Tuesday, September 19, 2006

uncle larry would be proud

Hello my friends. What are the haps?

We've been in trial this week. When I think of words to describe this trial so far, many words come to mind. Words such as circus, meltdown, zoo, and Jurisprudential Chernobyl. As a practicioner of the law, I find that I often have to inform lay people that trial practice, as well as lawyering* in general, are nothing like televised legal dramas. It's nothing like Boston Legal, Law and Order, or The Practice.

However, this particular trial does bear a strong resemblance to one of the great legal shows of our time: Night Court.

Most of the antics from this week would take me far too long to explain, and probably wouldn't be funny once I did. This is beacause they are wrapped up in too much technical nerdery to be understood by anyone beyond the culture of mole people that is the legal industry. Frinstance, you would not be amused if I were to recount the following:

And then, the guy expected the judge to rule as a matter of law on the certified reinstatement notice from the Secretary of State! I mean, duh!

That wouldn't fly too well.

So I will try to break down the more accessible elements amongst the chaos we have experienced over the past three days. We heard one attorney present a motion for continuance of trial on the grounds that his expert witness was unavailable due to uncontrollable hiccups. Plaintiff counsel was reprimanded by the court reporter for making too much noise with his pen cap, and was subsequently put on "pen restriction". I was not aware that court reporters could issue sanctions, even if they are merely in the scope of writing implements.

Oh yeah - the judge hates, hates, hates Plaintiff counsel. We suspected this the first day. But on the second day, when Plaintiff counsel was out of the room, the judge started handing out candy and telling us about how she had Prison Break TiVo'ed.

Let's see... Oh yeah, one lawyer told the judge that he couldn't reach his client on the phone. 15 minutes later, the client calls, not the lawyer in question, but the court room. We are like, totally in court and the clerk has to say, "Uh, Counsel... Your client is on the phone." That in itself is unheard of, but when the judge pressed this lawyer about his representation that the client was unavailable by phone:

"Well, I couldn't reach him because he was calling the court."

"Counsel, that is ludicrous. Are you representing to this court that your client was unavailable by phone because of a call he was making 15 minutes in the future?"

This has all proven to be quite interesting. And since my sole responsibility in the courtoom is to operate a projector which won't be used until next week, I'm just trying to enjoy the ride and learn a lot about what not to do in trial practice.

Oh yeah, my Motion in Limine dominated. Even though I did get the party names mixed up in the caption, which the court was oh so kind enough to point out. As they say, I guess pride goeth before, um, I dunno, falling... or something.

In other news, I spoke to Jacquelyn a couple of nights ago, and she has decided to not move to California. So, to quote some operative langauge from Douglas Adams: "Well, that about wraps it up."

This has lead me to a new revelation about dating: Always make a point to discover, early on in the relationship, where this person sat during lunch in middle school. And thusly, never date outside of your retro-active middle school lunch room social strata. For example, this relationship was probably doomed from the beginning because Jacquelyn sat with the cool kids, and I sat with, well, by myself.

Don't get me wrong, she's a great girl, but it does get frustrating whenever I mention one of my myriad nerdy interests, such as Kafka, cosmology, OS X, or Hayao Miyazaki, and I get this look like I just missed the last Dork Train back to Geekville. But nonetheless I wish her all the best in Texas doing, I don't know, whatever it is you people back in Texas do to pass the time.

And finally, I would like to conclude with a cigar recommendation: Padron 1926 Anniversary Series. I fired one up to celebrate my motion, and I instantly knew it would enter my Top 5. It would probably cost you $25 in any shop you'd be lucky enough to find one, but I say this to you: it was worth it. And I don't say that about much of anything.

*"Lawyering" is Texas shorthand for practicing law. I have yet to hear this term used at all in the Pacific timezone.