February 26, 2005

The Trial

Last week, my trial was on (hence the lack of posting). In my judge's chambers, each extern gets a trial to sit through and basically, acts as the clerk for that particular trial. Man, clerking is the best job on the planet. (Okay, perhaps being a judge is cooler, but still..)

My trial was educational and even (according to the low, low standard of entertainment in court) amusing. Highlights included:

--the woman who hypothesized that the reason she was stricken from a previous jury was that she was asked if she would have a problem with the fact that the defendant needed an interpreter and didn't speak English and she said, "well, yes, of course I would have a problem with that." (Really? You think they challenged you because of that little old thing?)

--the man who discussed the hit-and-run car accident he witnessed in excruciating detail in response to the question, "have you ever been involved in a crime that was prosecuted." Punchline? they never caught the guy. But, thanks for sharing.

--the woman who got snippity with the judge asking her if she was biased who finally said, "well, I'm an old hippy from new york. Do you think I'm going to be biased against the government?"

--In response to "do you have any religious or philosophical beliefs that would keep you from being able to decide who was lying and who was telling the truth?" the woman who said, "it makes me physically ill to think about being on a jury. I just keep telling myself, 'don't throw up, just don't throw up.'"

--the PLAINTIFF randomly interrupting the court, saying, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but..." (he was shushed by his lawyer at the judge's suggestion.)

--the PLAINTIFF frustratedly gesticulating and arguing with his counsel in whispers about whatever it was he wanted to discuss with the court.

--the PLAINTIFF rushing out of the courtroom without explanation.

--Plaintiff's counsel apologizing to the court saying, "I don't believe my client took care of his, uh, *needs* before we commenced."

--PLAINTIFF's much-awaited return 90 seconds later, when he rushed back into the court, paper towel in hand and grin on his face. Better yet was when he said, "Sorry Court," and sat down.

--PLAINTIFF's witness who testified that he knew plaintiff because he was friends with plaintiff's son's brother. (Huh?)

--Defendant's counsel making the analogy between a correctional detention facility and summer camp.

--Plaintiff's counsel getting down on his knees, shakespeare-style, during closing arguments.

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