Sunday, October 10, 2004

As the Gavel Strikes -- Chapter One: The Saga Begins

Picture your average state courtroom, seal on the wall, judge's bench, tables, banister, seating for spectators. Court has just recessed for the day as lawyers and non-lawyers alike clear out to grab a bite to eat.

Marsha, an Assistant District Attorney, stands over her table as she sorts through the various papers and files, putting them in order. She has clearly had a rough day. Her close friend, Kim, is waiting to meet her at the local diner for some much needed sustenance.

Clark strolls into the emptying room and pushes through the swing doors, approaching Marsha. He walks to her side, flashes one of his more dazzling smiles and begins "So babe, want to get some Vietnamese? I hear that new place downtown is rather nice. Apparently their pho is amazing!"

Marsha knew he was coming. Anticipating this moment had made her day ever so slightly worse. She turned to face him, letting out a nearly inaudible sigh. "Not tonight, Clark. I've got plans."

"Oh c'mon! Let's go get a bite to eat and relax over some martinis."

"Clark, I.. I can't. Look.. I've got something to say to you.. and you're not gonna like it."

"..What? But Marsha, we've-"

"Just let me say it and.. you can do what you have to, alright? Just let me say my piece." Marsha paused and took a deep breath, knowing her next words would forever change things. "Clark, I've been seeing a third party. You know, things have been rocky. You put together that horrible brief, you were sanctioned, heck you even lost your appeal. We were never going to last and I can't wait for you to file your motion any longer. So here, my sua sponte grant of summary judgment."

"Marsha, I-I don't know what to say. I always thought we had a chance, that we could work things out. I know my case is a little weak but there's such hopeful precedent. I'd thought it would be more persuasive.. more helpful than it turned out to be, apparently. But honestly, who is this guy? Really, what forced you to seek independent counsel? Come on!"

"Clark, I don't want to talk about it. What's important is that we're through. It's over. The jury came back, the verdict was not favorable, you lost. I'm sorry."

"Well I'm sorry too, Marsha. I thought you saw the larger constitutional issues. I thought you appreciated the nuances behind my analysis. I thought you saw my arguments for what they are, not what you hoped they'd be. I'm sorry too, Marsha."

"Look, let's just let it go and.. that's it. So it goes... but, if you want to, I'd really like it if we could stay friends. I mean, the good parts were good, they just weren't enough. Can we stay friends? Tell me."

"I don't know, Marsha. Your petition is falling on deaf ears. You've hurt me. I made my case and you ignored all of the supporting evidence to rule against me. It's going to take me some time.. time to review, reflect.. time to think about it. Look, I've got to go. My client is waiting for me outside. I'll see you.. around."

"Al-alright, Clark. Have a good night."

Clark turns away from Marsha and walks out of the courtroom trailing a broken heart. Marsha for her part finishes putting her papers away, picks up her bag and slowly walks out, thinking not of her dinner with her new beau, Kim, but of Clark's parting words.