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Lapses in the legal system

Being a 9-year-old can be tough. Sometimes you have to pick up the toys in your room. Sometimes you have to solve multiplication tables for homework. And sometimes you have to go in for jury duty.

Well, that’s the way it was for Cape Cod third-grader Jacob Clark, who got a summons for jury duty in the mail, even though you are only eligible for jury duty after turning 18.

His first reaction?

“I was like, ‘What’s a jury duty?'” Clark, who lives in Yarmouth, Mass., told the Cape Cod Times.

His second reaction, according to his grandmother, Deborah Clark?

“He said, ‘I don’t want to go! I don’t want to go!'” she said.

And who could blame him? So, Clark’s dad called over to the jury commission office to get to the bottom of it. Apparently the state had his birth date wrong. Someone had typed in 1982 instead of 2002.

Speaking of slips in recordkeeping . . .

A Nebraska lawyer practiced law without a license for 12 years before anyone noticed.

David Walocha worked as a full-time bartender and a part-time lawyer from 1998 to 2011 even though he had been suspended from the (legal) bar since 1996 after failing to pay his dues, the Omaha World-Herald reports.

Walocha passed the bar exam in 1994 after graduating Creighton University School of Law. He never paid his dues to the bar after his first year but still represented around 60 people as their lawyer, often defending clients accused of DUI.

“It was like when your driver’s license expires,” he said. “You still know how to drive the next day. But if you’re like me, you procrastinate. I guess I always thought I would get around to it.”

The discrepancy was only discovered when a former client showed up to serve his prison term and officials asked him for his lawyer’s phone number. When Walocha could not be tracked down, the truth was uncovered.

Walocha is facing a possible felony charge for unauthorized practice of law.

Photo courtesy of The Cape Cod Times