I was in court last week on a Speeding traffic infraction. The merits of the case were defense positive – the cop's brief narrative was all hearsay and conclusory statements, as he did not see my client speeding on the trestle or his vehicle hit the barrier either. But I had told my client I'd waive his presence, that he did not need to show up. I told him I'd just cut a deal to something less with the prosecutor and that this was common. The prosecutor was not there and so I objected on due process grounds, stating that for the past 25 years that I have been appearing in that court before the same judge the Prosecuting Attorney has been there to negotiate with and they usually make some sort of an offer for a deal. We usually discuss the merits of the case and the driver-client's history and formulate a good deal usually. But now the court informed us, the defense counsel standing around wondering how we were going to resolve our cases now as the judge cannot give a deal, thus the only choice is to just plead “committed” (traffic infraction equivalent of guilty”) or proceed to a traffic infraction mini-trial (aka “contested hearing”). The judge noted a budget-cuts related memo wherein the prosecutor's office officially said to the various courts in Snohomish County, just North of Seattle, that their Deputy prosecutors were spending too much time going to mere traffic hearings. I told the judge my client was on his way to court when, in reliance on established decades-old practice in his and other courts, deals are curt by prosecutors who formerly showed up at such hearings and that this denied my client, whom I told he didn't need to come to court, due process. I also argued that to the extent the Prosecuting Attorney's Office determined not to send their prosecutors to court for traffic infractions, this was not an adjudicative function, but an administrative (budgetary) one, and thus the Appearance of Fairness doctrine of administrative law applied. The judge thought it over, said I raised a novel issue, granted the motion to dismiss, and told the entire courtroom that this meant he was dismissing all of their approximately 40 other cases, and that he'd thought the calendar would go past the lunch hour but we were now done at around 10 AM. His bailiff said: “All rise, “ and we all left. I done pretty good, eh?