It came over the newswires that five people had been shot and three killed in the Court House in Wilmington DE. As trial attorneys in a field where the Court Houses are part of our daily existence, hearts stopped for a moment. We have family lawyers in Wilmington and we know they go through security just as we do in Pennsylvania. We go through security staffed by ladies and gentlemen responsible for making certain that bad things don’t happen on the inside. But from the reports we have received thus far, a disgruntled Father decided that he wasn’t bothering with security. He would just start shooting in the lobby.
In thirty minutes I am due in the Chester County Court House to judge a mock trial competition for high school students. The students will be over prepared, nervous and probably won’t realize just what service the sheriff who pats them down provides to them.
Ordinarily, I don’t stop to think about that service either. These folks are my friends and I have come to see them as such. But tonight will be different. Much as the parents of Sandy Hook awakened to a new reality on December 21, all of us who work in the courts will enter with a new level of respect today.