15 February 2006

Shades of My First Appellate Argument

Strange. For the first 5-6 years of my practice I couldn't have gotten the Virginia Court of Appeals to pay attention to me if I were representing Mother Teresa convicted of manslaughter and I stood outside the court building in Richmond in red bloomers with a megaphone.

Now, within a period of a couple months the Court of Appeals has accepted petitions in two of my client's cases. Hoorah!

But Wait, here's where my paranoid side starts to kick in. I don't know how many judges on the Court of Appeals have ever wasted time reading this page, but I just keep picturing this:

Our intrepid hero Ken Lammers walks to the podium to start his first ever appellate oral argument, filled with the confidence that Truth, Justice & the American Way are on his client's side.
LAMMERS: May it please the Court . . .

JUDGE SMITH: Mr. Lammers, before you begin, I just want you to know that I am a regular reader of your blawg - as are Judges Jones and Greene.
Suddenly our Hero begins to wonder if there might be some trouble in Muddville today.
JUDGE SMITH: I found your comment on my decision in the McGillicutty case particularly humorous. And yes, as you stated in your comment, when I stood on my head and looked through a cracked mirror the law looked exactly like I explained it in that opinion.

JUDGE JONES: And I want to thank you for your helpful analysis of my Perrywinkle opinion. It was so funny to read my writing described as worthy of a B+ for creative writing, but having nothing to do with the law.

JUDGE GREENE: And I laughed out loud when I read when I read your characterization of me as someone who knows the law so well he doesn't even have to look at the books - since the books will always tell me that the conviction should be upheld.

JUDGE SMITH: Of course, Mr. Lammers, we're all professionals here and won't let any of this affect us. Now on to the case.

Although you didn't mention it in your brief, I'm sure a man as learned as you knows that a similar issue has recently been decided by the Supreme Courts of Guam, Mongolia, and Botswana. Let's start by discussing the case from Mongolia . . .
Hmmm . . . I wonder if it's too late to burn this site to the ground and forswear its existence?

1 comment:

Kurt Hunt said...

Paranoia aside, congratulations! It's pretty nifty to be able to argue in front of the Court of Appeals.