Thursday, May 01, 2008

i'm kinda like w.e.b. du bois, meets heavy d and the boyz

I had an interesting experience in court a couple of weeks ago. While sitting in the gallery waiting for my case to be called, my mind was wandering to and fro amongst a variety of important topics. Particularly, I was trying to remember the name of that giant Transformer that turned into a planet, and I kept thinking that his name was Mogo - but no - that's the Green Lantern that's a living planet - oh wait, it's Unicron. Yes, Unicron. He was in the original Transformers movie - the cartoon - and he was voiced by none other than film legend Orson Wells.

That's pretty sad, really. The guy starts out his career by creating what is widely regarded to be the finest film of all time, and concludes his career by voicing an ill-tempered, planet-devouring robot that transforms into, oddly enough, a planet.

Anyway, that's the sort of thing that was occupying my mind as I waited my turn to go up in front of a Superior Court judge and smarmily represent my client. And then it occurred to me: This particular courtroom looks familiar... the judge looks familiar...

Oh snap! This is the exact courtroom and the exact judge wherein/before whom I had my first ever court appearance almost two years ago! I was struck by the contrast in my demeanor. Lo those two years ago, I was frantically nervous. Sweating, stuttering, flushed - we actually got called into chambers and I thought that I might actually pass out 'n die - - after having been sworn-in for roughly a week. It didn't go what I would call well, and I wrote about it here.

And now, only two years later, I'm slouched in my chair in the gallery, engaging in a spirited inner-monologue on the nature of fictional living planets. Wholly unphased by the prospect of going in front of the judge. Oh yes. How great I art. Maybe the smoothest, ballerest lawyer who has ever lived.

But alas, pride goeth, and all of that.

My next court appearance, I find myself in front of the judge, part of a cadre of lawyers making an appearance at a status conference for a case with a whole buncha parties. The judge has decided to set a date for a mandatory court-supervised mediation. He lists a series of dates, and goes down the line of attorneys, asking us if we will be able to attend on any of those dates.

"Any of those dates will be fine, Your Honor." "We can attend any of those dates." "Any of those dates will work for us."

And it gets to me. And my brain is thinking something to the effect of "All of those dates are good for my clients, Your Honor." But that is not what came out of my mouth. So what did come out of this mouth - a mouth trained by three years of law school, one year of bar studying, and two years of practice? Sigh...

"It's all good."

The other attorneys snap their necks to look over at me. The judge was stunned - mouth agape, peering over his glasses in much the same manner as my bespectacled father when someone says something really brainless.

"It's all... good, counsel?"

"Ahhh, by that I, ahhh... those dates are all good. For my client. Your Honor."

"It's all good. Hmm... I like that."

In case you aren't privy to such things, let me be the first to tell you that a court of law is not really the best place for outmoded urban slang. It is not the place for phrases like word or 'sup or twenty inch blades on the Impala, and certainly not it's all good.

I think this might be the second-most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me in court. Ranking in at Number 1 would have to be Ol' Judge Hatehoov, telling me to go the back of the courtroom, like an irate mother, sending a child to its room.

"Just... go. Go to the back. Sit down. We'll deal with you later."

Which was completely uncalled for, seeing as how I hadn't even quoted any M.C. Hammer lyrics. Clearly, I had not prayed just to make it that day.