Thursday, October 1, 2009

What an insane few weeks!

To my loyal followers, my sincere apologies for not updating sooner! These weeks have been a whirlwind of assignments, days at work, other responsibilities, and generally a lack of sleep. But, that's no excuse not to update you on the excitement of the Department of Justice (by the way, check out that link! DOJ released a new website today, along with a Facebook and a Twitter. Welcome to the 21st century, DOJ!).

I finally got my approval to work on the FDA-Criminal case I spoke about in my last post. It's sort of a complicated story, but suffice to say that I had a number of really awesome people step up on my behalf to make the process simpler. Apparently interns get a lower-level clearance than the usual DOJ employee, and because of that, it was taking security a long time to clear me. But it all worked out! Today I got my secure token which allows me access to a secure database. Basically, we're in the investigation stage. My document searching is multi-faceted. One, I'm looking through the millions of pages of discovery materials (mostly emails) to find what certain individuals knew about certain potentially illegal actions taken by the company under investigation. Secondly, I have some paper documents that we need the catalogue number of. So I'm keyword searching phrases from the paper documents to find the electronic versions, to find the catalogue numbers.

As a follow up to the 2000 printed page story from last post, the posts printed totally out of order. So it was impossible to organize, and we ended up having to reprint most of it. We print a TON of paper in the office, which is sort of sad, but mostly necessary. The 2000 page thing wasn't ideal, but my options were to spend days and days organizing these files into correct order, or just re-print it and have it in order in 20 minutes.

The other really cool thing today was the brown bag lunch seminar. An attorney in the office gave this awesome presentation about criminal case procedure, from complaint, to investigation, search warrants, chain of evidence, indictment, trial procedure and strategy, plea agreements, everything. Literally a soup-to-nuts presentation about criminal procedure and constitutional law. It was really outstanding.

That's it for today; tomorrow is more document searching. Over the next few weeks I'll be going on a tour of the Main Justice Building, which is exciting, and some more document stuff. I'll update again soon!

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