Sunday, March 2, 2014

Story 22: The T.V. Lawyer

          This is it – don’t let them think they have control, don’t let them think they have the power.  Show them who’s boss of this situation.  Yeah.
          Look at them in there, grilling my client, What’s-His-Name.   All smug and self-righteous, thinking they have it all figured out, and that not only is he the scum of the earth, but he’s also an idiot for getting caught.  Little do those fools know they are about to be stonewalled.
           I burst through the police station interview room door and point at my meal ticket.  “Don’t say another word!”  The wall camera has me at a good angle – that usually doesn’t happen on the first try.
            My client and the cops all say: “Who are you?”
            “I – AM – HIS – LAWYER!”
            Water drips and eyelids blink.
           “That’s right, I’m doing all the talking now.  I have a list of demands I’d like to review with you before we get started.”  I settle myself on the only other chair there, rip open my briefcase, and whip out my boilerplate ultimatums.
            The cops stand.  One of them parts with: “We’re done for now.  You can go, but don’t leave town.”
           “And you’d better not leave town either, madam,” I return.  That always throws them off on their way out.
            My client is new to the process.  “I don’t get it – am I still in trouble?”
            “You bet, but don’t worry: you’ll never see the inside of a courtroom.  Not with me on the case.”
            Six months later, I’m ready for the opening statement.
            “Your Honor, as I have consistently maintained, my client is a victim as much as the murdered victim.  He is a victim of harassment from the so-called ‘Justice Department.’”  The stenographer hates it when I do air quotes – always good to have people remember your distinctive qualities.  “We will be counter-suing The State for pain and suffering once he is acquitted, and no offer less than $300 million and documentary film rights will be accepted.”  Need to have a strong opening to get everyone’s attention, else they’ll think you’re weak.
           The District Attorney plays dirty: “Your Honor, we have DNA, security and cell phone video footage, and 10 eyewitnesses implicating the defendant as the murderer.”
           Oh, you and your evidence.  I have to stop this: “ Objection!  Supposition!”
            “May I approach the bench?”
            “You may.”
         The nosy D.A. has to tag along.  The Judge covers the microphone so no one else can hear him embarrass himself.  I have no such compulsion: “Your Honor, I’ve conducted my own investigation, and I have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt who the real killer is.”
            “You’re just bringing this to my attention now?!”
        I make sure everyone can hear me by rotating 360°.  “I was going to save this for after I had browbeaten the witnesses, but the real murderer is in this very room.”  The gasps are rewarding.
            “Counselor, you are bordering on contempt.”
            “The only contempt I have is for the miscarriage of justice that is taking place here today!  I will put an end to this farce, once and for all, and declare that the murderer is none other than that man there!”  I point the finger of law and order at the true culprit.  My triumph is complete now that I am now both lawyer and private investigator, as all of us in the profession dream of being.
            “Counselor, you’re pointing at your own client.”
            Hm, maybe that was why figuring it out was so easy.  Time to close.
            “And justice is served.  This court is adjourned!”
        As I exit dramatically from the courtroom, I decide that now’s the perfect time to retire from my practice and pursue my true aspiration of running a dog grooming salon.