Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Twilight Zone Breakfast Club

I have previously touched on the following incident.

I tried out for the moot court team. It occurred to me that these people were all lawyer wanna-bes. Which is not to say that some of them were not great people, but that they would use whatever legal means necessary to gain an advantage. As I have previously related, 29 people tried out and 28 people were selected. I was not selected. I suspected I would not be selected which is why I had to do a superior job. I was determined to make these people answer one day. As this does not appear as something that is going to happen, I will have to settle for second best, which is telling what they did.

Immediately on reading the hypothetical, I knew where the blame, if any, for the accident should fall, other than my client. I typed out a somewhat lengthy list of questions and possible answers that directed attention away from the object of my attack. The questions that I typed out were all directed at my witness. Then I waited.

I chose Martin Lang for my witness. Most people that had a witness recruited a friend. I paid Martin Lang $80.00 and all he could drink at Fat Harry's. I chose Martin Lang for a number of reasons that I do not care to elaborate on. Martin did not disappoint me. When I decided that I was going to pay a witness, I made the conscious decision that I wanted an employee. This fact has an effect on the rules. That is, I had a reasonable expectation that my employee would not share confidential information, an expectation greater than that expectation that I would have had, had I an acquaintance that I could have asked to be my witness for the competition.

The opportunity arose to disseminate my diversion. Stacey Miller, I believe her name was, asked me about the moot court competition. This happened at the Pine St. Café,' outside on the patio, one afternoon. I forget her exact question or questions, but the opportunity arose that I could give her my diversion. I delivered the questions and answers to her on a floppy disc. I just had to now hope that my fake plan of attack would be further disseminated to those people that were to be my opponents for the moot court competition.

The date and time arrived for my turn to compete. Martin Lang took the stand. Martin appeared out of sorts on this day. I had anticipated this. As Martin was my witness and had been identified as such to the coordinators of the competition I believed that a reasonable expectation would have developed that I was going to question him. Further, I had prepared a series of questions that went somewhere and attempted to demonstrate his lack of culpability. Furthermore, I had elaborately prepared Martin for his role, including giving him his background, how much he earned, what his hobbies were and why, and so forth. I passed on the opportunity to question Martin. The puzzlement on the faces of some of the other people in the room was actually a thrill, I hate to admit it.

I rose to question the object of my attack, the EMT. Jimmy was playing the role of the EMT. I hammered him. I stayed at least 10 feet away from him and I had him looking frightened. [Opposing counsel could have objected that I was badgering the witness, but none of us had any prior experience at this, as far as I knew.] I could have laughed out loud. I asked permission to approach the witness. I stepped right up to Jimmy and with a big smile apologized for my aggressive questioning. I asked his permission to ask him three more questions. When I was done with Jimmy it was apparent to the jury that this weak, lazy, self-serving EMT had been responsible, if any responsibility could be assigned, for the death of his partner, an EMT that had run off of a cliff in the dark, attempting to come to the aid and rescue of my client. This was an absolute thrill; I do not believe that it gets any better than that.

When I walked out of the building Jesse Beasley was on the sidewalk, apparently preparing to leave. Jesse was one of the people that I spoke with fairly often. He was a good guy. I began speaking with Jesse. The person that had been the Judge for the competition exited the building. I glanced at him. He was just standing there, looking at me. This was all the confirmation I needed that I had done a superior job. I looked at Jesse. He looked down at the ground and stated: "_________, these people have to travel together." I felt like clapping him on the shoulder and telling him not to worry about it.

Jesse turned to walk away. I asked him: "Did Kimone have a copy of my questions?" Once again Jesse looked down at the ground. When he looked back up he was facing away from me and had started to walk away. I felt like calling out after him and telling him that this was okay also as I had meant for the questions to be disseminated. Kimone had not demonstrated, during her turn to question, any reliance on any of my questions. It really would not have mattered if she had. When I had given the questions to Stacey Miller I had purposefully remained silent on what my expectations were that she was going to do with them. I had carefully thought about this and could find no violation of the bull feces honor code.

Maurice Ruffin, or his wife Tanzinika, had sat as a member of the jury for this competition. A day or some days after the competition Maurice stated to me: "_______, we didn't even see that." I believed that he was referring to my exposure of the EMT as a person culpable, if any culpability was assignable, for the death of the plaintiff's spouse. If he was not referring to this, then I have no idea what he was referring to.

When I was approaching the school for my turn at the competition, Maurice Ruffin had asked me: "Hey, _________, what's up with the Men in Black outfit?"


PS I came across an article in a newspaper a year or so later about a case that had been decided, or was in consideration, where the facts paralleled the facts as presented within the hypothetical situation for this moot court competition. The question occurred to me whether law firms or law schools use cases that present interesting legal questions for moot court competitions to see what comes of it.

In Requiem:

Loyola University New Orleans
Loyola School of Law
I can make spaghetti.
I can make a lamp.
Lawrence Moore, S.J., I could tape your buns together and nobody would ever notice any difference.