawyer present,” then end the date. They don’t know what you do, and they don’t have a clue about the dangers of spilling your guts to law enforcement.

9) What does “Affirmative Consent” mean to you?

If your date answers this question in some insipid way, like comparing it to a cup of tea, tell them you have to use the restroom and scram. There’s no way in hell that relationship will work and “romance” will consist of you saying things like, “I would like to put my hand on your shoulder to comfort you. Is that okay with you?” No sane person wants to live that life.

10) “Shit, I forgot my wallet. Is there any chance you can pay the bill and I can reimburse you later?”

If your date smiles, says, “sure, no problem,” and reaches for theirs, stop them, pay your fair share of the date, and ask for seconds. You found someone who’s definitely not in this for the money and will probably be supportive during bad months at the office. That’s marriage material.

Hope that helps, fellow voices of the voiceless. Happy dating, and happy holidays!

12 thoughts on “Seaton: Ten Questions Every Criminal Defense Lawyer Should Ask On The First Date

  1. wilbur

    If your date has ever heard of Betsy DeVos or a “Dear Colleague” letter, quietly excuse yourself to go to the restroom and then run like hell. Who wants to talk about that crap on a date?

    And if you’re looking for someone to settle down with, I see a lot of sidebar ads for Russian women who are just dying to meet/marry you. They’re guaranteed not to talk about “Dear Colleague” letters before or after marriage. And they can’t lie in an ad, right?

  2. CLS

    I want it to be emphatically clear the Russian government was never involved in writing any of these jokes.

  3. albeed

    Question 0)

    Do you have Gloria Allred on speed-dial?

    If the answer is yes, you’re screwed no matter whether you stay, leave or just die on the spot.

      1. SHG

        Don’t be silly. If you have space to fill on a newscast, she will never disappoint by refusing to hold a press conference.

  4. Brian Cowles

    Nice. I should point out, however, that #10 might get you in trouble – only cops are allowed to lie without repercussions.

  5. Patrick Maupin

    Color me confused, Chris. I thought CDLs weren’t supposed to ask any questions they didn’t already know the answer to.

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