Join the GOOGLE +Rubber Room Community

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Appearance Counts

When you go to a job interview, on a first date, to a large hall where you must make an important speech, etc., you get nervous and think about all that can go wrong. That's normal. You know that someone will judge you, and possibly quickly, without really getting to know who you are and what your talents are.

And so it is with people who are thrown into 3020-a compulsory arbitration. Even though the 6th floor at 49-51 Chambers Street is not a courtroom, the lawyers treat the Respondent teachers as if they were in a Court, and some arbitrators act like judges. Its an act.

Nonetheless, credibility of the Respondent/employee is important, and therefore you should try to be remorseful, or at least humble - or humbled - even if you are totally innocent. I know this sounds crazy, and many of you will say, "I'm not going to apologize for something I didnt do!!!"

I'm not suggesting that you apologize for something you are not guilty of, I'm just saying it may help to say some words to the effect that "if a teacher at my school did, indeed, do the [ ] that was charged, then this person should receive a just punishment for such an act or being so incompetent. I am not guilty of the charge, so I cannot apologize, but I certainly would, if I was guilty".

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich has this same issue coming up (remember, though, he was convicted already):

Rod Blagojevich
Rod Blagojevich's attitude may influence sentence

Michael Tarm, Associated Press, Saturday, December 3, 2011

Chicago --
As Rod Blagojevich steps before a sentencing judge, the impeached Illinois governor might do well to suppress the cocksure, perpetual campaigner in him and conjure up a lesser-known figure: the humble, contrite family man.

Whether he can pull that off at the hearing beginning Tuesday may play a role in determining the sentence imposed for his 18 convictions, including that Blagojevich sought to auction off the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president.

The former governor has never wavered in insisting on his innocence, from his celebrity turns on national television to his gabby days on the witness stand. But even a hint of obstinacy in court could anger Judge James Zagel and scuttle any hopes Blagojevich harbors of a lesser sentence, according to legal experts and a former politician who faced the same dilemma.

"You just can't walk into your sentencing and say you've been railroaded. Forget about it. That time's over," said former Chicago city clerk Jim Laski, who was sentenced to two years in prison for corruption in 2006. "You darn well better walk in with a heavy heart, saying you made mistakes and that you accept the decision of a jury of your peers."

Most experts say Zagel is likely to sentence Blagojevich to around 10 years in prison. Much less would be seen as lenient. More than 10 would make the sentence one of the stiffest for corruption in Illinois' long history of crooked politics.

Blagojevich, 54, will probably go to a low-security prison. But his life will be strictly regimented and the father of two girls will be largely cut off from the outside world. He'll also have to work a menial job - possibly janitorial work - at a wage of just 12 cents an hour.

In requesting Blagojevich get between 15 and 20 years, prosecutors noted that he has shown no remorse and has even "belittled the seriousness of his offences."

Blagojevich's lawyers countered that federal guidelines dictate Blagojevich get about 3 1/2 years to a little more than 4 years in prison, and argued for even less.

Defense lawyers say the twice-elected Democratic governor will address Zagel directly in court, but haven't indicated just what he'll say or who else could speak on his behalf in a hearing that the judge says will last into Wednesday.

There has been no hint the defense intends to strike a conciliatory tone. In challenging prosecutors' proposed sentence, Blagojevich attorney Carolyn Gurland said it is "disconnected to the facts of this case ... in which the initiative and action at issue were all perfectly legal."

An earlier filing also suggests Blagojevich may not accept any guilt. His attorneys asked to play unreleased FBI wiretap recordings at the sentencing that they claim show Blagojevich never had ill intent. Zagel rejected the request, which harkened to Blagojevich's mantra since his Dec. 9, 2008, arrest - that if authorities only played all the recordings, they would clear him of wrongdoing.

Gal Pissetzky, a federal defense attorney with no connection to the case, said he believes any show of defiance would be a mistake. "If you continue to shove it in the judge's face by (insisting on) your innocence at sentencing, it takes away from your goal of less time in prison," he said.

No comments: