May 27, 2009


As I was waiting in court for my case to be called, I sat there watching as three lawyers were “addressing” the court and each other.  For a moment I felt like a tv viewer who happened to flip to an unfamiliar sitcom and stick around to see what it was all about.  It took a minute or two to figure out that these two defense attorneys and one prosecutor were simply trying to pick the next court date for their case.  There was always a problem with a particular date.  “No that’s not good for me – I have a conflict on that day.  What about the 4th?”  “Bad day for me counsel, it’s my nephew’s grade school graduation.”  And on and on.  Everyone in that crowded courtroom, including the defendants in custody, the court reporter, the clerk, and the people and lawyers waiting for other cases to be called had to listen to this.  Every once in a while the judge would think there was a date agreed to and eagerly say – “So that’s it?  It’s Thursday, the 6th?” – but no that wouldn’t actually do for one of the attorneys – “I’m set for trial in Compton that day and Judge Cheroske … well you know Cheroske.”   There’s more blither and blather back and forth.  At some point it reaches some plateau where it’s clear to all that some major point of existential absurdity has been reached.  The judge looks down from the bench with a look like “would someone please give me the air bubble?” Okay, I’ll admit it, I too have participated in this kind of special Olympics for lawyers event of “picking a date”.  I had no idea I was so amazing.

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