After the weather made a fairly poor weekend showing, I wake up to fabulous blue skies. This means that I arrive at the office in a sleeveless lace t-shirt top and cropped jeans that end at the knees. As I look over my calendar I realize - darn. Double darn. We still don't have confirmation on a deposit of a verdict in a minor's blocked account. I need to go to court at 1:30. Fortunately, Ed is coming to the office so he grabs a skirt and I'm good to go. Or at least I think I am.
I park in one of the ridiculous hole in the wall expensive parking garages (11.95 for 2 hours), and begin walking up the street expecting my skirt to float in the sunshine along with me. But it is not floating. It is clinging. It is like one of those awful commercials for anti-static dryer sheets. I look like I'm wearing skorts. I keep my chin held high and make eye contact with everyone I encounter - this lessens the odds they will be looking at my horrid skirt.
The misery of ex parte is actually not too bad. The court commissioner accepts my explanation, and I'm out the door in half an hour which means I can drop in and watch a little bit of a trial.
My best friend is defending a couple sued by a real estate development company for cutting down (depending on which version you believe) "Laurel Trees" or "Bushes" along a border. FYI - I look up laurel in wikipedia which says it is a bush but what does wiki know.
The development company's lawyer gets up to give opening statement. He starts off with one entire minute of thanking the jury for coming and telling them how precious their time is. Note to self: get to the point right away. He doesn't introduce his clients other than saying : they are XYZ land development company whom I'll refer to as Land Development. This means that he has now further depersonalized his client. It is an inanimate corporation. How does he expect the jury to bond with a thing.
I rate him like I would one of my lawschool students. He's not bad. But he could be better. He is fairly eloquent but just not as self aware of what he looks like as he should be. He places his notes on the bar below the Judge's bench. He then leans to his right on the bar much of the time, propping himself up. His hands are clasped in front of him, or in a pocket. Once in awhile they escape and when they do he moves them nicely.
He goes on for about 15 minutes which is a decent period of time. He doesn't show a single visual which makes it difficult to follow since he's talking about north this south this perimeter that of various property lines. As he describes the trees that were cut down my number one thought is - I want to see what he's talking about. The jurors do too.
His pet phrase is "the evidence will be..." This is repeated more than a dozen times. Which is why by the time it is my friend's turn, one of the jurors is already asleep. I watch just to make sure. She isn't even trying to pretend she's awake. Sometimes when jurors sleep, their heads will jerk, their eyes will roll open periodically. Here, we're talking about good quality sleep and it is still opening statement.
I watch my friend's opening which is more lively. She uses powerpoint and blow up pictures and the jury is straining forward to see them. All that is, except the sleeper.