Monday, April 04, 2005

True story from this morning's trial:

During jury selection Judge Dodder asked the usual question about whether anyone on the panel knew the attorneys involved in the case. In a small town like Fiction Town just about everyone on the panel knows either the prosecutor or me or both. Hands went up and the typical responses were given:

  • "My kids play soccer with Prosecutor Bitchy's children"
  • "My brother was represented by Mr. Coyotelaw for a DWI last year"
  • "Prosecutor Bitchy is in the church choir with me"
  • "Mr. Coyotelaw was the attorney for my Grandfather's probate"
  • etc.
In the back row a young attractive woman in her mid-twenties raised her hand and asked to approach the bench. She looked vaguely familiar but after ten years in Fiction Town I've run across just about everybody as a client or a witness or a victim or all three, so it's hard to keep track. The name on her juror questionnaire, Erica, didn't ring a bell and I was curious as to why she needed to approach the bench.

As I watched her making her way down the aisle there was something about her walk and the way she carried herself that was becoming more and more familiar. For some reason I pictured her being a waitress but I couldn't figure out which restaurant. She had a nice smile and a sensuous mouth.

She came to the bench and stood between Prosecutor Bitchy and me. She started off in a low voice.

"I know Mr. Coyotelaw, we once upon a time."


"You say you were friends?" Judge Dodder prompted. Judge Dodder is a kind old judge who had been on the bench about 15 years past his prime. His brain is a bit addled and he tends to rule with the prosecution on most motions, but it breaks his heart to send anyone to prison and I knew my client had the best sentencing chance with Dodder.

"I suppose you could say that Your Honor," Erica replied.

Judge Dodder asked the typical follow-up question. "How close was your friendship? In other words, did you all have each other over to your homes on a regular basis, for barbecues and the like, or were you just acquaintances?"

Erica looked confused as she thought that over. "I'm not really sure how to answer that."

"Come, come now, young lady. Only you can explain."

"Well, how do I put this . . ." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "We had ... fellatio."

"Excuse me?"

Because Judge Dodder was 80 years old, most people assumed his hearing wasn't too good.

She raised her voice. "We had fellatio together." Bless her heart. She would never use that term with her friends in a million years but she was trying hard to be formal here in the courtroom.

"Pasta?" Actually his hearing was excellent. It was the term that he didn't understand.

"Fellatio," she said, voice raising another notch.

Prosecutor Bitchy shot me her look of Miserable Contempt. That's okay, I was used to that from her.

Judge Dodder still didn't get it. "I'm sorry ma'am . . ."

"Fellatio!" she said in exasperation. "I gave him a blow job in his truck when I worked at Bennie's Grill!"

The jury panel erupted in laughter. All of this was on the record.

Judge Dodder excused the jury. After all, there's no way the jury would have listened to a word I said when all they could picture was oral copulation every time I stood up to make an argument.

The trial will be reset in three months. Unfortunately my client can't make bond so he's stuck in the pokey until we can get a new jury panel. A disciplinary complaint is no doubt on its way.

On the bright side, I had the rest of the day free and Erica seemed eager to pick up where we left off, so the day wasn't a total waste.


At 12:22 PM, Blogger Leann said...

**On the bright side, I had the rest of the day free and Erica seemed eager to pick up where we left off, so the day was't a total waste.**

That was fictional........right??

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Bad enough that folks mistook Anonymous Lawyer's screeds and Evan's fantasies for reality, but when each page uses the word "fictional," "fiction," and "figments" all in a row, and people are still confused...

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had to reread it twice to make sure it was fictional

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