Madness, "Our House"

>> Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I was a little swamped today. Spent pretty much the entire day trying an Injury To Personal Property case in District Court: bench trial, three codefendants represented by three assistant public defenders versus a privately-retained prosecutor appearing on behalf of a household of alleged victims whose surveillance cameras--all pointing in their neighbors' yards, you must understand--were allegedly damaged by our clients. There are some crazy things about North Carolina law; two are that (a) any citizen can go down to a magistrate and swear out a misdemeanor allegation against anybody else without any kind of police investigation or any more evidence of wrongdoing than the declarant's oath that the accused has done wrong and (b) any alleged victim in a case can hire a private lawyer to stand in for the state, so long as the district attorney's office consents to being substituted.

Anyway, the judge threw the whole thing out at the close of State's evidence (as presented by this private attorney) because of some technical caselaw questions about the civilian-sworn warrants that had been taken out. I.e. we won, though not for any reason my colleagues and I had actually anticipated. And it took all day to get there, and you should have heard some of the testimony. (I suppose I should mention that the District Court courtrooms where I practice aren't calendared as all-day sessions: there's supposed to be a morning session and an afternoon session, completely separate, and we took up nearly all of both.)

But I don't want to talk about work, although it probably would interest some readers. Courtrooms seem to be more interesting, I think, to people who don't have to spend all their time in them. I guess that goes to figure and isn't really all that surprising. (It causes me to wonder if astronauts ever get existentially bored that they're in space again ("Oh dear God, just dock with the ISS already, I have to pee. How much longer is this going to go on?").) There are lots of reasons I don't like to get into work; I suppose that confidentiality isn't applicable re: all the funny and inconsistent and weird things some of the witnesses had to say about various things (e.g. one fellow talked about putting televisions in missiles), but then there still seems something indecorous even if the whole thing was a public hearing.

But I was sort of inspired, upon returning to the office, to put up some bit of music about neighborhoods and houses and fences, and what first came to mind was Madness' lovely little ska hit from '82-'83. There are plenty of other songs I might have chosen, I know, and maybe some of them more appropriate, but I think, "Songs, houses, house, Madness," or something like that, and here we are. It's such a brilliantly catchy song, y'know? This is a tune that has been chronically and cyclically stuck in my head off-and-on for thirty years. How's that for an earworm?


Konstantin B. Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 11:19:00 AM EST  

I actually would want to hear about cases and proceedings in court. Most of the legal exposure I have boils down to David E. Kelly shows, which is not saying much. Again, I am not even sure how much of it you could discuss.

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