Sunday, May 03, 2015

Some shots from my trip to Merrill, Wisconsin, for that big trial which did I mention we won? WE WON.

Above is the courtroom on Monday morning before the trial began.  That's my laptop there, and the file of the things I needed that morning.  Not pictured is the box of documents I also lugged in and out each day; that's behind me.  By the time I'd taken this picture, I'd been up for 3 1/2 hours and had driven 160 miles to get there.  I spent the next four days in this courtroom or very near it.

I never eat much during trials -- to focused on other stuff, which gets hard during a four-day trial like this.  At lunch on the first day I took a walk to think about things and clear my head from the morning, which had been amazing in the number of issue thrown at me.  If you want to know what it's like to be in a trial, consider this: Imagine the hardest class you ever took, one you're good at, but still was challenging.  Now imagine that you are going to have to give an oral report in that class on what you've learned in it, to prove to a group of people that you truly understand the material.  Now imagine that during that entire exam, a couple of people are attempting to interrupt you and prove that you don't understand a single thing about it, and that they are doing so by attempting to get you to explain not the class materials, but a bunch of different subjects entirely.

That's what a trial is like, or at least the best I can explain it.  This was a malpractice trial: we were suing a lawyer for screwing up and almost costing my clients their house.  By noon on the first day I had argued about the need for expert witnesses in that type of case, about the level of evidence needed to prove emotional distress, about whether the ethical rules governing lawyers required a mistrial to be granted based on claims made by an opposing lawyer, and had had to question 21 total strangers about their attitudes towards lawyers, lawsuits, debt, foreclosures, and other matters.

We hadn't even called the first witness by the time I took a walk up and down the street in front of the courthouse, eating an "Uncrustable," and drinking a Coke Zero.  

That sign above caught my eye.  It was on a garage, but the cite to Romans 12:2 was what made me wonder about it.  I didn't look it up until later that night, at the hotel.  This is what it said:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I like that. I'm a fairly religious guy, but even if I wasn't, I think I'd like it. I think that nearly every day I am transformed by the renewing of my mind.

This is the view from underneath that sign, looking back at the Courthouse:

And this is a dance studio along that walk.  I liked the sign (so did Sweetie, when we looked at the pictures):

And this is the Courthouse itself, a picture I took when I first pulled up in my comically tiny car that morning about 7:30:

Maybe more pics in the future.

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