Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Fracas on the Sixth Floor

This past Wednesday, I was on the sixth floor having a case heard before Judge Yarborough. This was a custody matter that has gotten extremely unpleasant.

I should preface this story by stating that I frequently tell people to not use the expression “now I’ve seen everything” while in the courthouse, it is very bad luck. I won’t say I’ve now seen everything, but I will say that I saw something I’ve never seen before in the 22 years since I passed the Ohio bar. When my client’s aunt learned from the Franklin County Children’s Services case worker that my client was going to get to have overnight visits from her daughter, the aunt pitched a conniption fit and after calling the case worker every thing but a Precious Child of God, she had the gall to walk in to the conference room where my client was sitting with two witnesses, and to start shouting at her. I saw this and very rapidly stood between my client and her out-of-control aunt. I told the aunt in very clear language to leave the conference room. The aunt declined and proceeded to shout her low opinion of both my client and me. I again told her to leave the conference room and again she emphatically declined. At this point I started to push the door to the conference room shut to force her to leave. That psycho lard ass had the temerity to shove the door back at me, and I then demonstrated that I was not going to lose a door shoving contest with her. From the other side of the door she proceeded to bellow that if I broke her foot, she was going to break my nose. I was stunned, and actually said, “What?” At which point she repeated her threat word for word. Perhaps my response was not optimal. I told her “Don’t write a check with your mouth that your ass can’t cash.” and I called her a bitch.

Apparently this offended her tender sensibilities and she demanded to know what I had just called her. I replied “Bitch… B….I….T….C…..H” (In retrospect, I thought that was quite helpful of me to spell it for her, but maybe it was a futile gesture. I doubt she knows the alphabet past “C.”) Shortly thereafter, a couple of Franklin County Sherriff’s Deputies showed up and peace was restored. A few seconds later it hit me exactly how bad that situation could have become if that lard ass skank had actually hit me. It is possible I might have retaliated in kind and she might have suffered a massive coronary on the spot, in which case I would be looking at a manslaughter charge. I quickly composed myself and informed Judge Yarborough in chambers exactly what had happened. I even owned up to having referred to that dual-x-chromosomed person as a bitch. I didn’t find out until later that Judge Yarborough had already received one report on what had happened, and perhaps he thought there had been a second incident. In any event, the rest of the day definitely went my way.

Judge Yarborough summoned Franklin County Sherriff’s deputy Clark. Deputy Clark is a black gentleman with a shaved head who is of only average height but is positively huge across the shoulders. I have at times kidded him in a good natured way that he looks like the Sherriff’s Department’s version of Marvin Haggler. Deputy Clark would be an imposing presence even if he weren’t carrying a Smith and Wesson 9 millimeter on his hip. Judge Yarborough asked me to step out into the hall and indentify my client’s aunt, which I did. Judge Yarborough ordered her out of the building. She tried to put on a s**t eating grin and said “I’ll admit I was a bad girl.” Judge Yarborough directed Deputy Clark to escort the bad girl out of the court house. At that point the bad girl’s boy friend thought it was appropriate to demur, and I heard Judge Yarborough say “One more word out of either of you and you’re going to get 30 days in jail for contempt.”

That brought all discussions to a *complete* halt. Judge Yarborough later told me in exactly so many words that he did not think I had done anything wrong and he went on the record to describe what had happened. From my point of view, though, it’s a case of horseshoes and hand grenades; things could have gotten very very bad.

After careful reflection, however, I do think I should make an apology:

Jean and Jerry, I apologize to Sadie.

Mark and Barbara, I apologize to Skyla and Karma.

Sand and Mac I apologize to Bum-Bum.

Vikki and Kirk, I apologize to Pookie.

Comparing any of your wonderful pets to that psycho lard ass Bad Girl was completely uncalled for.

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