Court Is Back In Session

Usual Suspect

While prosecuting a robbery case, I conducted an interview with the arresting officer. My first question: “Did you see the defendant at the scene?”
“Yes, from a block away,” the officer answered.
“Was the area well lit?”
“No. It was pretty dark.”
“Then how could you identify the defendant?” I asked, concerned.
Looking at me as if I were nuts, he answered, “I’d recognize my cousin anywhere.”

***

Guilty as Charged

In Fort Worth, Texas, I was hauled before the judge for driving with expired license plates. The judge listened attentively while I gave him a long, plausible explanation.

Then he said with great courtesy, “My dear sir, we are not blaming you—we’re just fining you.”

***

No Lawsuits

Sidewalks were treacherous after a heavy snowstorm blanketed the University of Idaho campus. Watching people slip and slide, I gingerly made my way to class.

Suddenly I found myself on a clean, snow-free section of walkway. This is weird, I thought—until I noticed that it was directly in front of the College of Law building.

***

Waiting for the Fine

The judge had not yet put in an appearance in the San Diego traffic court. When the bailiff entered the courtroom, he sensed the nervousness of the traffic offenders awaiting their ordeal.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” he said. “Welcome to ‘What’s My Fine?’”

***

Bad Job

As a judge, I was sentencing criminal defendants when I saw a vaguely familiar face. I reviewed his record and found that the man was a career criminal, except for a five-year period in which there were no convictions.

“Milton,” I asked, puzzled, “how is it you were able to stay out of trouble for those five years?”

“I was in prison,” he answered. “You should know that—you were the one who sent me there.”

“That’s not possible,” I said. “I wasn’t even a judge then.”

“No, you weren’t the judge,” the defendant countered, smiling mischievously. “You were my lawyer.”

***

Not So Humble

I was once a legal secretary to a young law clerk who passed the bar exam on his third try. This fledgling attorney worked hard on his initial pleading, which should have read “Attorney at Law” at the top of the first page.

After I submitted the finished document for his review and signature, I was embarrassed when he pointed out a critical typing error. “Must you rub it in?” he asked.

I had typed: “Attorney at Last.”

***

Tough Punishment

I was a brand-new attorney in practice alone, and I had a likewise inexperienced secretary fresh out of high school. The importance of proofreading the results of my dictation was highlighted one day when a reminder to a client’s tenant to pay her rent or suffer eviction was transcribed as follows: “You are hereby notified that if payment is not received within five business days, I will have no choice but to commence execution proceedings.”

 

’18 A To Z Challenge – Neighbors

 

Challenge '18letter-n

 

 

 

 

 

Neighborhood

I accidentally did another favor for my neighbors – and I don’t regret or begrudge it.

I wrote of being able to do several favors for them, several years ago.  Those favors have been returned like bread upon the waters, 7-fold.  The ‘rot-proof’, pressure-treated posts that support our common fence are over 30 years old, and they rotted.

As I sadly stood considering the tilting fence, morosely calculating what it was going to cost in money, energy, time, and lost skin, the neighbor asked me if I would mind if he repaired it.  His son runs a small landscaping firm, so he had access to a powered post-hole auger.  His first thought was that he could bore out the concrete bases….FAIL!

Digging them out by hand was difficult and time-consuming.  Suddenly, inspiration struck.  He cut 2 feet off a 10-foot panel, moved the necessary holes two feet, and spliced the orphan back in at the end.  All he asked, was $100 for lumber and supplies.  The wife tipped him an extra $20 for saving me the trouble.

Recently, his first-marriage daughter stayed with them for several days.  They are both non-smokers, so she sits on the front porch to puff.  One spring evening, in the dark of 9:30 PM, I left the living room to use the powder-room, next to the front door.  The pebbled glass in the lower pane made car lights on their driveway seem like they’re on our front lawn.  I stood tippy-toe to look out, but it wasn’t their car.  I turned on the light, and peered out again.  The car quickly backed out, and drove off.

I hadn’t got my ass back on the couch, when the phone rang.  They were at a friend’s, and the daughter had called.  While she was sitting, smoking, some guy had just pulled into the driveway and said, “Wanna come over here, Babe?”  She’s a sturdy lass of 25, and could probably handle any problem, but she stepped inside, locked the door, and called them.  Would I please take a look and see if there was any trouble?

I told her that my neighborly nosiness had already driven him off.  She was reassured on an immediate basis, but now she, his daughter and I, were all somewhat perplexed.  Was this just some random guy, approaching random women?  In the dark, neither of us got a good look at the driver, the car, or the licence plate.  In our quiet, safe suburban subdivision, do we have a hooker, or a drug dealer working?

The wobbly wife wants a new rail installed on the deck steps.  The old ones are leaning as badly as the fence was, and she needs safe support, when she follows the new puppies that you’ll read all about in a month, out onto the lawn.  Maybe I can leverage this into some design/installation help from the amateur carpenter husband.  😀

Flash Fiction #112

ping-pong

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

BACK AND FORTH

Pick – a – pock –a – pick – a – pock – a ???!

What are you boys doing up there? You’re not getting into trouble are you?

No, Auntie Mame. We’re playing.

You know, I love you both as if you were my own children. It was challenging enough when I took Patrick in.  Since I found he had a brother, Robert, you two have kept me hopping.  Be careful with that table tennis game.  I’m either going to have to buy another case of balls, or hire someone to climb up and retrieve the ones you’ve lodged in my chandelier.

We will, Auntie Mame!

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.