Dream of: 07 October 1982 "Put In Issue"

Louise was sitting to my left in the back seat of a station wagon being driven by someone. At times I seemed to be looking down on the station wagon from above and could see it moving along a crowded freeway which had a peculiar curving pattern.

Louise was criticizing me about something and I was trying to control my anger. I listened to what she said and although I didn't like it, thought perhaps her words had some merit. But I felt unsure of exactly how to respond and I didn't say anything. I was torn between being indignant and being reconciling.

The door on my side was missing and as the car suddenly increased its speed, I almost fell out. Although I fortunately grabbed a small rope which stabilized my position, I still felt as if I were about to fall. Louise didn't seem to realize my predicament and I was unsure whether I should call to her for help. Finally I said, "Louise, I'm going to fall."

Louise, who was sitting in a secure position, immediately grabbed me and put her arms around me. The car slowed down; I was out of danger.

I was still trying to decide whether I should be angry with Louise about what she had said to me or whether I should simply try to be close to her. I quickly decided being angry was pointless; I just wanted to get along with her. I jumped into the back part of the station wagon and spread out my sleeping bag. I asked Louise to come back here with me. She did and we felt close to each other again.

The car finally stopped. Louise and I stepped out and walked into a building which looked a bit like a bowling alley, even though I didn't see or hear any bowling. Instead I found a group of law students standing around.

Someone walked up to Louise and me and gave us a bunch of papers. We were told the papers contained all the information needed for a practice court-type trial and the trial was scheduled to begin shortly. We knew our practice court class was going to consist of four practice trials and this was just a warm up trial before practice court. We were told a $25 prize would be given to the winner.

Louise and I sat down at a long cafeteria-type table. To her left about ten meters and two or three tables away were seated Boley (a female law student) and Cosby (another law student) at the same type of table. We were scheduled to try our case against them.

A judge, who was also a law student, was seated facing us on the other side of the table. He was a tall, thin, black-haired fellow and was wearing a blue shirt. He seemed to be doing a rather good job. I didn't see any jury.

I began shuffling through the pile of papers trying to figure out what the case was about. We only had a short time in which to prepare, something apparently planned to see how well we would do when pressed for time.

Boley and Cosby began delivering their case. When they spoke, they remained seated and directed what they had to say to the judge. I half listened, half read while they spoke, in an attempt to find out just what the case was about.

Suddenly they finished. It was our turn and it looked as if Louise was supposed to speak first. I turned and looked at her; she was thoroughly disoriented. She didn't seem to understand yet what the case was about; she needed more time. I began trying to think about what to do; I quickly decided I should begin speaking so Louise would have more time.

I was feeling a bit apprehensive about the other team; they were good and I thought it was going to be difficult to beat them. Nevertheless, we had a chance. The other team seemed confident and almost a little too smug.

I began. I knew by now that the case concerned the death of a woman in a nursing home. Louise and I were the plaintiffs representing the deceased woman; we were suing the nursing home for damages. I falteringly began going over some of the facts of the case. I was slow and kept shuffling through the papers in front of me as I talked. One of the papers was a personal letter, which I thought was very relevant to the case, although I was unsure whether it had been written to or by the woman. I talked for a while, groping for words. The words "put in issue" suddenly took on new meaning to me and I realized how important they were in trial practice. I finally realized the essential point I wanted to put in issue was negligence; if I simply brought up negligence, it would then be put in issue. So I simply said something like "we put negligence in issue." I thereby alleged that the nursing home's negligence had contributed to the plaintiff's death.

I finished, turned to Louise and wanted to help her.

I hadn't yet mentioned a second major point fraud which also needed to be put in issue. As I looked again through the papers in front of me, I came across about a dozen orange tracts. Apparently the tracts had been sent out by the nursing home in an effort to solicit new patients. I glanced over one; it seemed to describe a pyramid scheme. The idea seemed to be that if a person were to send people to the nursing home, the person would be rewarded. I said to Louise, "I've brought up the negligence aspect, now you can bring up the fraud."

I thought it would work out well that way, but then I realized Louise was in a panic and was afraid to speak. I tried to calm her; I began whispering to her. She was worried she didn't know enough to say because she hadn't had enough time to prepare. I told her it didn't matter because the lack of time was part of the challenge. No one had had much time to prepare and the trial was designed to test how we would handle the problem with only a minimum amount of time. I told her she only needed to begin talking, to put fraud in issue and to not worry about anything. I was beginning to notice some impatience from the other team.

Suddenly Louise became angry with me. She seemed to think I was responsible for the situation and she was simply not going to take part. I knew she was actually just afraid to speak in front of everyone. I tried my best to ease her fear and pointed out that it was only a little practice affair and that it wouldn't matter much if she made mistakes. I told her it would be much better to make a mistake now than later when we were in practice court.

By now she was not only afraid, but angry. She blamed me for the situation; she thought I was the only one who wanted her to speak. She said she didn't have to speak and she wasn't going to. I began looking over my shoulder at some other law students who were standing around; maybe I could find someone else to quickly take Louise's place.

Suddenly Louise jumped up and was clearly intending to leave. A fellow who reminded me of Gibson (a law student) walked up; for a minute I thought maybe he could take Louise's place. But instead he forcefully but gently made Louise sit back down. He was clearly concerned about her. Someone else also seemed ready to intervene to compel her to stay; I hoped she would see that I wasn't the only one who was trying to force her to speak.

She seemed all tied up inside; but she seemed calmer after she sat down. I perceived that the judge was trying to make it as easy for her as possible. He stood up and began talking. The other team was looking rather confident. The judge said we had already raised the issues of negligence and fraud (apparently I had somehow mentioned fraud in my statement), and he told the other team they were going to have a difficult time rebutting that. He seemed to be trying to give Louise a little time to pull herself together. She was still upset, but she did seem calmer. There was still a good chance she would be able to go on.

The judge then said we had to follow some court rules. I didn't have the first rule but the second one was, "We're good friends here."

The third one began, "You can't say in life ..."

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